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5 Thoughts On Today’s Batcastings

Anne Hathaway is Selina Kyle! Tom Hardy is Bane! The news about casting for Christopher Nolan’s third Batman movie, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises seems to have caused quite a stir online, but why? Here’re five quick thoughts on what we’ve learned.

The Press Release Doesn’t Mention Catwoman
Seriously, go read it. It says that Hathaway is playing Selina Kyle only, and while Bane is described as “one of Batman’s most formidable enemies,” there’s no such reference to Selina. Sure, we know that Selina Kyle is Catwoman in the comics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s going to be Catwoman in the movie – or even that there is a Catwoman in the movie. For all we know, this Kyle will be a cat burglar who ends up stealing Bruce Wayne’s heart, marrying him and getting him to settle down and give up this whole crimefighting thing to raise their child, Helena. It is meant to be the last of Nolan’s trilogy, after all…

Selina Kyle Is Apparently A Very Divisive Character
Of course the internet is upset with the casting, and it mostly seems to center around Hathaway’s suitability to play Selina (Tom Hardy being too English to play the Caribbean-born Bane barely seems to rate a mention, in comparison). Some feel that not attractive enough for the role – Dear Internet Fans, have you seen Anne Hathaway? – or strong enough, others feel disappointed that she’s been cast in such a slutty role. Selina Kyle means many things to many different people, it seems – I strongly identify the character with the Ed Brubaker/Darwyn Cooke/Cameron Stewart era, personally – which means that The Dark Knight Rises has the added pressure of being likely to cement its take on the character as the one that most people will remember. Hopefully, they’ve come up with something as strong as “Why So Serious?”

Whatever You Think, It’s Got To Be A Step Up From That Halle Berry Movie
Right?

Two Villains? Again?
One of my problems with The Dark Knight was that it was really two movies in one – A really dark, enjoyable Joker movie, and then its not-as-good, overblown sequel that introduced Two-Face into the storyline. If Selina turns out to be Catwoman, then The Dark Knight Rises looks set to be another two-villain piece. What’s the betting that Catwoman won’t make her appearance until midway through the movie, and that her origin ends up being tied in some way to the actions of Bane in the first half? After all, it worked so successfully (financially, at least) in Dark Knight

What’s With Bane, Anyway?
Am I the only person who doesn’t get the appeal of Bane? Maybe I’m too old; I just remember reading the character in the 1990s Batman comics and thinking, “Yeah, he’s a bit one-note.” And yet, he’s still around, creepy and stoic in Gail Simone’s Secret Six, and making appearances in Batman cartoons, videogames and movies (Does anyone else remember his appearance in Batman and Robin back in 1997?). Why?!? He’s like DC’s version of Venom, a dull character that somehow has a hook that everyone else gets but me.

Does this news make me any more excited about the movie? Not really; we still don’t really know anything about the script, after all, so I don’t really feel like we’ve learned a lot about the movie more than “It’ll have Bane and Selina Kyle in it”; we even learned of Hardy’s involvement some time ago. Hathaway’s an interesting choice, and an interesting actress who feels as if she’s not really found her niche just yet – I hope that Nolan can bring something out of her that we’ve not seen before, but given the previous roles for women in his Batman movies, I’m not counting on it. Much ado about nothing, then? I wouldn’t go that far, either; if nothing else, the reaction to the news today shows how excited people are for Nolan’s final Batfilm, and should stand as a sign to DC Entertainment that the audience is ready for work that’ll challenge as much as Green Lantern looks set to entertain.

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Comments

  • Mythos

    I think Anne Hathaway will be a very different Selina Kyle than most people expect, and I believe that’s a good thing. The common portrayal of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, originated by Frank Miller’s Year One, is of a slutty cat burglar, which is, to me, a very one-dimensional take on the character. Having such a talented actress might do wonders for the role. And yes, anything’s better than Halle Berry.
    As for Bane, well, yes, he’s very one-note, but that’s probably why he’s Nolan’s choice. He’s going to pick the basic traits of the character – cerebral brute that’s both a physical and intellectual match for Batman – and twist him into something special, threatening and interesting. Either that, or he’s just a thug for another villain, but, considering Tom Hardy has the role, I doubt they’ll waste such talent like that.
    I mean, we’ve all learned to give credit to Nolan and expect great things. As he and his brother specifically decided to go with Bane, we should just trust them on their choice and expect great things. Christopher Nolan brought Batman back to the movies in a big way, and I’m sure he’ll do a great finale for his trilogy, even with Bane.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    I’ve been saying that about Bane the entire time the rumors have been flying. I just don’t get it. He’s like Doomsday. Simply riding that tidal wave from his first story (Knightfall in this case). I haven’t read Secret Six, but I doubt things have changed much. Hopefully Nolan can do something incredible here.

  • Mr_Wayne

    In Nolan I trust. Even with all it’s flaws both “Begins” and “TDK” were amazing and stellar films that set trends far beyond the comic book genre. They’ve only named two characters. There’s still an entire rouges gallery to cast for this film.

  • Joseph

    I like the idea of Bane in the film. I think he is the only villain in the Rogues Gallery who can both pose a physical challenge to Batman and fit in Nolan’s Bat-Universe. I think a physical threat to Batman was the only thing missing from the last movie (and arguably a weakness in the first as well). Here’s hoping Nolan will improve on the fight choreography and editing for this one.

  • Darkstream

    If Selina Kyle does not become Catwoman in this film, it would be very lame to even have used her. I want Catwoman!

  • Rick M

    Bane’s one of the most embarrassing things from 90’s era comics. Really…he’s up there with the whole Spidey Clone saga, die-cut, holographic, glow-in-the-dark chromium-embossed multiple limited edition covers and Rob Liefeld’s body of work. What a shame! But I love Anne Hathaway. So conflicted. Hopefully they’ve come up with an approach to the steroid junkie luchadore mastermind that works…I give the Nolans a lot of credit for their previous work in the Bat Universe and beyond but I just can’t think of a way that Bane works as any more than a sad joke….at least in this series of films that have been more rooted in realism. Regardless of how it turns out, I and millions of others will flock to see it. There’s no way it’ll ever be anywhere near the worst Batman films ever made and I sat through those as well.

  • Grim Reaper

    “I haven’t read Secret Six”
    I would recommend you do that asap, Bane’s characterization in the comic is just genius.

  • Rob

    I like both Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy. Both are solid actors who know their craft, and who will be more than just posing bodies in outrageous costumes.

    I prefer to see Selina Kyle/Catwoman as the socialite/catburglar, who robs from the rich to fund her own charities and good causes. Something along the lines of what we saw in Batman: The Animated Series.

    Meanwhile, I see Bane as the one who missed out on being accepted into the League of Shadows, probably booted out for enjoying the violence and killing too much. He could be in Gotham to get revenge on Batman, some sort of twisted sense of honor to avenge the death of Ra’s Al Ghul.

  • Bat-Fan Beyond

    Anybody remember those rumors about Tom Hardy playing Hugo Strange and the plot being based on the story called Prey?

    Well, that could still be true.

    What if in this film Nolan does what he did with Ra’s Al Ghul and Henri Ducard in Batman Begins, where he combined the two characters into one, but in this film he combines Bane with Hugo Strange?

    Think about it. In Prey, Hugo Strange dresses-up like Batman to take him out and smear his name, so what if Strange takes the Venom-drug and essentially becomes Bane, but instead of wearing a fetishistic mexican wrestling mask, he wears a Batman-like costume — just like the [forshadowing] imposters did in The Dark Knight.

    Tom Hardy as Hugo Strange/Bat-Bane?

    Plus, Catwoman is in Prey, as it takes place early in her career as a thief.

    Just a thought

  • malephoenix

    Yes. I don’t know how anyone could read the entire current Secret Six series and not deeply appreciate Bane’s character. It’s not even an evolution for him. Simone just rocks at showing the layers of the characters.

  • prooker

    Aaron Eckhart in the press release for The Dark Knight was only mentioned as “Harvey Dent”. The chances that Hathaway won’t be Catwoman are almost null

  • demoncat_4

    given how Nolan does batman no doubt he figures Ann will do selina right for after all odds are she will be cat woman also start off as selina then build to cat woman. Bane not only is finaly getting to be reborn after batman and robin but also is the one villain who managed to beat batman by figureing out weaken batman both mentaly and physicaly. gues that means no Hugo strange or Talia

  • Drhiphop85

    Thank you…I’m glad someone actually read the original Bane stuff. He wasn’t just some big strong guy. He was smart too. He broke Batman down mentally before physically besting him. It’s almost cliche now to hate the 90s but if you read Knightfall again you’ll see that Bane wasn’t anything like Venom…

  • kalorama

    Count me in the “doesn’t get the Bane appeal” camp. He’s one of those characters whose popularity utterly escapes me (along with Venom and Deadpool).

    As for the casting:

    I think Hathaway’s a fine actress per se, but I’m not convinced about her suitability to play Selina (assuming Selina is written the way I’d expect/hope Nolan and Co. to write her). Basically, she’s mostly played girls. Selina is a woman. Obviously Hathaway will have to make the leap to more adult roles at some point. maybe this is it. But I haven’t seen much in what she’s done in the past to make me see her as a sure thing for this role.

    Never heard of Tom Hardy.

  • Worldbreaker1980

    Anyone who doubts Bane’s appeal, research the character’s past a bit. He was born and raised in a horrible prison which made him naturally tough and sadistic, he’s a self-taught genius, and he was put through a deranged super-soldier-like process that put metal plates under his skin and an enhanced steroid that made him 10X more powerful. The guy easily figured-out Batman’s identity, and as others have said, broke him down physically and mentally by releasing every single super-criminal in Gotham for Batman to deal with, before finally invading the Batcave and breaking his back. Bane’s not one-note, he’s almost more an Anti-Batman than Joker, and a Nolan take on even SOME of the actual history would be great, no doubt about it.

    Also, Anne Hathaway is an attractive brunette. Selina Kyle is generally portrayed as a drawing of an attractive brunette. Until any of us see her vamping it up with the “Purrrrr-FECT!!!” and all that, there’s a problem with this casting, why?

  • Chloe

    Still waiting for Talia Al Ghul to get announced – that was the character I was looking forward to most. But maybe it won’t happen now?

  • Chloe

    interesting

  • JAV

    Anne Hathaway is a perfect choice. When I first heard her name rumored to be attached to this 3rd movie I was hoping she would be Catwoman and not Talia Al Ghul (btw, Eve Green would make a killer Talia). I can’t wait to see her in that cat suit.

    As far as Bane goes, we’ll see how that turns out. Let keep an open mind about the character choice. I’m sure the director knows best.

  • MikeA.

    The Dini animated series had a great catwoman, sexy in a womanly way. She wasn’t a villian as much as a competitor. He save her; she saved him; they fought over the same things; he tried to turn her in to the cops but she did a reversal. When she got into trouble with mobsters for stealing a statue, Batman worked to save her on the condition she went with the police. Catwoman did so but then stole the police car: She turned herself in, but she didn’t say for how long.

    Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale also did a great story line where Catwoman was searching for a mobster’s warehouse of dirty money. Batman was trying to stay one step ahead. At one point, Catwoman saved Bruce Wayne from Poison Ivy.

    This is the Selina I know–sexy, smart, an independent spirit–so I loved the idea of her being in the film (or at least curious to see how Nolan would do it as he’s better at male characters than female).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    Is it really? I’ve been wanting to read it (the image of him riding a dinosaur got me interested) but haven’t gotten around to it.

  • DAMAKDADDY1

    PREY?

  • Mak

    I don’t get this Bane-Bashin-Business. The guy’s a genius but I don’t understand how they can fit him in Nolan universe. Are they going to include his serum in the film or already make him bulit like a Mack Truck. Tom Hardy as bane…. I don’t know.

    Personally I think there are some more “REALISTIC’ characters in the Batman’s rouge gallery that could be used. The idea of Bane seems… To campy for me. If they going to include Bane might as well add Robin.

    As for Anne Hathaway…
    I think she’ll make a great selina Kyle. Good choice. She can play sweet and slutty (Anyone Remembers HAVOC) and everything else inbetween.

    She can get it….

  • Frmjewduhh

    I thought the Hugo Strange/Talia Al Guhl plot rumor sounded more interesting

  • RunnerX13

    Bane has never been “one note”, I think your childhood memories are a little fuzzy.

  • Diggz72

    Isn’t Bane the same guy who cried for his “osito”? yeah great pick for the bat-finale! I give Bane credit for his calculated methods of breaking down the Bat, but not enough to warrant his inclusion in the final chapter of a great trilogy. The Riddler or Hugo Strange would make more sense, but then again, Dr. Clooney was Batman and Da Governor did play Mr. Freeze, so who said comic book movies need to make any sense at all. Making Catwoman part of the film in any capacity is a good move, so lets hope AH can pull it off, maybe give us an Eartha Kitt purrrrrrfect!

  • Matt

    After Heath Ledger’s casting as the Joker, I can honestly say that I trust Christopher Nolan’s casting decisions. Whatever he has in store I’m sure will be awesome!

  • Mou101

    This news intrigues me quite a lot. Anne Hathaway is an excellent actress, and I can’t wait to see how Christopher Nolan uses Selina Kyle in “The Dark Knight Rises.” As to Bane, well, the actual Bane-versus-Batman stuff in “Knightfall” was quite good; it was the Azrael stuff that wasn’t so good and was more indicative of what was wrong with comics in the 1990s.