Casting News on Nolan's "Dark Knight Rises" Sends Bloggers and Fanboys into a Tizzy

1/22/2011 Posted by Admin

Casting News on Nolan's "Dark Knight Rises" Sends Bloggers and Fanboys into a Tizzy

Movie News

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

The recent casting news for Christopher Nolan's third Batman installment, “The Dark Knight Rises,” has sent waves of bloggers and Internet fanboys into a tizzy.

For those of you who are unaware, Warner Bros. sent out a press release Wednesday stating that Anne Hathaway (“Rachel Getting Married,” “Love and Other Drugs”) will star as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, although the release didn't mention Kyle's alter ego, and Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “Bronson”) will be Bane – the villain who broke Batman's back.

It was inevitable that Tom Hardy was going to make an appearance somewhere in “The Dark Knight Rises.” His work with Nolan in “Inception” pretty much made him a shoo-in, but it was the mystery of which character he would play that generated the most speculation. The casting of Hathaway also comes as little surprise, as she is considered to be a young actress of a certain caliber, although I have doubts, despite her brilliant turn in “Rachel Getting Married.”

At the end of the day it's hard to doubt anything Christopher Nolan does – his cinematic report card is pretty much flawless at this point.

Though I still can't help but place myself in Nolan's shoes and wonder what I would do if I had the reins of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Certainly, I wouldn't choose Catwoman, a character that was embarrassed off the face of the earth along with Halle Berry in 2004. And, despite having the incredibly talented Hardy as Bane, I'm not sure I would have chosen that path either.

If I were Christopher Nolan, or his collaborator-brother Jonathan, these are some of the characters I would have targeted in “The Dark Knight Rises” and the actors who I would cast:

Robin as portrayed by Ellen Page: Hear me out. I love the idea of a female Robin, something that Frank Miller established in “The Dark Knight Returns,” a brilliant piece of literature. When 2010's “Inception” came out, directed by “Dark Knight” helmer Nolan and starring Ellen Page, it felt almost serendipitous. Nolan and Page are the only dynamic duo who could pull off such an idea, and in my ideal world, it's something they would pursue.

The Penguin as portrayed by Toby Jones: Danny Devito did a fine job as The Penguin in 1992's “Batman Returns.” But things have changed since 1992, and the character is ready for an update. “The Dark Knight” was steeped in a Michael Mann-like crime world where The Penguin – who could be a short-statured British gangster or gunrunner – would thrive. It wouldn't be the traditional top-hat wearing, umbrella-wielding chubber that audiences have come to expect, but it could be pretty cool in the right hands – Nolan's hands.

Dr. Hugo Strange as portrayed by Ben Kingsley: There were rumors that Tom Hardy would play Strange in “The Dark Knight Rises” – the character would be a welcome addition to the world. But I can only see Ben Kingsley as the power-hungry scientist turned private hospital owner. There are few actors who have the weight and experience that Kingsley brings to the screen, and he recently came off Martin Scorsese's “Shutter Island” having played an unorthodox psychologist with suspicious motives.

The Riddler a portrayed by Michael Sheen: I strongly believe The Riddler should be in this particular Batman incarnation somewhere – but I've flip-flopped as to whom should play him. Jude Law? Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Colin Farrell? In the end, I think Michael Sheen is the most appropriate for the role, having watched him dance around with a cane to Daft Punk's score in “Tron: Legacy.” Sheen has proved that his acting chops go far beyond “Twilight” and “Underworld” movies in “The Damned United,” and he can generate a maniacal look that I just can't get past.

What do you think of the casting of Hathaway and Hardy in “The Dark Knight Rises”? Which characters would you like to see appear in the third installment, and who do you want to see play them?

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