By Rajiv Joshi & Ian MacIntyre
Hero Complex today ended one of the biggest bits of casting speculation in recent memory: Anne Hathaway (Get Smart, Alice in Wonderland) is set to play Catwoman and Tom Hardy (Bronson, Inception) will play Bane in the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman cycle, The Dark Knight Rises. They join returning cast members Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.
Nolan is quoted in the press release as saying “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.” With regards to Hardy: “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”
Raj: There you have it. Rumours of Killer Croc and Doctor Hugo Strange can finally be put to rest. Personally, I’m really glad to see the Bane character get another crack at the big screen, as the Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin butchered the masterminding brute, turning him into a glorified henchman. If anyone can give a fresh and exciting take to such a villain, it’s Nolan. As for Catwoman, I think she is a given in any Batman series, and Hathaway should make a suitable Selina Kyle.
Ian: The announcement that Hardy will play the villanous steroid-infused mastermind ends weeks of speculation that placed him in the role of Hugo Strange (perhaps rumours of the script being influenced by the early 90’s Prey storyline were just crossover confusion from the upcoming Arkham City video game). Hathaway’s announcement, on the other hand, ends months of rumours that Nolan was considering everyone from Natalie Portman to Rachel Weisz to Jessica Biel (wait, Jessica Biel. Really?)
Frankly, I would trust Nolan with power of attorney over my grandmother at this point, based on The Dark Knight alone. I personally am excited to see a Gotham City at war with itself – the police in a martial law showdown with the remenants of the mobs, emerging crazies, and the Batman. I picture Bane stepping in to fill the power void that the mobs’ bosses and the Joker leave behind, bringing the calculating ruthlessness needed to unite Gotham’s underwold (and the physique to give us some awesome fight scenes). Add in the Catwoman operating as a free agent amidst the anarchy… okay… I need to lie down.
The Dark Knight Rises is slated for release on July 20, 2012.