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How Clayface Fits into ‘The Batman: Part 2’

How Clayface Fits into ‘The Batman: Part 2’

The sequel to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which dropped in March 2022, is one of the rare movies from DC Comics that survived the shake-up introduced by James Gunn when he took the role of co-CEO of DC’s Extended Universe in October of that year.

The reasons behind the franchise’s longevity are quite simple — the first movie is a fantastic piece of cinematic art that could easily be the start of a series that measures up to The Dark Knight trilogy, and Warner Bros. isn’t keen to give up any profit margin no matter what “shake-ups” they have to come to grips with. And that’s a good-ish thing.

The Batman: Part 2 is scheduled to drop in late 2025. Unfortunately, just like with the first film before its release, nothing much is known about the sequel’s plot or about the villains that might make an appearance. Judging by the original film’s final scenes, we’re likely to hear more from the Riddler, the Penguin, and a third, unknown villain, rumored to be none else than Clayface — DC’s version of Spider-Mans Sandman, who actually has a long and storied history with the caped crusader.

So, let’s explore that idea for the upcoming movie and discuss just how Clayface might fit into the upcoming The Batman: Part 2 narrative.

Before we dive into Clayface’s villainy, it’s also important to note the possible appearance of the Joker. The final scenes of 2022’s The Batman herald the Joker’s upcoming appearance, but a well-designed deleted scene shows that the Clown Prince of Crime has already met Batman and that the two have already established a relationship with one another that will last for decades to come. So, while it’s possible for the Joker to also make an appearance in the upcoming film, his role is likely to be more limited than we expect.

The Batman is confirmed as a trilogy, so it really stands to reason that the creatives behind the film want to save the best for last. Of course, this is only speculation on our part, and it’s entirely possible for the Joker to make an appearance as a full-fledged kingpin with underlings and dastardly gadgets galore.

But enough about the Joker, let’s dive into the meat and “Clay-matoes” of how Clayface can best be explored in The Batman: Part 2.

Clayface’s appearance in the upcoming movie, if true, would be amazing for the fans of the Caped Crusader. Clayface is actually one of Batman’s strongest adversaries since he’s virtually an indestructible, shapeshifting creature made of clay. He debuted in 1940 in Detective Comics #40, as a B-list actor named Basil Karlo, who assumes the identity of one of his past characters, along with the clay mask the character wears — hence the name. However, the character didn’t resemble Clayface as we know him, as he didn’t have any inherent superpowers.

It was the next iteration of the character, Matthew Hagen — created during the 1950s when sci-fi plots were all the rage — who gained Clayface’s signature shapeshifting abilities after being exposed to a radioactive protoplasm. After the ’50s, more than seven different characters assumed the name and abilities of Clayface in various iterations, including in the animated series and subsequent video games. So, how would Clayface fit into the upcoming film? Sadly, due to a lack of details surrounding the upcoming narrative, we can only speculate.

It’s currently unknown whether Clayface would even make an appearance in The Batman: Part 2 since no one was actually cast for that role — at least not yet. Filming is supposed to begin in November 2023. But we’d certainly like to see Clayface in The Batman: Part 2 or any other Batman cinematic foray, as he would expand the Batman movie villain roster beyond the usual appearances we’ve gotten accustomed to, such as the Joker, Bane, Penguin, Two-Face, and so on. The introduction of Clayface would certainly break this trend of over-hyped villains.

In fact, using Clayface as an antagonist could be a perfect opportunity to open the door to other lesser-known and more surreal villains from the Bat-verse, such as Man-Bat, Professor Pyg, the Ventriloquist, Poison Ivy, and so on. Given that the Penguin is getting his own live-action show, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for Clayface to even receive a series of his own and turn him into a shapeshifting anti-hero — they did it with Venom, why not with Clayface? It’s not like it’s a crime to re-work a winning formula.

Whatever the case may be, Clayface’s comic book history makes him an incredibly rich and malleable character to build from. Imagine a storyline where even the Batman’s most trusted contacts could be someone else or even something else; the suspense alone would be enough to throw any fan into paroxysms of storytelling awe and rapture.

Having Clayface as a central or even adjacent movie villain would benefit the franchise immensely, and the fandom would be delighted to see yet another adversary of the Caped Crusader make a transition from the black and white or colored pages of comic books into the realm of live-action and big box office.

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