Casting has been confirmed for the latest Batman movie from Christopher Nolan, and it’s big news for movie and comic book fans alike. Two of the caped crusader’s most exciting enemies are getting the big screen treatment, and hopefully some redemption to go along with it.
Unless you’ve been completely avoiding the internet, you’re probably well aware of developments on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Not only has Tom Hardy’s casting as Bane been revealed, but Anne Hathaway has been added to the film in the role of Catwoman.
I have to eat my words a bit here. In last Friday’s Weekend Roundtable, I predicted that we wouldn’t be seeing Catwoman back on the big screen for a while. In this case, I’m very happy to be wrong.
Everyone seems to agree that Christopher Nolan makes a damn fine Batman film. Sure ‘Batman Begins’ went on too long in places, and ‘The Dark Knight’ was a little clumsy. The fact that Batman, The Joker, Two-Face and the rest of the comic characters were portrayed well is the most important thing.
Hathaway has a big responsibility in her role as Catwoman. As one of the movie’s leads, she has to follow the brilliant performance of Heath Ledger. As the actress portraying an iconic Batman character, she has to do her research and get the character right.
A long list of actresses have portrayed Catwoman. The best was the still fairly cringeworthy Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Batman Returns’. The worst was none other than Halle Berry, who needs her Oscar retroactively revoked.
As far as the casting decision goes, I have a hard time judging. I’ve seen Hathaway in ‘Get Smart‘ and heard her voice in ‘The Cat Returns’. It’s not that I don’t like her; I just don’t find her interesting. She’s attractive, which is a start, but that’s not enough to make someone Catwoman. Honestly, I’m a little worried about this.
The bigger news, at least in my mind, is that Tom Hardy is going to be playing the role of Bane. Who? Oh come now, you remember Bane. He was the big silly monster that Poison Ivy controlled in ‘Batman and Robin’. He’s huge and he’s stupid and he says no more than one word at a time.
But that’s not the Bane I know and love. The real Bane, the one from the comic books, is a brilliant criminal and one of few to have actually defeated Batman.
In the legendary run known as ‘Knightfall’, Bane frees the prisoners of Arkham Asylum. After Batman runs himself ragged recapturing the Joker, Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter and the rest, Bane attacks and breaks Batman’s back.
Tom Hardy has an incredibly easy job in creating a Bane that comic book fans will be happier with. All he has to do to improve on the last version is to speak a full sentence. If he has the vocabulary of my three-year-old nephew, he’ll be a better Bane.
If you’re only familiar with Hardy from ‘Inception‘, then you’re not really familiar with Tom Hardy. See ‘Bronson‘, the biopic detailing the life of Britain’s most violent inmate. It’s a good film, but Tom Hardy’s performance makes it great. He put a huge amount of muscle mass on for the role too, which he’s going to need again here.
I’m cautiously optimistic on Hathaway, and I think Hardy is going to make an excellent Bane. That’s assuming that Nolan and the writers give us the characters we want. The wrong attitude, a below-average intelligence, or too many cat puns could ruin the whole thing.