Rogues. Knaves. Ne'er-do-wells. Whatever you call them, Batman has them. Even in the colorful world of comic book creations, Batman stands head-and-shoulders (and cowl) above the competition regarding having the best enemies.
Especially in the 1966 Batman TV series, the Bat has his work cut out for him, taking on iconic baddies in each episode. César Romero still has a legitimate claim as being the blueprint for all subsequent Jokers. Before he trained Rocky, Burgess Meredith was The Penguin which defined the role for an entire generation. And, of course, who could forget Julie Newmar or Eartha Kitt claws out as Catwoman?
But what if the show kept going? What if each comic villain that appeared in later years had a chance to star in Batman '66? Who would play each scoundrel?
Here are our thoughts on dream casting even more menacing malefactors.
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Part of what makes Two-Face such a tragic character is his fall from grace. Harvey Dent was Gotham's friendly neighborhood District Attorney and one of Batman's strongest allies. That is, until mob boss Sal Maroni threw acid in his face, fracturing Dent's mental state and turning him into Two-Face. For a convincing Two-Face, the viewer needs to believe he was once a fair man who once valued justice as much as Batman does. Who better, then, than Mayberry's own Sherriff Andy Taylor? Griffith didn't get to play a lot of heavies, but we think this would be a great chance to see how bad he could get. Did somebody say... Batlock?!
Dr. Pamela Isley made her comic book debut the same year Batman premiered on TV. The redheaded eco-terrorist would plague Gotham and Batman for decades to come, sometimes teaming up with fan favorite Harley Quinn. We think the perfect choice for Poison Ivy in Batman '66 would've been Ann-Margret. For proof, check out her performance in the Flintstones episode "Ann-Margrock Presents."
Killer Croc is always on the run. Pushed to the outskirts of Gotham because of a rare disease that turns his skin to scales, Waylon Jones has been a sideshow attraction, a pro wrestler, and a mob boss. Who better, then, to play a character on the fringes of society than The Fugitive's David Janssen. As Dr. Kimble, Janssen brought a sympathetic quality that would make for an even more interesting Killer Croc.
Ra's al Ghul
As a criminal mastermind and leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul is one of Batman's most formidable foes. Especially considering Ra's literally trained Batman, it seems like this baddie is always one step ahead. We think Harry Morgan of Dragnet and M*A*S*H fame would nail it, bringing a tone of authority that would command even the Caped Crusader's respect.
Nobody does madcap like the queen, Carol Burnett. And there's nobody madder in Gotham than Harley Quinn. The former Dr. Harlene Quinzel first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series, where she left the clinical world to serve as Joker's sidekick. We think these two are a perfect match. Burnett would bring out the manic, deranged best in Harley Quinn. She'd just need the right wardrobe.
Dr. Jonathan Crane is a genius ex-professor who uses psychological tactics and chemical warfare to take advantage of his enemies' fears and phobias. His lanky appearance and disarming, bumbling put-ons make his targets drop their guard before he wiggles into their brains. We think Bob Denver would be a great Scarecrow, with or without his iconic bucket hat.
Deadshot is a solid marksman. That's it, really... That's his whole thing. He's so good at shooting things that he monetizes it, becoming one of the most in-demand marksmen, and one of the deadliest assassins, in the entire world. For this dream casting to work, we'd have Deadshot lose his mask; you just don't cover up a face like Chuck Connors'. At 6'6", Connors would bring a physicality that would make him a formidable foe, toe-to-toe with Adam West's Batman.
Dr. Kurt Langstrom is another on the list of genius scientists gone mad. His research started off selflessly enough; Langstrom was experimenting to develop an extract that would allow humans the same sonar capabilities possessed by bats. However, predictably, the experiments go awry and Langstrom takes on a more literal "bat/man" combination, becoming a man-sized bat. Fred MacMurray would do a great job grounding the character believably as Langstrom before his accident. We'd love to see MacMurray really go for it when Langstrom transforms into the evil Man-Bat!
Clayface, real name Basil Karlo, was an accomplished actor driven mad by news of a remake of one of his movies. He turns to a life of crime before, inevitably, being thwarted by Batman and Robin. We think that Perry Mason's own Raymond Burr would lend both the hulking frame and acting gravitas to create the perfect live action Clayface.