January 19, 2011 is the first day of the new year when the internet exploded with reactions concerning Warner Brothers’ announcement about two key characters in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming and final film in his Batman trilogy.
According to a Warner Brothers press release Anne Hathaway will take on the iconic role of Selina Kyle. For those who don’t recognize the name it’s the public face of the female foil for Batman. I’m talking about none other than Catwoman herself. While the press release doesn’t mention the name Catwoman anywhere it would be only logical that Hathaway as Selina Kyle will end up as Catwoman before the film ends.
The other character announcement was about who Tom Hardy was going to portray in the film. Speculation since Hardy was cast mostly had him taking on the role of the villain Hugo Strange, but in a curve out of left field it looks like Hardy will be playing villain Bane.
While reaction on Hathaway as Selina Kyle has mostly been positive the one concerning Hardy as Bane has been met with a combination of guarded optimism (much faith and trust has been earned by Nolan from fans) to outright fanboy rage. Both from film bloggers who should know better and just people who want to grab onto anything that they see as the downfall of the Nolan take on the Batman franchise.
Some still remember the catastrophic Bane from Schumacher’s deservedly-panned Batman & Robin thus think this Nolan take on Bane will be just the same. Others just never bought into the ‘roided-out criminal villain when he was first introduced in the “Knightfall” crossover during the 90’s. If Nolan hadn’t earned my trust as a film and comic book fan from his previous Batman films I would react the same way but I won’t.
While the comic book version of Bane did look like a muscle-bound luchador who used a super-soldier serum called “Venom” to roid-out people fail to remember that bane was very close to Batman’s equal when it came to the intellect department. This was the one villain who deduced Batman’s true identity and found a way to mentally and physically break the Bat down before finally breaking his back.
I believe that Nolan will probably dump the luchador mask and outfit and concentrate on Bane as a criminal kingpin who doesn’t just have the physicality to match Batman punch for punch but also the mental acuity equal to the task of breaking Batman. Does this mean that rumors of the character Hugo Strange has been nixed from the film?
I happen to think that either Hugo Strange will be merged with the character of Bane or may actually appear as the true mastermind who turns Bane loose on the Batman. Either way I’m quite interested in finding out how Christopher Nolan plans to adapt the Bane character to his realistic take on the Batman universe. I’d be very surprised if the wrestling mask and outfit remains. The venom injections could easily be adapted to become more believable and as Tom Hardy has shown in the film Bronson he can physically bulk up and look believable as a muscle-bound heavy.
Source: Slash Film