What better way to kick off the blog for 2011 than the final confirmation about who we will see fighting Batman in Dark Knight Rises?
LA Times Hero Complex’s blog announced today that the villians for the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman film The Dark Knight Rises will be Tom Hardy playing Bane, and Anne Hathaway has joined the cast to play Selina Kyle, none other than Catwoman.
While Hardy involvement in the film has been known for a while, he was long rumoured to take a number of roles in the film, most predominantly the doctor character of Hugo Strange, but was never considered for the role of Bane which most films fans will know for his dismal role in Batman and Robin.
Hathaway on the other hand has been in talks with the producers for months for one of the female roles, but today is the first time we see she is confirmed to take part of the Batman canon, and will be playing a role that has appeared in a number of Batman films (right from the beginning in the original Adam West Batman in the ’60s), even having her own spin-off film, the atrocious Catwoman in 2004 starring Halle Berry.
Okay, I’ll admit I drank the Kool-Aid on the rumours swirling earlier, and thought all the signs would be pointing to Hugo Strange as the main antagonist, so still trying to sort out how each character can fit into the franchise (once again have to thank the guy at The Next Batman Bad Guy blog for his encyclopaedic posts about the villians). This means I am in two minds about the announcement today.
First of all the good points. Both can easily fit into the realistic world Batman is now in (Bane is just a evil genius on steroids, Catwoman is a theif who can kick the tail out of the other villians in Gotham) so at least we are not going down the super fantasy characters that have been involved in the franchise.
Also Hathaway is a great casting option for Catwoman. The woman has been wowing Hollywood for years, as she is a terrific actress, can handle action sequences with ease (proved in the average but entertaining Get Smart), and in the looks department there would be many guys who would say she would not be perfect in the Catwoman costume.
But, and while Nolan has never taken a step wrong so far in the franchise, I have a few doubts about adding Bane, and in particular Tom Hardy in the role.
As you can see here (warning, spoilers of the plots he has been involved with), there is a lot more to the role than the dumb henchmen role that we saw in the Batman film that should not be named, and his role in the storyline of Knightfall seemed to be one of the most loved plots put to print.
But there is no getting around the fact that Bane is supposed to be the perfect physical speciman, even outrageous to some extent, and here is where the casting of Hardy seems strange.
Yes some people will point out his role in the little-known British film Bronson as how Hardy can look imposing when he needs to do, but most of us will see him as just a strong man, not an absolute monster the character should be.
Plus we have to consider the adversion of Nolan using digital manipulation and CGI for his films (one of the true old school directors still out there), so we have to assume that unless necessary, it will be pure Hardy up there on the screen.
Don’t get me wrong, Hardy in this film will be brilliant. His acting talents have really shone lately, and as Bane is meant to be a mental match for Batman as well, Hardy should have no problems in matching Bale in the film (of course he will be compared to the mental torture Ledger portrayed as the Joker, but we might need to get past that).
It is the physical strength I have a problem with, and if they have to tone down the strength of Bale in the film, it might make his imitation method diminish a little bit. But as Nolan has not gone wrong before, let’s just say I am cautiously optimistic about the role.
One final note, as pointed out in the Bane profile, his most well known storyline involved “breaking the Bat”, and while it would be insane for Warner Brothers to include the storyline (they would have no chance but to wrap up the franchise, instead of their usual process of running a franchise into the ground), is this Nolan’s way of saying this will be the ultimate end to Batman?
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