We’re back with yet another instalment of Respawning’s Let’s Talk series, where every Friday we get every one of our charismatic writers together to discuss a new topic! This week news broke (then was questioned by many) that a sequel to Joker is in the works but perhaps the more exciting news came that WB and DC are wanting Todd Phillips to direct another DC villain origin. Whether this will actually come to be is yet to be seen but that won’t stop us here at Respawning from speculating which character we’d like to get the Todd Phillips treatment.

My choice of character for an origin movie is The Question. No that’s not a typo. There is a character in the DC Universe that goes by the name of The Question. Whilst The Question isn’t a ‘normal’ villain, he’s also not an a-typical hero. I first learnt of his existence from The Justice League animated show. For reasons I think, off the back of The Joker movie success, the Question would be a good choice, you need to know a little backstory of the character.

The Questions real name is Vic Sage. He’s an investigative journalist who grew up in an orphanage. During his time at the orphanage we has mentally and physically abused. As a result Vic has extremely violent tendencies. As a journalist he would come across stories he couldn’t investigate through legal means, leading him to use a mask that made him appear to have no face and took on the moniker of The Question because of the calling cards he left at scenes, that just had a single question mark on them (not to be confused with The Riddler). I think a movie that focused on the life of Vic and what leads him to create The Question would show that even though he’s not a villain, his violent tendencies and his compulsion for conspiracy theories, would stop him from truly achieving the hero status he longs for. I think it would allow the movie to examine the questions of ‘what makes a hero’ and what sets apart a villain from a hero.

The Question. A hero, or a villain?

Honestly? Poison Ivy.

Here’s what I’m thinking. You set the movie in the early 90’s, during that big wave of eco-awareness it had. Pamela Isley could be a burgeoning botanist, say, the understudy of a scientific aide who advises the government. It could be set over a few years, as Isley watches her mentor with rose tinted glasses until they disappear. A few years later, she gets the gig, and realises how all the efforts she thought were being made were superficial at best. Her mentor, corrupt to a degree, could have been letting big businesses fuck the planet until they reached a breaking point, at which said oil industry or whoever killed him and had him replaced by a new talking head.

By the mid-00s or whatever, climate issues are on everyone’s lips, and can’t really be ignored. Isley, unable to be bought, but ignored by an apathetic and corrupt government, finally gives in to her urges and goes full eco-terrorist – threatening people with a syrum that will make them part plant in order to work to save themselves. She’s could be disrupted by a newly emerging Batman, and infect herself by accident – giving her a reason to become Bats nemesis, as well as turn her into the plant hybrid we know her for.

There’s a lot you could look at with Ivy, from a nature-scientist’s POV – corporate influence over government, doctoring of science, the dangers of ignoring climate change and the exasperation of people who want the best slowly being driven to extreme, dubious actions in order to do what they think is right. Ivy has a lot of potential for storytelling, I think.

Eeeeh so DC isn’t really my cup of tea so to say, I’m not very invested in it. Comic or movie wise. I don’t mind the cartoons and all. If I had to pick anyone though, I guess it’d be Killer Croc. Kinda bland on the big screen, B-lister and all that. But in the Comics and cartoons he’s pretty cool.

I dunno, like I said, not a DC fan. So, not a lot of input on the matter.

I want to stay quite mainstream with my choice as that’s likely the way the studio will want it. I’m going to go with Mr. Freeze. Good old Victor Fries hasn’t had the big screen live action treatment since Arnold Schwarzenegger butchered the role in hilarious fashion back in 1997’s Batman & Robin (a god awful film from beginning to end), and hasn’t been used since. This is a shame as his origin story is such a tragic one which, with the right script and filmmakers, could easily be an instant classic in waiting just like Joker. In the right hands, we could easily see the first ever comic book romance movie as the relationship between Victor and his terminally ill wife – Nora, would need to be at the heart of this tale which as well all know is destined to end in tragedy. Maybe this origin story doesn’t have the mystique like Joker’s, but it’s still one that I believe a mainstream audience should be treated to.

I’m going to be honest… I have no clue. I couldn’t name another DC Villain and I have not even seen the new Joker film… I’ve only seen very few of the old ones. Like… 1 maybe…

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