So it is official, the villains for Christopher Nolan's follow-up to The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, have been set. No, there will be no Riddler as long lobbied for by many fanboys. It will be -- Drum roll! -- Catwoman and Bane! Don't believe me? Check the press release from WB. What has me more intrigued is that actress Anne Hathaway will be portraying Catwoman and her alter ego Selina Kyle, where as the previously announced Tom Hardy will be playing Nolan's take on the character of Bane.
To be honest, this is far from what I would have predicted as to which villains would most likely figure into the movie given how The Dark Knight ended; not to say that I'm not thrilled that all of the rumor and speculation is now over and we can go on to grinding away as to how these characters will figure into Nolan's Bat-trilogy.
Personally, if it were me, I would have not cast Hathaway as Catwoman. The choice just doesn't sit very well with me, I just can't help it (but then again I didn't want the character in the movie anyways). Catwoman has a certain mystique about her, a certain mixture of mystery and voluptuousness like the great femme fatales of the 1940s film noirs. For me, even though Hathaway has done many more daring roles since her Princess Diaries days, she just doesn't seem to fit the part as well as say Rachel Weisz would have. As for Tom Hardy's casting, I never objected to his inclusion in the story, but I am puzzled by their choosing Bane, an assassin who juices up on venom to make him super strong. While Bane is by no means a bad character, why Nolan finally seems to have broken his rule of not including one of the more fantastical villains from Batman cannon is beyond me.
As for now, all we can do is sit and wait, cause when it comes to casting, Nolan truly is the man. I mean, there was a similar scratch of the head reaction when he cast Heath Ledger as the Joker, and look how that turned out. Could lightning have struck twice in his villain casting? We'll see, as for now, I'm still excited, and just glad we're getting closer to seeing Christian Bale donning the cape and cowl once more!