Spinoff readers were right on the money when it came to predicting which character Rhys Ifans will play in Sony's Spider-Man reboot. But how will you fare when we turn our attention to Tom Hardy and Batman 3?
Deadline revealed yesterday that the 33-year-old co-star of Inception will reteam with director Christopher Nolan for a lead, if secret, role in the follow-up to The Dark Knight. It's highly unlikely that Hardy will don Robin's little green trunks -- or that the Boy Wonder will appear in Nolan's Gotham -- so the safe bet is he'll be a villain. Again, though, which one?
As we noted last night, Riddler has long been rumored for the third Batman film, but with Hardy's Inception cast mate Joseph Gordon-Levitt favored to pose the questions. It's possible, even probable, that Nolan is envisioning a departure from the comic-book depictions of Edward Nigma and from the earlier portrayals by Frank Gorshin and Jim Carey. Casting the rugged Hardy would certainly signal a break with the past.
If not Riddler, then how about Killer Croc, the reptilian powerhouse prone to devouring his enemies? This rogue, too, has been linked to the next movie, in large part because of the reported New Orleans filming location. It's tempting to mark him off the list, as Killer Croc's appearance and superhuman abilities would seem to conflict with the world Nolan has crafted. But don't forget the character's more realistic portrayal in Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Joker, where Waylon Jones is a thug with a skin condition and, it's suggested, a hankering for human flesh. (Could we end up with dueling cinematic reptile-men, with Rhys Ifans' Lizard versus Tom Hardy's Killer Croc?)
Then there's the Penguin, a role most often linked to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hardy could play up the character's mobster/"gentleman thief" aspects, moving away from earlier portrayals that tended toward the comedic (Bergess Meredith and his "Waugh! Waugh! Waugh!") or the disturbing (Danny DeVito). I actually like the idea of Hardy, who's no stranger to criminal roles, playing a menacing and slightly deformed Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot.
There are, of course, countless other possibilities, from Bane and Calendar Man to the Mad Hatter and Mr. Zsasz; Batman's rogues are legion. However, Riddler, Killer Croc and the Penguin are the most likely candidates -- or are they? Which villain do you think Tom Hardy will play in Batman 3?