Being the nerd that I am, I just happened to browse IMDb yesterday for the latest news on the Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman movie. Upon perusing the latest articles concerning the movie, I realized that Nolan had dropped some very important information concerning the follow-up to 2008′s The Dark Knight. So let’s get these two big bombshells out of the way, shall we?
First of all, the film will be called The Dark Knight Rises. It’s a clever name, continuing the concept of leaving the name “Batman” out of the title that began with the last film in the Nolan’s rebooted franchise. Frankly, it’s a much better name than I would’ve thought. Also, while Batman is often called “The Dark Knight,” in the comic books, the last film dealt with Batman as the “dark knight” in contrast to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Gotham City District Attorney, as the “white knight.” So it’s likely that this title will be indicative of the themes involved in this latest installment.
Second, contrary to the prevailing wisdom and the general consensus of the fanboy rumor mill, the Riddler will not be featured as the villain this time. There has, however, been recurring speculation that Catwoman/Selina Kyle will be the main villain. Rumors of possible casting choices for such a role have included Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, and even Cher! And while Nolan is reportedly in the market for a female lead, it’s possible that this may only be a love interest for Bruce Wayne, filling the void left by Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes/Maggie Gyllenhaal).
This opens wide the floodgates of speculation as to who the villain may actually be. So far, Nolan has ruled out the possibility of the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and Mr. Freeze. Two-Face, Ra’as Al Ghul, Scarecrow, and the Joker have already been used. So who’s left? Considering that Ra’s Al Ghul has already been introduced to the franchise, it’s possible that his daughter, Talia Al Ghul could be the female role that Nolan is looking to cast. Of course, I suppose the same could be true for Harley Quinn. Although, I personally think that Nolan would find the former more appealing than the latter.
As for guessing which male villain could fight the Caped Crusader, it’s anyone’s guess. Two-Face was supposedly killed in The Dark Knight, although some think he could possibly resurface, which I doubt. According to IMDb, Tom Hardy will be playing Detective Harvey Bullock, but they’ve been wrong before. Hardy could in fact be portraying a male villain like Hush, Killer Croc, Deadshot or Black Mask. The Mad Hatter, Clayface, and Bane seem a bit too far-fetched for Nolan’s gritty, realistic-esque style.
So considering that it’s far too early to tell what will the new film will be about and who will be in it, allow me to speculate as to some possible storylines that may come up.
One possibility is Hardy portraying Hush. Hush, also known as Dr. Thomas Elliot, was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. He eventually becomes Wayne’s sworn enemy due to a long-held grudge.
The second potential villain I think might fit in Nolan’s Batman universe is the Red Hood. While the comics traditionally attribute the Red Hood’s identity to the Joker or Jason Todd (the 2nd Robin, don’t get me started on that), Nolan has been known to use some artistic license with his palette of comic villains (i.e. fusing Ra’s Al Ghul with Henri Ducard).
Another character I would like to see introduced is that of Lew Moxon, the man who hired Joe Chill to kill Bruce Wayne’s parents. This would be a fascinating story arc that would tie in well with Batman Begins, bringing the trilogy full-circle. Although most likely, this character would not be played by Tom Hardy.
Of course, all of this is pure speculation. Nolan can be a very unpredictable filmmaker. I remember being shocked and almost a bit disappointed when I found out that Heath Ledger would be portraying the Joker. But it turned out to be a stroke of brilliance, and an Academy Award-winning performance to boot. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, do not doubt Christopher Nolan. He does not disappoint.