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After years of waiting and ridiculous speculation, today it was finally announced that Bane and Catwoman would be the two main villains in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, with Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway playing the characters. Still, after names like The Riddler, Hugo Strange, Talia al Ghul and Harley Quinn have been talked about for months, some are going to question whether or not the two characters are the proper ones for the finale of the trilogy. I’m here to say that they definitely are.
Below I have outlined five points explaining why Bane and Catwoman are not only the perfect selections for The Dark Knight Rises, but why Hardy and Hathaway are the right people to play them. Check it out below.
When The Joker was chosen as the main villain for The Dark Knight, the first thing that sprung to everyone’s mind was, “How is the performance going to stack up against Jack Nicholson’s from Batman 1989? Bane and Catwoman don’t have the same illustrious history in Batman movies. Bane, of course, was featured in the epic disaster known as Batman & Robin, where he was reduced to a voiceless, roided-up thug who acted as arm candy for Poison Ivy. Catwoman, while certainly not as offensive to Batman fans as the treatment of Bane, was given a strange fantastical origin story in Batman Returns where she’s thrown off the top of a building and resurrected by a group of cats – a backstory never seen in the comics.
The truth is, the best way to sell this pair of characters is not only the way seen previously in the comics, but with the most simplistic, realistic approach. Which leads me to my next point.
Catwoman is a skilled thief and Bane is a born criminal with a body that could appear on most men’s fitness magazines. There’s nothing supernatural or science-fiction-esque about their characters. They can fit into the real world, and that’s exactly what Nolan has been doing with his two previous Batman films. Sure, Bane has a severe addiction to Venom, the drug that gives him his shape, but this also happens to be a world filled with human growth hormone and steroids; it’s not a concept too far out of reach. Had Nolan chosen a character like Killer Croc, there would need to be explanation for the character’s appearance that wouldn’t necessarily fit with everything that the director has given us thus far.
But it’s more than just being able to exist in the same universe, it’s also about playing a significant role that would get Batman’s attention while he’s on the run. Welcome to point number three.
At the end of The Dark Knight, Salvatore Maroni and the rest of Gotham’s criminal hierarchy has been destroyed by The Joker and Two-Face and Rachel Dawes, the love of Bruce Wayne’s life, is dead. Do you see where I’m going with this? The spots are open and available for Bane to become the new king of crime Gotham while Catwoman serves as both a love interest and enemy for the Bat, a duality that has been played on thousands of times in comic books and graphic novels. Sure, neither character is a detective hired to hunt down Batman after he has become a fugitive, but we can only imagine that Nolan has else something up his sleeve to handle that storyline.
So I’ve discussed why the characters are a prime fit, but what about the actors chosen to play them? Well…
After playing the role of Eames in Nolan’s Inception, everyone quickly discovered that Tom Hardy is a serious talent worthy of our attention. With any hope, this means that a lot of people, curious about his prior work, went out and rented the Nicolas Winding Refn film Bronson - a film that, by itself, proves that Hardy is the perfect fit for Bane. Sure, Bane is actually a lot smarter than Britain’s most notorious criminal, but when it comes to brutality and intensity, they are practically brothers. Obviously Nolan won’t be able to play it at such a high level (he still needs to target PG-13), but it will work all the same.
Unlike Hardy, Hathaway has never really played a character similar to Catwoman, but that certainly doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have the skills to do so. An Oscar nominated actress, the big three qualities that she needs to possess are beauty, brains and talent, all of which Hathaway has in spades. Catwoman is a character that needs to be able to kick a little ass all while enticing the Caped Crusader. The only possible hiccup is that Christian Bale is eight years older than Hathaway, but a 27-year old Andrew Garfield is about to play Spider-Man as a high school student, so I think it can slide.
Unlike the previous four points, this one is entirely speculative, but I would love to see it happen (even if it does make me sound like a bit of a sicko). At this point, it has been well established that The Dark Knight Rises will be the last Batman film that Christopher Nolan will make, meaning that the end has to provide some level of closure for the audience. This is why it’s so important to have Bane. The character’s most famous storyline sees the gargantuan antagonist picking up Batman and slamming him over his knee, turning Batman into a paraplegic. Would it be an incredibly sad ending to the story? Absolutely. Would Warner Bros. ever allow it? Almost certainly not. But it would close the book on Nolan’s storyline and prevent a director like Joel Schumacher from trying to pick up the reins and milk the cow dry. Let’s traumatize some kids and Break The Bat.