Editorial: What Do Bane And Selina Kyle Mean For The Dark Knight Rises?
In a pretty big CBM news week, by far the biggest was the announcement that both Catw..excuse me, Selina Kyle and Bane would be the characters joining Batman, Alfred etc in Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
Shocked by their inclusion? Curious as to how they will fit into the story? Well, I don't have any answers for ya! Just my thoughts on the matter. Click for some debate..
Both had to be fairly surprising choices. There was a sort of general assumption among most fans(and smug net journalists) that Nolan would never go with a character like Catwoman. Why? I have absolutely no idea! I have always loved her in the comics. Granted, she has been used as simple eye candy and a sex kitten(pun intended) type by certain writers but in general , I have always found her appeal is that she appears this way but there is so much more going on. She represents a love interest for Bruce Wayne yes, but also a potential opponent. And a physical threat should Nolan choose to use her that way. Whatever her role, it's a dynamic that we haven't seen in Nolan's previous Bat movies. Like I alluded to earlier, the press release said Selina Kyle, no mention of Catwoman. But do you really think Nolan is going to introduce that character and not take her to the next level? Especially if this is indeed his last batman flick? We may not see Kyle in a costume but I can almost guarantee you that she will be playing the role of villain as well as love interest in this. There are many ways Nolan could use this character. She has been a hooker, a socialite, a cat burglar, even a hero at times. He may combine elements or come up with his own entirely. As for Anne Hathaway, I think she is a good choice. Not great maybe but only because there are other actresses(even from the reported shortlist) that I would have preferred take on the role, but then I didn't screen test them did I! I had only seen her in Brokeback Mountain prior to her casting but have since watched Love And Other Drugs(purely for research purposes you understand:) and can honestly say this girl has some chops. She almost made the movie half decent. Almost.
Now, Bane is even more surprising and harder to figure into Nolan's world for me. It's clear that we will not be getting the 7 foot tall behemoth from the comics(although I'm sure Hardy will beef up considerably) and I'm fairly certain all trace of the "venom" strength enhancing gimmick will be left out too, though there could well be a nod to it. Bane as a roid freak perhaps? So what incarnation of Bane will we see. Well the character is best known for the story arc Nightfall in which he breaks Batman's back. Aside from that he has no other real standout storylines but has always been a firm fan favorite because of his mixture of brains and brawn. The character's roots lie in South America where he has a particularly hellish upbringing and is forced into a life of crime and punishment by his corrupt father. This much I do expect Nolan to carry over. Making Bane a product of the streets as it where will contrast brilliantly with Bruce Wayne's relatively sheltered and privileged upbringing. Sure he went through a bit of self imposed exile for a while in Batman Begins so he could better understand the criminal way of thinking but it's a far cry from Bane's miserable life(provided they keep that element from the comics of course). Another way Bane could be used ties in with Batman Begins. Many expect that since this is the final part of a trilogy Nolan will go back to earlier plot threads when putting together third film's story. Well Bane was actually affiliated with Rhas Al Ghul and assumed the role of his emissary for a brief time in the comics. That's a possibility. Whatever way he is used, expect Batman to be on the receiving end of a sound beating in this movie! They probably won't take it as far as having Bane break his back, but I'm sure there will be a homage to it at least. After all The Dark Knight needs to be put down before he can rise again. Tom Hardy? No reservations whatsoever. He has proven to be a very capable character actor so whichever way Nolan chooses to bring Bane to the screen I'm sure he won't disappoint.
But what do these characters mean for the overall story? Well, we could speculate all night. All I know is that we should expect the unexpected. Nolan will want to surprise us. I have a feeling that Selina Kyle, Bane and Batman will all be connected a more profound way then the usual type of plot mechanics. The great thing about The Dark Knight was how the 3 principal characters were all so intricately entwined with each other. The Joker and Harvey Dent representing the very best and worst a person could be and Batman stuck right in the middle. Painfully aware that he can never be the "white knight" Dent is, and tortured by the potential to be dragged down to The Joker's level that resides in him.
Anyway, like I said, we could speculate forever. Just my thoughts and suggestions. However these great characters figure into TDKR you can bet we(at least most of us) will not be disappointed.
Anne Hathaway/Catwoman manip by Fanboiii, source image by Jaco Herbst.
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