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 CatwomanSeriously, 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 CharacterOf 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 MovieRight?
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.