so it looks like we finally got some confirmation to drown out the sea of rumours that have been circulating on the casting of this film for what seems like an eternity (Johnny Depp as The Riddler, for example). and after Heath Ledger‘s iconic performance as The Joker in the epic pop-culture behemoth known as The Dark Knight, i am reserving judgment on the possible outcome of casting Anne once i actually see the film. under Chris Nolan‘s direction, it should be another solid WIN for the Batman pantheon. Tom Hardy on the other hand, i must confess the only film i’ve seen of his was his role as Eames in Inception, but that was enough for me to dig the dude’s style. apparently he kicked ass in a film called Bronson too (which i will be seeing this weekend), so his ability to pull off the role of the back-breaking roided-up Bane isn’t really in question. what IS in question is the casting of an as-of-yet unnamed co-lead actress.
1) Harley Quinn (aka Dr. Harleen Quinzell): a much beloved character that was born on the inimitable and definitive Batman: The Animated Series. her backstory is that she briefly worked at Arkham Asylum as a psychologist of sorts, until she eventually fell in love with The Joker and became the crafty, playful supervillainess Harley Quinn (and Joker’s girlfriend). she mostly gets treated like dirt, but is unendingly loyal to her “Mr. J”. however, introducing her would mean having to include scenes of The Joker, either re-cast or via old footage. either way it wouldn’t work as well without Mr. J being a constant presence.
2) Talia Al Ghul: the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul (who was one of the chief villains in Batman Begins), Talia has always been depicted as being divided in her love for Bruce Wayne/Batman and her loyalty to her father. although her actions are dodgy at best (usually at the behest of her more maniacal father), bringing her into the fold would take this current incarnation of the Batmovie franchise full circle, perhaps using Ra’s apparent “death” in Batman Begins as a catalyst for her to appear (and i’m not entirely convinced Ra’s perished in the train, he was known for being immortal via the Lazarus Pits, but since the films are trying to remain rooted in reality, perhaps Ra’s is just a master of escape and survival?). as for her story, it would be a complex one as Talia has great affection for Bruce. in the comics they even have a child together. i think her showing up in The Dark Knight Rises is highly more likely, and would interconnect the films quite nicely.
on a final note, after re-watching Batman: The Animated Series from its very beginning (im only halfway thru season 1), i can see a whole LOT of story and plot points that were straight up ripped for the films, which i don’t think is a bad thing at all. the toon is perhaps the best incarnation of the Batverse i’ve ever encountered, and also one of the most enduring (a testament to its quality legacy). my HOPE would be that character cues for Selina and a possible Talia are taken from the cartoon series, as the show portrayed a balanced view of both of these strong females as anti-heroins with a thing for Batman/Bruce. yes they get up to some shady stuff, but they’re also good people at heart. this would be a welcome dynamic from the whole Rachel Dawes thing (which i was never down with from the beginning).
and now? …we wait for July 2012 🙂