Off My Mind: Why Hugo Strange Should Be a Batman Movie Villain
Hugo Strange is indeed a...strange character. When I first heard mention of his name, I thought it was weird. I was thinking about his Golden Age and Silver Age appearances. When he first appeared in Detective Comics #36 in 1940, he was more of a mad scientist. This continued a few months later in Batman #1, where he was injecting men with a serum that turned them into fifteen foot-tall monsters. This character didn't feel like he would fit or be worthy of Nolan's films. But then I remembered the story by Doug Moench in Legends of the Dark Knight in 1990. The Hugo Strange seen in that arc would be perfect for the film.
== TEASER ==
The story takes place right after the Year One story. Hugo Strange is a prominent psychiatrist who publicly states he believes Batman is an obsessed person who is craving fame for his accomplishments. He is then assigned as a consultant to the vigilante task force put together by the Mayor. The hunt is on for Batman.
This fits in with the way The Dark Knight ended. What makes Strange a deadly foe is he starts to get into Batman's psyche. From the beginning, Strange surmised that Batman's obsession with vengeance is due to a loved one being a victim of crime. He also quickly points out that the items Batman uses cost a lot of money, in other words, Batman must be rich. He gets closer and closer to discovering Batman's true identity. Pressure is put on Batman as the police force is against him and Strange's mind games begin to take their toll.
I've said it before, you can't have villains like Clayface, Killer Croc or even Mr. Freeze in Nolan's vision of Batman. They rely too much on their appearance and powers. Hugo Strange is dangerous for his psychological attacks.
What makes him even more dangerous is he's a bit loony himself. It turns out he has some obsessions of his own. He apparently became a psychiatrist in order to try to deal with his own issues. Hugo Strange is a brilliant man but he's crazy. Because he is put in a position of power against Batman, he gains access to police records. This puts him on the trail to discovering who Batman is. The psychological warfare that ensues could easily be adapted for the big screen. What we could have is more of a battle of the minds versus Batman using his fists or gadgets against an opponent. If a need for physical action was required, Nolan could bring in the character Sgt. Max Cort (who also appeared in the arc and was a pawn of Strange's and another character Hardy's been rumored to possibly be playing) as the Night Scourge.
We'll find out soon who the actual villain (or villains) will be. With the rumor started last month and the just released trailer for Arkham City with Hugo Strange, it's looking like things will be getting pretty strange for the Dark Knight.
" @cold_fuzion: If they bring in Sgt. Max Cort (who Tom Hardy's also been rumored as) as the Night Scourge, that could bring in some action.That would work nicely. I'll have to go read this arc.
I think this would be a fantastic bookend to the Nolan-Batman series.
Didnt the last movie have people dressing up as Batman? Didnt we already have a crazy psychologist in this series? Terrific another slow psychological Batman movie. I can already hear Alfred offering more sage advice to Bruce while he sits in the cave ready to quit being Batman. Bring in CobblePot and Black Mask and have a huge war going on for Gothams underworld. With Batman being hunted by the police already you have most of the movie written. Use the hidden identity of Black Mask as the films big mystery and move on from there. Lets not rehash things we have already done.
Aside from all the good points mentioned by Tony, one of the things I like about Strange is that he's a relative unknown which helps preserve a lot of the mystery for the film. I'm not sure if people realize how much that's been missing in the information / video / trailer saturated age we live in. I mean, it used to be you saw a poster and maybe a 30 second TV spot, you checked a three line / 4 star review in the paper and that's all you had to go on before you went into the theater.
Now, you get 3-4 two plus minute trailers (if not seven or more for real blockbuster, plus special features, making of, actor / director commentary, pre-release hype programming, etc) that slice through the same film different ways, exhaustive online reviews and aggregators like RT and MetaCritic, and a deluge of spoilers before you even get into the theater. That means you practically know the entire plot and every twist and turn before you ever see the film!
The Dark Knight, Inception, and- to a lesser extent, Batman Begins all had trailers that preserved a lot of the mystery to the films' stories in terms of actual plot (only themes or action / visual beats are revealed)... and that tends to make the film more engrossing, at least for me. With Strange, I think the audience is going to be pretty unfamiliar with the character meaning they won't know what to expect which can enhance the rollercoaster feel if the film executes.
To that end, I know a lot of people are citing "Prey", but I hope it serves only as loose inspiration rather than a blow by blow account of our story... I think another strength of the Batman franchise is that they've really sought to tell original / new stories as opposed to adapting wholesale existing works / stories... that lets the franchise forge new ground and create its own legend rather than borrowing and diluting the legitimacy of something else (arguably compromising both, and part of the reason people are sick of origin retellings).
Even if Hugo Strange is the expected villain, I hope and see him as a great gateway into the unexpected.
PS - One last point, Nolan didn't completely avoid fantastical elements in Begins... I thought the Scarecrow on a firebreathing horse (as seen through hallucinating eyes) was effective (even if the Bat Demon was less so) and with Strange's penchant for diving into the mind, there still might be a possibility of- even briefly- seeing some of Batman's more extraordinary rogues so long as it is in the drug-induced context.
Man, if Hughgo Strange was going to be the villain it would be awsum. Nolan has a nact of choosing villains who would be able to hurt bruce more mentaly than physacaly. Ra's was the teacher who taught bruce everything he needed to know, but at the same time lying to him about his identity as to get closer to him. Scarecrow thrived on fear, and personifying the deepest fear in the bat. Joker was the what if character, having alot more simularities to batman than diffarences and who constantly reminded him of thoese simularities. Two face showed how someone who had good intentios from the beginnig could easiy be turned evil. Strange would be able to turn the whole city against batman ( esspecialy since t the end of DK batman is accused of being dents murderur ) and turning bruce agiainst batman, pushing him over the line which separates him from the crazies he fights. Twould bw screen gold.
" Didnt the last movie have people dressing up as Batman? Didnt we already have a crazy psychologist in this series? Terrific another slow psychological Batman movie. I can already hear Alfred offering more sage advice to Bruce while he sits in the cave ready to quit being Batman. Bring in CobblePot and Black Mask and have a huge war going on for Gothams underworld. With Batman being hunted by the police already you have most of the movie written. Use the hidden identity of Black Mask as the films big mystery and move on from there. Lets not rehash things we have already done. "
Let me focus on one point of that statement; Black Mask.
Black Mask would be perfect as a Nolan-verse villain. Origin isn't to fantastical, powers are non-existent and he is a very human character. All ticks on the box. Sad thing is, he probably won't have be considered by Nolan.
P.S. The guy dressing up as Batman in the second film was Scarecrow.
What? no...you're just...wrong. Scarecrow didn't dress up like Batman. Watch
" @Icemizer said:" Didnt the last movie have people dressing up as Batman? Didnt we already have a crazy psychologist in this series? Terrific another slow psychological Batman movie. I can already hear Alfred offering more sage advice to Bruce while he sits in the cave ready to quit being Batman. Bring in CobblePot and Black Mask and have a huge war going on for Gothams underworld. With Batman being hunted by the police already you have most of the movie written. Use the hidden identity of Black Mask as the films big mystery and move on from there. Lets not rehash things we have already done. "Let me focus on one point of that statement; Black Mask. Black Mask would be perfect as a Nolan-verse villain. Origin isn't to fantastical, powers are non-existent and he is a very human character. All ticks on the box. Sad thing is, he probably won't have be considered by Nolan. P.S. The guy dressing up as Batman in the second film was Scarecrow. "
Hugo Strange is one of my favorite batman villains, been saying he should be the badguy of batman three since dark knight ended ha ha so im very happy to hear he actually might be the bad guy! I get bragging rights amongst my friends for calling it the night after dark knight opened ha ha
Don't forget boys and girls. The movie is called Battle for Gotham.
I'm calling it now : It's gonna be Hugo Strange, Black Mask, and either Talia/Ra's, or Scarecrow as the villians for this movie. Since it's the last Nolan installment, he's going to all out. I think all these villians are going to go big and do whatever they can to take over Gotham. I think that there has to be a certain flow from film to film. Nolan is a very good story teller. I think he going to recap and talk about the first two movies in the third. That's why Talia and Ra's would be in it. I think it their going to take it Batman. They want revenge from the first movie but, they have no idea that other villians/players are in this and what Batman's head on a lance too.
Hugo is in the movie to get into Batman's head and start to play mind games with Batman. At the same time, he's going to strike at him with Night Scourge. A one two punch if you will. These 3 villians alone are going to push Batman like no other. Physically and mentally.
Finally, you add the Black Mask . He will be the Mob element like the first two movies. Mask will be the in charge of Falcone and the rest of the Gotham mob. He might strike with Scarecrow again because of what Batman did to the mob in the first one. Again, Nolan going to tie everything together, I have a feeling that all these characters will be in the third movie. Plus, look for a cameo of the Joker in Arkham too. Batman is facing his final test. It's going to be hard on Batman. A threat of many foes new and old trying to Battle for Gotham.
I think I'm right. Only time will tell.
Deep down, i still want Killer Croc. With some tweaking like the Joker had in DK, he could fit, but no, I've realized it won't happen. I just want Bats to go up against a bruiser in a movie since he hasn't faced a physical threat considering he was an even match for Ra's Al Ghul and the Joker smacked him around a bit but nothing serious.
But Strange really is the perfect character for the final movie. I as talking with a friend of mine about this last weekend and he basically fits the MO necessary to work with the setup of DKR, basically everything G-Man said verbatim. Plus, it will be great to get a really unknown bat villain on the screen, even though Arkham City will inform a few people.
My idea was that strange would be working with the police to stop batman but he would have his own criminal plans if he captures batman. I think he would also make a deal with a certain mob boss like the penguin or black mask to discover what the real identity is. After he discovers Bruce is batman he turns even more sinister he captures Alfred. And confronts batman in their final fight. So batman must stop the mob boss(penguin or black mask) a psychal challenge. and the police and Hugo is chasing them (a mental challenge).
" Don't forget boys and girls. The movie is called Battle for Gotham. "Um, pretty sure that was a rumor about The Dark Knight Rises which was debunked over a year ago.
I like the inclusion of Black Mask, but specifically the Jeremiah Arkham incarnation. Sure, it's less mob-related, but his arc could easily weave in Strange, and be a physical AND psychological threat to Bats.
Hugo Strange is a great character with a real history with Batman, and Tom Hardy is a fantastic actor, so this will almost certainly be great.
That said, I was hoping for Bane, possibly played by Javier Bardem. A modified Knightfall storyline would be kickass.
Hope springs eternal.
The point is valid though, we've yet to see a realistic, extended martial arts fight in a Batman movie. Something along the lines of The Transporter or perhaps some scenes in Ong Bak would be appropriate.
I couldn't agree more that Hugo would fit well as a Nolan-verse Bats film baddie. Especially the psychotic obsession angle ala him dressing up like Bats. I like it. It has a fetish undertone that amps up the creepiness angle. I like the angle of the GCPD brings in a psychological profiler in their Batman-manhunt task force and it's Hugo Strange? Beautiful. I wasn't awed by TDK like everyone else on the planet. Nolan needs to fix that lame-ass Bale Bat-voice big time. That killed the movie so bad. Ugh! Take a cue from Kevin Conroy on how to have a Bruce & Bat voice and how to switch between them and we're gold.
This Hugo Strange should appear in the final film. This would be a great premise for "The Dark Knight Rises". Gotham police sends Deadshot to take Batman down while Hugo Strange is figuring out who Batman actually is. So you have two villians who are after Batman. One for bounty and one for revealing the secret identity.
Killer Croc is not too unrealistic to have in Nolan's Batman films. As long as you don't make him look literally like a crocodile like in the Hush storyline.
Have Strange be the main villian, but have Black Mask be the next guy to take over the mob and have Killer Croc be his hired muscle. But also was a patient Crane experimented on . Like in the Gotham Knights dvd. Cause let's admit it.. Which is connected to the Nolan Bat-Films. Who wouldn't want to see Batman go up against a real heavy ? I know I effing do As for the female lead I'm hoping it's Selina or Talia.
If Strange is the villian in the next Nolan Batman film, (which would be extra GANGSTA!)
they should have a wild Bill scene where he's putting on Batman's suit, and Q Lazzuras is playing in the background...
"It puts the lotion on it's skin or it gets the hose again"...ugh!
Exactly. As much as Batmans mind is his largest asset, it is his biggest weakness as well. The only time Batman has truly bean tested or even beat was when someone has attacked his mind (ie. Black Glove, Strange, Bane), but Nolan already kinda went down that road. Black Mask and Penguin fighting for underworld supremacy, while Batman is on the run from the coppers? Thats a movie that would gross another billion dollars
I think Strange would make an interesting addition to the films helping the police track down Batman, but I think they should have Black Mask in it as well, so Batman's taking on the police and organized crime itself. It would make for a more interesting film if he had to take on both sides of the law at the same time
You know, I think Hugo Strange is a good decision. I like the character for who he is I really do, but I think for Nolan's final installment he has to up the ante, and I don't see Hugo really taking down the Batman by himself and what I really wanna see in one of Nolan's bat films, is an Anti-Batman. Only two really come to mind. I think the Night Scourge is alright but I wanna see a Hugo inforcer, I wanna see a villain do to Bruce Wayne and his company what Batman's been doing to these Mob criminals and super villains I really do. I wanna see The Wrath or Pormetheus
The Wrath - http://www.comicvine.com/wrath/29-50593/
Prometheus - http://www.comicvine.com/prometheus/29-22784/
This is what I really wanna see, I'm leaning towards the original Wrath more to be honest but if he's to much of an unknown I wouldn't mind compromising Wrath for Prometheus. Especially after the kind of succesful surgical strike he accomplished against the Justice League and the way he defeated Batman in hand to hand combat, I'd say he's a superb choice myself. Though I feel The Wrath had more of a personal feel compared to Prometheus. Wrath beat Alfred, like Hugo discovered his personal identity, defiles Bruce' parents grave, targets Gordon, and wears a perversion of Batman's costume.
The way I see it is Hugo Strange using Wrath as a kind of anti-personel weapon against Batman, I think the film should have several inderect murders with Batman incapable fo stopping Wrath while Hugo publicly attacks Batman, maybe even frame Batman if Nolan were to have Wrath wear a purversed lowtech version of Batman's own costume (which I would hope to see). I mean wouldn't be something to see this kind of Anti-Batman waltzing through Wayne Enterprises and tear the building apart single handedly batman esqe style? Nolan can briefly explain Wrath's origin possibly after his own parents were murdered Hugo was the one Psychologicaly caring for the boy and with Hugo being the nut he is might give some insight why Wrath dresses up like Batman or why his Wrath suit looks like Batman's.
I just really wanna see someone take it to Bruce like Batman's been taking it to the criminals and I really think the possibly disturbing Nolan image of Hugo Strange and The Wrath can be something that could really bring Nolan's Batman trilogy to a close even leaving some mind bogling questions of what's right and wrong, an ending that leaves you thinking. I would like to get some thoughts on my opinions here, I think they would be awesome, so please let me know what you think of my ideas of who I would like to see in a Nolan Batman film
I know nothing about Strange, but from what I've read here, it does seem like he'd make a natural fit for Nolan's take on Batman and Gotham City. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing Nolan also take on something with a bit more mysticism or supernatural in regards to the characters, so long as it isn't treated with the supposedly comical insanity of Batman Forever and the like.
As much as I like the "realistic" take on Batman and other superheroes we've seen lately, I want to feel a certain sense of wonder when i watch the films, much like Spider-Man 1 & 2 managed. Is this the right film series for that? I don't know, but if it was introduced in small doses to acclimatize the audience, I think it would work.
" I think Strange would make an interesting addition to the films helping the police track down Batman, but I think they should have Black Mask in it as well, so Batman's taking on the police and organized crime itself. It would make for a more interesting film if he had to take on both sides of the law at the same time "Definitely, Black Mask and Hugo Strange would make an awesome villain team! After all, they both have obession about masks and identity and that would tie in well with Nolan's ongoing theme about whether Bruce Wayne is really Batman or vice versa. Also, fighting both sides of the law would be great especially if Hugo Strange figures out Batman's secret identity and threatens to tell Black Mask or Commissioner Gordon about it.
Yeah I agree why not but he is one of those villains that are boring to look at because he is a bold guy in a black suit with glasses nothing special about it. Unless they make his beard, glasses and face look very creepy as hell while looking realistic at the same time.
" I hope this doesn't happen. Worst final fight in Batman movie history. Strange: Batman, I *Goes to give long, involved, motive rant* Batman: *Single punch to the face* The End. Total anti-climax to an awesome trilogy. "Yes. Get some muscle in there.... Black Mask.
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