You saw Inception, right? Wasn’t Tom Hardy’s Eames one of the best parts — a light, fun counterpoint to Leo DiCaprio’s morose, angsty Cobb? You’d see that guy in another movie, right? Well, good, because he’s in the next Batman movie in an as-yet-unannounced role. The Internets are surely alight with speculation, because speculating on what the next Batman movie will be like has surpassed baseball as America’s Pastime.
Before they inevitably announce who he’s playing, here are our totally baseless musings on who he might play in Batman 3/The Dark Knight Returns/The Darker Knight/Batman Against the World Crime League.
Hint: As much as I’d like it to be, it’s probably not Maxie Zeus.
1. The Riddler
Batman’s best villains have always been themes to battle: the Joker’s anarchic chaos, Two-Face’s corruption, Catwoman’s temptation (please, let me generalize here), the Scarecrow’s deep-seated fears and insecurities. The Riddler? Using him gives Batman an intellectual foe — one the Dark Knight must outsmart to defeat. Which is great, because the cinematic Batman’s detective skills need a lot of work.
Yep, the juicer luchadore who broke Batman’s back in the 1990s. While it’s cool to slag off anything that happened in a ‘90s comic book (totally understandable, as much of it is awful), there’s a decent story to be had in a Batman movie featuring Bane. Imagine: Batman, run ragged fighting criminals and escaping the law, comes across Bane, a someone (for once) physically stronger than him — thanks to an addictive performance-enhancing drug called Venom. Does Batman give in to the temptation of Venom or does he beat Bane on his own terms?
While mainstream audiences may know Hardy as the funny Brit from Inception, cool people know him from Bronson, where he portrayed a violent physical powerhouse. So the casting makes sense.
3. Dr. Hugo Strange
Here’s an unconventional choice. Dr. Hugo Strange is a psychologist at one point hired by Gotham City Police to help bring in Batman, but ends up becoming a villain as he continues to study the Caped Crusader. While his story is a bit old hat in the movies — a mixture of the Scarecrow and Dr. Chase Meridian from Batman Forever — you can put a different spin on it. After all, he’s hired to ascertain Batman’s identity, but ends up wanting to be Batman.
You know who’s a Batman villain but not really considered a Batman villain? Deadshot, who’s considered one of the best assassins in the DC Universe. He’s blossomed into a fine antihero in comics like Secret Six, but it’s not hard to imagine a role for him in the movies, as one of those minor villains hired to take down our hero.
5. Killer Croc
Apparently there’s some rumor floating around the Internets that Killer Croc is going to be in the next Batman film, but I think that betrays the realism that Christopher Nolan and his screenwriters established in Batman Begins and cemented in The Dark Knight. And while Killer Croc (a dim-witted man-crocodile hybrid) wouldn’t be the first instance of a comic book movie changing a fantastic character to be a bit more believable, the inclusion of The Lizard in the next Spider-Man movie makes this choice seem less likely.
Bet you didn’t think of that, did you? Christian Bale’s career has sullied a bit thanks to mom-punching, on-set blowups at cinematographers and Terminator Salvation, and Christopher Nolan obviously liked Tom Hardy enough to put him in another movie. Why not just cast a new Bruce Wayne who’s not afraid to smile and crack a joke? One who does a better growly voice, perhaps?
After all, nobody cried foul when they recast Rachel Dawes.
7. The Joker
Hello, recast! But, in all serious, this would not happen. Heath Ledger’s performance was too well-regarded and there’s no need for another Joker appearance. What else can be said about him in this series? As far as I’m concerned, he vanished in a puff of purple smoke as soon as the camera cut away.
Personally, I always thought in the next film the Joker could be played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, the result of extensive plastic surgery that the Clown Prince of Crime underwent just to mess with Batman’s head. And Harvey Dent, if you want to believe he survived the end of The Dark Knight (note: he did not).
“…and co-starring Tom Hardy as the oldest orphan since Chris O’Donnell.”