Warner Bros. have confirmed that Anne Hathaway will be appearing in the upcoming Batman film The Dark Knight Rises as Selina Kyle (alter ego of Catwoman) with the previously-confirmed Tom Hardy listed as playing Bane.
Anne Hathaway has been rumoured for a while, but most people assumed she was just making up the numbers in lists of more interesting, and more Nolan-friendly candidates. Films like Brokeback Mountain show that she’s got range beyond the fluffy comedies that make up 90% of her output, but still she seems like a wild card in this film. Interestingly, the press release from Warner Bros. lists her only as Selina Kyle, not as Catwoman, but as Nolan has reportedly confirmed that this will be his last Batflick, it would seem strange to introduce the character and not follow through. Plus, with the explosive (tee-hee) events of The Dark Knight, Bruce / Bats is on the lookout for a new squeeze. If she is going to be Catwoman, let’s hope the origin is more Batman: Year One than the spectacularly condescending girl-power gibberish of the Halle Berry film.
Bane is one of the Bat-villains that fits nicely into Nolan’s Batman universe, as he’s essentially a massive drug-riddled brawler, fitting nicely with the more realistic take Nolan has brought to the series. He was introduced in 1993′s Knightfall arc, releasing all the villains from Arkham asylum and eventually breaking Bruce Wayne’s spine. He was memorably included in Batman and Robin, a film that recently pipped AIDS past the post as Worst Thing Ever. In that film he was a grunting imbecile, but the comics character has had reasonable development, showing Bane as an intelligent man struggling with drug addiction, but more often than not fighting by Batman’s side. Tom Hardy is a fine, versatile actor, and of course none of Nolan’s takes on the characters have been exactly the same as the comics versions. It should be very interesting to see where this goes.
Traditionally, multiple villains don’t work very well in comic book adaptations, but Nolan has successfully wrangled two protagonists in each of the previous Batman films, as well as the more traditional mob and hairy bemulleted guys that make up movie street thugs. If there’s anything to worry about, it’s Christian Bale’s voice getting deeper still. He came close to getting audiences to soil themselves with the Inception soundtrack, but Bale’s guttural noises might be Chris Nolan’s best weapon yet against sphincteral integrity. You read it here first.