Well, finally, after months of endless speculation, rumor-mongering, and frantically-posted tidbits of non-information, a few things have been confirmed about the next Batman film. That’d be The Dark Knight Rises, which Chris Nolan (who’s probably just a few days away from being nominated for Inception at this year’s Oscars) is returning to direct this year. So, what have we learned? Oh, nothing big: just who the two villains in the film are. Wanna learn more? Sure ya do. Read on, my gentle Examiner readers…
When it was announced that Chris Nolan was looking at a shortlist of actresses who could climb aboard his third Batman film, most of us were thrilled at the names the Inception director was batting around (yeesh, no pun intended there): Anne Hathaway, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman, and a few other truly great actresses were up for one of two lead-actress roles in The Dark Knight Rises, but until now, we haven’t known what the roles were.
Take it away, Deadline Hollywood:
Chris Nolan has lifted the veil off his third Batman film. He has set Anne Hathaway to play Selina Kyle, who has a double identity as Catwoman. Nolan has also acknowledged that his Inception star Tom Hardy will play the villain role of Bane, an escaped prisoner who became abnormally strong after being pumped full of drugs. Bane is known as “the man who broke the Bat” after he broke Batman’s spinal cord in the comics storyline.
Didja catch all that? There was a lot to catch. Let’s start with The Dark Knight Rises‘ (admittedly tenuous) comedy-connection: The Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, better known to comic nerds the world over as Catwoman. Hathaway got her start in romantic-comedies– and her most recent film was also a rom-com– but over the past few years, she’s seemed interested in proving herself in more dramatic fare. Playing Catwoman in the next Batman film is a coup for the actress, though: The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most anticipated films currently being tinkered with in Hollywood. Congrats to Hathaway on the role.
Most recently, Halle Berry played the role in the disastrous Catwoman, a Batman-less comic book movie that bombed back in the early 00’s. Prior to that, Michelle Pfeiffer owned the role when Tim Burton cast her in Batman Returns. Prior to that, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt took turns playing the villainess on the old Batman TV series. It’s been through a number of actresses over the years, and it’ll be very interesting to see Hathaway’s take on the role.
Secondly, we learn that the second lead-female role will be for Talia al-Ghul, the daughter of the character Liam Neeson played (Ra’s Al-Ghul) in Nolan’s first Batman film, Batman Begins. There’s been speculation ever since Nolan announced that The Dark Knight Rises was looking for two big actresses that Talia al-Ghul might be one of the roles, and now we’ve got confirmation. Guess Nolan’s looking to dovetail his third (and, according to him, final) Batman film with the first one, huh? For the record: we’re still hoping that Rachel Weisz lands the role.
Finally, we learn that the other villain won’t be Hugo Strange, The Riddler, The Penguin, or any other villain that was mentioned as a possibility for The Dark Knight Rises. Turns out, Nolan’s going with Bane– a super-ripped, chemically-induced case of walking “roid rage”. Bane is the character that broke Batman’s back in the heavily-publicized “Knightfall” Batman comic series back in the ’90’s, but– with the possible exception of a fleeting cameo in Joel Schumacher’s terrible Batman and Robin– the villain has yet to appear on film.
Check out the photos over there on the left: that’s what Bane looked like in Batman’s most recent adventure, Arkham Asylum on the PS3/360. We’ve also got shots of the other lead roles, just in case you need to familiarize yourself with this rogue’s gallery before The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters. Tom Hardy’s going to have to start working out last month to match that physique.
All in all, this is very exciting news for fans of Chris Nolan’s Batman franchise: we’ve got confirmation on the villains, we’ve got two beyond-excellent actors– Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy– lined up to fill those roles, and the fact that we’re getting this information just indicates that things are moving along smoothly for The Dark Knight Rises. Stay tuned for more on this project (especially if any other rom-com mainstays join the cast) in the near future, my precious snowflakes.
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