The Scarecrow is one of Batman’s most infamous and interesting villains. Dr. Jonathan Crane is often depicted as a mad scientist who becomes obsessed with experiments that center around fear. He ends up developing a toxin, or “Fear Gas”, that causes people to experience vivid hallucinations that draw upon their worst fears. There is certainly a lot to explore with the character, and although he played a role in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies, he was never given the spotlight in full. Instead, he was relegated to supporting villain status. Well, it looks like that is about to change in a very big way.
According to our trusted inside source – the same one that provided Giant Freakin Robot with confirmed exclusive scoops regarding Chloe Bennet returning as Quake for a new Marvel series and Don Cheadle appearing as War Machine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – the Scarecrow is the next Batman villain to get his own standalone movie. Our source has information that Warner Bros./DC is developing a Joker-like movie for the supervillain that will be planned to be R-rated. It looks like they want to try and chase that same success they found with the Joaquin Phoenix film and figure this might be their best direction to go.
A standalone Scarecrow movie certainly could lend itself to some R-rated shenanigans. The Batman foe is notorious for creating terrifying imagery through the use of his fear toxins, but most adaptations of the character can’t go too far with the horror of these concepts. They have to maintain some accessibility to younger viewers. A standalone R-rated movie centered around the supervillain could effectively be a horror movie, and with the right director and creative vision behind the picture, could provide a truly terrifying experience.
One does have to wonder if audiences will be nearly as interested in Scarecrow as they were with Joker. The Joker is not only Batman’s most noteworthy enemy but is inarguably the most recognizable and influential comic book villain of all time. That character, no matter the iteration, has such a huge pop culture cache that it made sense to figure out a way to tell a story centered around him. Dr. Jonathan Crane is certainly a character that is ripe for deep exploration, but is he notable enough that audiences will want to see an entire movie centered around him that does not also feature the Caped Crusader?
Batman’s villains sometimes eclipse the hero himself in pop culture, and Scarecrow could be another step towards centering productions around the antagonists rather than the protagonists. With superhero cinema being ever-present in the blockbuster landscape, perhaps supervillain cinema might be a new angle to explore. Even Disney looks to be getting in on that game with Cruella. Fans and audiences are attracted to villains and perhaps this could signal a new era of supervillain movies. Whether or not that is the correct route to go remains to be seen, but it looks like we will be getting more tales in the world of Batman’s villains and the Scarecrow is the next one to get the attention. Be afraid. Be very afraid.