By now, you've heard the news. On Wednesday, a partial casting for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises revealed that Anne Hathaway had been cast as Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Inception's Tom Hardy would be assuming the role of Bane. Since hearing this, I've been collecting my thoughts.
I'm alright with Hardy. I'm alright with the story avoiding following the Joker with the Riddler or going in a direction that cold potentially feel too absurd for Nolan's true crime aesthetic (the Penguin, Mr. Freeze). I suspect Bane is easy enough to transform into a real-life mad man, a cunning strong arm who will make a clever foe for Bale's Bruce Wayne. I would also imagine that as Hathaway is listed as Selina Kyle, Catwoman may not be making a full-on appearance in the way we know her best. Love interest? Sure. Rival? Sure. As for which incarnation we'll see, I couldn't guess. Will she begin as a jewel thief, a prostitute, a dominatrix, a secretary, a madame, or just a bored socialite? I'd cross out the first one (too basic for Nolan), and can really see this version running with the sex worker option, but Catwoman is fairly open ended. All I know is, unless we see her as a sex worker, if this is the last installment in Nolan's trilogy, I'd doubt we'll be seeing Hathaway in any sort of Michelle Pfeiffer latex get-up.
Christopher Nolan has proved, several times over, that he's not too great with female casting. Carrie-Anne Moss is perhaps the exception to what appears to be a Nolan general rule involving throwing unassuming, physically slight, mildly awkward (but smart) ladies amongst seasoned method men and old pros. Selina Kyle is an unbelievably complicated character, and her screen adaptations have been botched several times over. Catwoman isn't a straight-up villain, but she's not a hero. She's sometimes a vigilante, sometimes incredibly selfish. She's obviously got sex appeal, but it's a tough one, a rigid one. In my opinion, Selina Kyle shouldn't be too pretty. She should be the type of woman who's thought of as gorgeous in part because she just exudes an untouchable confidence, because she can switch on something in her voice and eyes that belies a power beyond her features. I've never seen that in Anne Hathaway. While I believe she'll likely fare better than Halle Berry based on script alone, I just don't see Catwoman in her. You can dress her up and she'll wear the clothes well, but at the end of the day "badass" doesn't register in her eyes. It's in Angelina Jolie's face (though I absolutely think her time for this has come and gone). It's in Keira Knightley's face. It's in Helena Bonham Carter's face. I've seen it in Gemma Arterton or Emily Blunt or, well, my favorite offbeat choice: Tilda Swinton (who would obliterate all past references the way Ledger did). Most of all, though, I'll repeat: I have no idea why this wasn't thrown in the direction of Eva Green. Between In all seriousness, this can't be just me, right? Who would you cast as Selina Kyle? Can Anne Hathaway pull it off?
Eva Green in Franklyn:
I'm sure I'll be surprised, but right now I'm just really sick of her omnipresence. Earlier news mentioned Nolan needing to fill two female roles. We could go through all of this again in the weeks and months ahead.
This was only supposed to be a short paragraph...