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Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy are Catwoman and Bane

This is not a rumor.  It’s in the freaking New York Times. The Dark Knight Rises will star, among others, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, an Tom Hardy as Bane.

At least we now know, at long last, that Tom Hardy’s beard has nothing to do with his role in TDKR.

So, obviously, there are two things for your local (ok, Geekosystem local) Batman expert to talk about here.  Catwoman, and Bane.

Bane… is a long story.  There’s a lot to talk about there, both in the surprise inclusion of him in the story (Bane had not heretofore been rumored to appear), what the story may mean for him if other rumors are true, and lastly in the whitewashing of his character.  There is a lot to unpack, and I’ll be talking about it later this week, believe me.

Then there’s Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

What we have, in Catwoman, is a character who is an equal to Batman.  Not in crime-fighting power or intellect, but rather in ego.  Selina Kyle doesn’t think that Batman’s considerable reputation is any reason to look upon him with deference.  She loves him, but only very rarely does she allow herself to reach a point where she needs him.

Tl;dr: she’s a cat.

Creating the role of Catwoman is a tall order.  You’ve got to create a completely independent strong female character who tremendous sex appeal without being a slut, and then you’ve got to make her someone who your Batman character (in this case, a deeply driven guy with the money to get any hot chick that he wants who has only shown interest in his childhood sweetheart) could fall in love with.  And on top of that the an actor has to be capable of balancing this strong female character with the fact that she’s a person dressed in a skin-tight leather bodysuit who steals things for a living.  It’s tough.

So… can everyone understand why I’m a little unnerved by the choice of Anne Hathaway, who career is defined by princesses, Prada, and… well.  More princesses.

Okay.  Deep breath.  Christopher Nolan‘s team gave us Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the hub around which all other movies of this era of superhero films revolve.  It is highly unlikely that The Dark Knight Rises will be a bad movie.  I do have faith in Christopher Nolan.  I do.  I do.

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