Warner Brothers has announced Christopher Nolan’s selections for the villains in The Dark Knight Rises. Anne Hathaway has been chosen to portray Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, opposite Christian Bale in Nolan’s third and final Batman film. With the departure of the Rachel Dawes character in the The Dark Knight, it had been assumed by many that Selina would be introduced in the next installment. However, previous speculation raised the question if Selina would appear as Catwoman in the film. Since this is Nolan’s last time at the helm on the Bat-franchise, it is more than likely that we will see Hathaway in the famous black suit. (No purple. I’m expecting a take on Jim Lee’s Catwoman, goggles and all!)
On the heels on this announcement, Tom Hardy, who had been cast a few months ago in an unknown role, has been confirmed as Bane, the juiced-up villain whose mostly notable contribution to Bat-history was breaking Batman’s back in 1993. According to Nolan, it is a “new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.” With Nolan’s direction, I am hopeful that we will see something closer to the proper Bane on screen, rather than the mindless hulk ripoff that appeared in Joel Schumacher’s 1997 fiasco, Batman & Robin.
We know that multiple villains is a bit of a juggling act sometimes (see Spider-Man 3), but if Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are any indication, Christopher Nolan knows how to pace his films. I doubt we will see Catwoman and Bane conspiring together at any point. Plus, with Selina as the new romantic interest for Bale’s Bruce Wayne, I’m sure the tension/romance will carry over between their masked alter egos as well. It is a character dynamic that has been dealt with for many years in Batman lore, most notably in Jeph Loeb’s “Batman: Hush” comic from 2002.
With this sequel slated to hit screens in the Summer of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises adds more power to what is shaping up to be another superhero-filled year. The film joins the reboot of fellow Warner Brothers franchise, Superman, as well as Marvel’s comic opus, The Avengers in forming what will be another blockbuster Summer.
The Dark Knight Rises is due in theaters on July 20th, 2012.