Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dream Casting: Batman

We can probably all agree that the spectacle known as The Dark Knight was pretty awesome. Though the film snobs amongst us will begin to argue that there were several pesky continuity flaws and some slightly problematic editing, the general consensus is a big thumbs up.

Personally, I'm prematurely excited about the future of the franchise. Batman is my favorite of the major league comicbook heroes and Christopher Nolan has barely touched upon the possibilities Gotham city holds when it comes to a wide world of deranged villains. Thus, I've been geeking out about the routes Nolan could take, and think it's time to type it out here.

Are you there Nolan? It's me, your uber-caster.

(Spoiler Alert)

Plan A: Now that Rachel Dawes is dead, Bruce Wayne will be free to reluctantly move forward with his lovelife. Thus, the window is open for supreme anti-hero Catwoman, who is (all Halle Berry versions to the contrary) one of the most fascinating and developed characters in the DC Universe. Catwoman's presence in the film would be more along the lines of the Harvey Dent subplot. There is no need for her to anchor an entire film, she's not that much of a villain, instead her character would be allowed to slowly evolve possibly over film 3 and 4. There have been claims that Catwoman is a non-option, there have also been claims that Angelina Jolie is being considered for the role. Both are major mistakes. Allow me to explain.

I dig Angelina Jolie, but my god, her casting would put the franchise in over-the-top terrain. Currently, Nolan has cast from within the realm of reasonably understated actors, and placed excessively well known stars just slightly out of focus (Morgan Freeman, for instance). Jolie would throw off the film's balance, and based on her performance in past actioners, her version of Catwoman would likely veer this variation towards campy (I had a great time watching Tomb Raider, but wouldn't want that as a Catwoman). In conclusion, while Jolie has the looks, she doesn't have the whole package. My pick? Simple. Underused femme fatale Eva Green.

Think about it, Eva is perfect. She's got the sex appeal, the acting chops, the feline looks, the dark persona, and already proved she can rock the witty banter necessary to the role (Remember her as Vesper in Casino Royale). Additionally, she can alternate between dangerous and defenseless in a heartbeat. Plus, she's just low-profile enough to not offset the fragile balance of the series.

Plan B: So one thing the rumor-mills and I agree about is the perfection that is Johnny Depp.
He would be a divine Edward Nigma (That's the Riddler, for all you non-nerds), the perfect blend of neurotic, homicidal dandyism. Do I even have to defend this? No. No I don't. Of course, Riddler would anchor the film as a spotlight villain. Considering the slight similarities between Joker & Riddler, Nigma's appearance could be a smooth transition between characters. Though for some, the reliance on puzzles and elaborate schemes could be too much.

Plan C: In terms of character continuity, the absolute best option would be to make use of Harley Quinn. If Heath Ledger were still alive, he could have resurfaced with demented Quinn as a cultish admirer (shades of the Manson family, anyone?). Since Heath is sadly unavailable, and no one should step in, Quinn's arrival on the scene could take on even more sinister elements of extreme psychosis. She could be a copycat killer and deranged stalker, a sort of Basic Instinct John Hinckley. 100% imbalanced and ready to party. I'm not sure about who I'd want for this role. I might have said Maggie Gyllenhaal if she weren't already Rachel Dawes. I think Tilda Swinton is a little too old now, but she could still deliver, she always does.

Who would you cast as Harley Quinn?

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