Most everyone around me can attest to my undying love for Batman. Batman has been my favorite superhero since I was a young boy watching the 1960’s television show at my babysitter’s house in Illinois after school. I saw the midnight screening of Tim Burton’s “Batman” in 1989 and absolutely loved it. Moving on to Christopher Nolan’s version of the Dark Knight, I have no complaints.
I found Nolan’s choice of Ra’s Al Ghoul and the Scarecrow quite refreshing and unpredictable for “Batman Begins.” Those were definitely NOT the villains most everyone would have guessed a director would choose to re-launch an iconic franchise. “The Dark Knight” came along and totally changed everyone’s perspective of the character of the Joker. He was no longer a little disturbing but always funny. Heath Ledger commanded our attentions in the role and created what I feel is the absolute embodiment of the Joker. He’s the kind of character you find yourself nervously laughing at subconsciously and then when you realize you’re doing it, hoping no one saw. He was psychotic and disturbing…and sickeningly hilarious. The characters of Harvey Dent and Two-Face were developed exactly as they should be – a tragedy. You really feel for him and don’t want Dent to turn into the monster he does.
With the past record of good decisions that director Christopher Nolan has chalked up for himself, I really can’t see how anyone has any room to criticize his choices for the actors to play his next couple of villains in the third entry of the franchise, “The Dark Knight Rises.” I was looking forward to seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the Riddler just as much as the next Bat-fan. We must trust that Nolan knows what he’s doing.
It was announced recently that Anne Hathaway had been cast in the role of Catwoman / Selina Kyle and “Inception’s” Tom Hardy as Bane. I can totally see Hathaway in the role of Catwoman. I think it will be a new type of role for the actress and will help show a range in her acting we haven’t seen yet. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be able to pull off the dual identity’s of both Selina Kyle and the criminal feline fem. I’m really interested in seeing the route that Nolan takes to keep Bane earthbound and not get off the beaten path of realism that the director has decided to be anchored to. I really don’t have any kind of pre-conceived notions about Tom Hardy playing him. I’m sure he can play him just as good as anyone else. I’m more than positive that we won’t have to endure another campy / cartoony version of him like we saw in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin.”
As much as we all want to speculate back and forth, none of us will really know until 2012 if the decisions that Christopher Nolan made in the casting and choice of villains for “The Dark Knight Rises” will stand the test of a theater audience and true Batman fans worldwide. Personally, I have faith in the director. He hasn’t let me down yet.