Well, the rumors are over–we now know that Anne Hathaway will be Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and Tom Hardy will be Bane, in the next live-action Batman movie, Dark Knight Rises, set to release next summer. (Thanks for the link, Morgan! :) ).
First of all, I really like Anne Hathaway as an actor; she’s one of the few who can pull off both comedic and serious roles.Catwoman’s origins have been reimagined over the years but I’ve always liked her best as a thief, struggling to get by and never the hero; and with the dark edge to Nolan’s Batman movies I can see Selina’s character more like this. I’m sure that Hathaway can pull off the role convincingly and with integrity. (It’s pointless to compare her to Michelle Pfeiffer, at least until we’ve seen the movie.)
But still, Nolan, I must ask: why isn’t the love interest Talia al Ghul?? You’ve stated in so many interviews that the movies will be a complete trilogy, and the third will be conclusive; why not do so by bringing in Ra’s’ daughter? (see the full rant here). Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for redeeming Catwoman, she sure needs it, and I still hope that she’ll someday have a standalone animated film. But Talia has never been seen in any live-action incarnation, show or movie, and giving the character a live-action debut, a tie-in to the first film, and an inevitable nod to the current comics (in which Talia and Bruce have a son, Damian, the the current Robin) would have been awesome.
I can totally see Anne Hathaway pulling off a Talia role, and I wish that were the case. The decision to bring in Catwoman (as much as I enjoy the character) feels recycled, old, done a million times.
And now we get to Bane. I vehemently disagree with Catwoman instead of Talia, but oh how I hate this decision.
Also known as the worst trip down Batman memory lane, ever.
Just like I said about Clayface in my Batman-rumour entry, Bane is not a smart and sophisticated villain like Ra’s, nor is he an over-the-top maniac like the Joker. He’s a thug who delivers big punches and not much else; when he plugs into the venom, he becomes a mindless fighting machine. Even worse, Bane is almost always the hired mercenary to beat up Batman; he is best known as “The Man Who Broke the Bat,” having broke Batman’s spinal cord in one story. But what I hate about Bane most is that his weakness is overwhelmingly obvious: pull the plug to his venom and he’s out. It happens every time Batman faces him, and it’s always his downfall. Bane isn’t the one I would have chosen to finish the Batman trilogy with a bang. I wanted Deadshot, or the Riddler, or even Harley Quinn–someone with actual cunning.
Will I still watch it? Sure, I’m a fan, aren’t I? I adore Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman is perfect as the Comish, and Catwoman/Batman rooftop banter is sure to be amusing. But I’m not anticipating it like Captain America, Thor and the Avengers.
Which, considering the fact that I love DC more than Marvel, is really quite ironic.