Sunday, January 30, 2011

Batman movies - What next? Part III

Back in September of 2008, I wrote a couple of blog posts where I speculated on what villains might appear in the next Batman film. Basically, the problem was that as good as the current series of films is, the tone that's been set by them somewhat limits which villains would be viable for the third installment. In other words, villains like Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Clayface are just far too entrenched in far-out science fiction to really fit into the world that Christopher Nolan has created. That basically meant that the likely candidates would be along the lines of Catwoman and The Riddler - although I seriously wondered if The Riddler is a compelling enough of a villain to hold up a whole film. Lastly, I mentioned that it would be really great to use Hush. Of course, only fans of the comics know who he is, but that was also true of Ra's al Ghul, and that didn't stop them from using him in Batman Begins.

Several weeks ago, they announced the villains and the actors who would be portraying them. Sure enough, just like everybody thought, Catwoman is going to be in the next film, and she is going to be played by Anne Hathaway. I must admit that I probably would be skeptical if it wasn't for the last movie. I remember when I heard that Heath Ledger was going to play The Joker. Now, I liked the actor just fine, but I had a hard time seeing him play that particular part. Still, I had some faith that they picked the right guy since they did such a good job with the last movie. Now I can't imagine anybody else in that role. Let's face it, while Jack Nicholson's version was a lot of fun to watch, it was basically Nicholson playing an exaggerated version of his screen persona. Ledger was playing a role.

As for Hathaway, she's a good actress who has shown that she has some range. That, coupled with the fact that these movies are now two for two, I'm going to trust that this is a good choice. I'll even go so far as to say that she has the same potential to do for the character what Ledger did for his. This is going to be a Catwoman that we've never seen before, and while Michelle Pfeiffer's performance had its moments (particularly her "transformation" scene) it involved the same mugging for the camera that we expected from the 60s TV show and the 90s film series. I expect Hathaway to actually create a character, and it should be fun to watch.

Of course, there's a second villain. No, they didn't use my idea and go for Hush. They picked one that I hadn't even considered - Bane. You might remember that he was already in a Batman movie - Batman and Robin to be specific. If you don't remember that, then that's a good thing for you as they totally screwed up the character. That's shocking considering how good that movie was in every other respect. (Ugh...just threw up in my mouth a little.) Bane is going to be played by a fella named Tom Hardy, who had a role in Christopher Nolan's last film, Inception.

I think that Bane is a good choice as they're likely to actually get him right this time. Bane is a good counterpoint to Batman, as he's a self-made man in many respects. He's a genius strategist and one hell of a fighter. On top of all that, he gives himself a boost with the super-steroid called Venom. Now, that definitely goes into the sci-fi territory but no more than The Scarecrow's fear toxin that they used in the first film. As for the casting choice? I don't know much about the guy, but it's obvious that they're going more for the right actor than the flavor-of-the-month choice like they did back in the 90s. I don't think that they're going to buff him up as much as he is in the comics, which is fine by me. Just so long as he doesn't walk around and talk like a zombie, it'll be a step up from what's been done before.

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