After starring as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Eddie Brock in Venom, Tom Hardy can count himself among a number of actors who starred in both DC and Marvel movies. Ironically, he cannot claim to be a part of either the MCU or the DCEU, but never say never.
The 43-year-old Englishman is the kind of actor who knocks it out of the park just about every time, whether he is playing a hero or a villain. Therefore, there is no reason why Tom Hardy should not have a chance to shine in the DCEU.
As wonderful as it would be to see Tom Hardy play Bane in the DCEU, it might be time to give the role to someone else. So, instead, I have recommended five additional DC characters that Hardy would be the perfect choice to breathe new life into.
Many of Tom Hardy’s performances have puzzlingly incorporated under the same requirement to cover the bottom half of his face, including a few notable scenes in Mad Max: Fury Road, much of his screen time as a World War II pilot in Dunkirk, and, of course, the entirety of his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. I think it would only be fair that his next turn as a DC would instead require him to cover the top half of his face. Since transitioning from Batman villain to the Caped Crusader himself would, again, be far too meta, Hawkman looks to be a natural fit.
First appearing in the first issue of Flash Comics in 1940, Hawkman, whose current secret identity is that of archaeologist Carter Hall, who fights evil with his winged flight harness and a powerful mace, both made of an anti-gravity metal of extraterrestrial origin called Nth. Tom Hardy no doubt has the physicality to pull off the role, but the character is also the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince’s soul and, after Venom, the actor has experience playing a man with the essence of another creature living within him, so that should not be a problem.
If Tom Hardy were to return as yet another villain, I would like to see him play something entirely different from Bane, particularly someone not known for their physicality, but for their intelligence. Not to mention, the actor is known for indulging in characters with odd quirks (such as Max Rockatansky’s feral grunts or the imagined stage persona of the title character in the irreverent biopic Bronson). I think it would be a real treat to see what kind of intriguing traits he would bring to the character of The Penguin.
Born Oswald Cobblepot and named for his stocky posture and beak-like nose, the Penguin is one of the most notorious mobsters in Gotham City and has been known to show even the likes of Batman a hard time with his skills in hand-to-hand combat and his specially designed umbrella that also functions as a sword. Tom Hardy is a few inches taller than how the villain is traditionally depicted (and nearly a full foot over Batman Returns actor Danny DeVito), but a Penguin who is closer in stature to Batman and even surpasses him in muscle (using current cowl-dinner Robert Pattinson for reference) could make for a refreshingly unusual showdown between the adversaries that we did not even get from the radical portrayal in Gotham, with all due respect to Robin Lord Taylor.
Say, let’s take take a deeper look at my earlier comment about all of Tom Hardy’s grunting. There is a certain DC character whom that feral, almost animalistic portrayal in Mad Max: Fury Road almost reminds me of.
Formerly 19th-Century socialite Cyrus Gold, before his murdered, buried corpse reacted with detritus and swamp vegetation, Solomon Grundy is an undead, soulless being of astonishing superhuman strength (in other words, imagine if Hulk was a zombie). Despite often rubbing elbows with the Justice League, Grundy also also been known to have a capacity for heroism and, if you think about it, the majority of Tom Hardy’s roles have been anti-heroes, from Venom, Max, or Forrest Bondurant in Lawless. I’d say he was born to play Grundy.
I am going to use Tom Hardy’s performance as Max Rockatansky once more, and mention Forrest Bondurant in Lawless, again, also in comparison for my next example. Like those two characters in the actor’s repertoire, the Martian Manhunter is a hero who, despite the things he has lost, maintains a stoic aura that makes him intimidating in the faces of his enemies.
J'onn J'onzz, a shapeshifting lawman of the third planet from the Sun, almost lost his mind after watching his family succumb to a telepathic virus with literal mind-blowing effects, but after becoming marooned on Earth, he chose to continue fighting for good as founding member of the Justice League. For years, my prime choice to play the Martian Manhunter has been Common, but after he wasted his DCEU potential on a brief Suicide Squad cameo, I would say the natural stoicism, impressive physicality, and distinct voice of Tom Hardy has it in the bag.
I believe that if you treat Arnold Schwarzenegger’s punny performance in 1997’s Batman & Robin as a comedic portrayal of Mr. Freeze, it is brilliant. However, I do not want to see this DC villain played for laughs. I want to see a live action film that honors the low temperature baddie as the dark, twisted Batman villain that his most famous iteration describes and putting Tom Hardy in the Cryo-Suit would make it so much cooler… No pun intended.
Dr. Victor Fries attempted to preserve his wife in cryogenic slumber while searching for a cure for her terminal illness, but the plan was sabotaged by his employer Ferris Boyle, who left him for dead in a cryo-chamer, which instead changed his physiology to require him to live only in low temperature environments. Equipped with a freezing weapon of his design, Mr. Freeze has since turned to a life of crime to carry out his vengeful deeds. I believe Tom Hardy has the range to nail the empathetic demeanor required to appropriately portray this tragic figure whose cold heart is not out of malice, but a biological side effect.
What do you think? Are these characters the right choices for Tom Hardy's next comic book role? If you have your own suggestions, let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back for more updates on the actor's career or future superhero movies here on CinemaBlend.