The Dark Knight Rises and X-Men First Class movie news- UPDATED

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The Dark Knight Rises villains… and their actors… have been announced.

First off, Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, occasional love interest to Bruce Wayne, but far better known as the thieving supervillainess Catwoman. Then we have Tom Hardy, a.k.a. Eames from Christopher Nolan’s Inception, who will be playing…

BANE. A.k.a. “The Man Who Broke the Bat.”

Catwoman’s a natural addition to Nolan’s Batman films. She’s a great character and an excellent foil for Bruce Wayne and his pointy-eared alter ego. Like Ra’s Al Ghul, the Joker and Two-Face, she represents a facet of the Dark Knight; she leads a normal life by day and a costumed one at night. She could be the perfect woman for Bruce… if she weren’t a thief.

Bane’s inclusion, on the other hand, comes as a bit of a surprise. Like Catwoman, he does mirror Batman: he’s an intelligent strategist and physically fit, but primarily relies on a drug for his strength, instead of rigorous training. However, Bane is still a fairly recent addition to Batman’s rogues gallery and a bit of a divisive character among fans. And in his last film appearance, he was little more than Poison Ivy’s grunting thug. Then again, all the more reason to redeem him in the new franchise, right? 

I can’t complain with the acting choices too much. Hathaway’s capable of some great acting (loved her in Alice in Wonderland) and Tom Hardy was pretty good in Inception. Sure, it’ll be a shame not to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin or Johnny Depp as the Riddler (I think Riddler would have been a perfect villain the GCPD could use to help them hunt down Batman… before turning on them, of course), but hey, there’s always Batman 4. Angelina Jolie might have been interesting as Catwoman, too, though; she’s certainly got the cat eyes going for her. Still, I think Hathaway can pull Selina Kyle off. 

But hey, there’s X-Men movie news, too! Behold a promo from X-Men First Class: http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/18/first-x-men-first-class-image-surfaces-online/

I haven’t been following news on this TOO closely, so this image comes with a few surprises, at least for me. Most of the characters are clad in the classic X-Men blue and gold uniforms, implying that “first class” may be pretty literal. Even Magneto and Professor X (far left and far right) are wearing the blue and gold duds, implying that they’re probably going to be more physically active in the early days of the X-Men than one might expect. Clearly, Magneto and Xavier are on the same side, at this point, and curiously, so is Mystique (not for all long, no doubt!). January Jones’ costume is a clever blend of Emma’s current X-Men costume and the one she wore during her Inner Circle days, while Moira McTaggert’s workman jumpsuit suggests she’s going to be fairly hands-on in helping out the X-Men. I have no idea what Azazel’s doing there, but I hope they make him a much more interesting character than the comic version. Apparently, Beast is the only member of the original five in the X-Men line-up, but we do have Havok in Cyclops’ place and… Angel Salvadore. Seems strange to make such a recent character one of the early X-Men, but it’s actually kind of clever: the original Angel didn’t appear until X3, so why not introduce the other Angel in the prequel? You almost get two founding members that way. 😛

UPDATE: Oh ho, joke’s on me! Apparently that pic wasn’t official, as a few people suggested. so director Matthew Vaughan’s kindly provided us with REAL pictures from the movie, featuring Magneto wearing with his helmet and James McAvoy getting his Xavier on. AintItCoolNews even revealed the teaser poster for the film! Check it all out below:
http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/20/x-men-first-class-director-gets-mad-we-get-magneto-in-his-helmet/

So, what do you think of the casting and character choices for The Dark Knight? Or the X-Men: First Class promo? Sound off in the comments!

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4 Responses to “The Dark Knight Rises and X-Men First Class movie news- UPDATED”

  1. davidry214 Says:

    Well, I’m ecstatic. First of all, Christopher Nolan has so won me over that I’d give him the benefit of the doubt on anything right now. Not only were his first two Batman movies awesome (including the greatest comic movie ever), but Inception was one of the top three movies of 2010, The Prestige and Memento were very good, and even Following is a highly entertaining look at his early storytelling. At this point, the guy could have made the main villain Clayface and cast Kelly Ripa to play him, and I would have said, “OK, but let’s see where he’s going with this.” (That was intended as an example of something bad, but immediately after typing that sentence, I wanted to see such a film.)

    But with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, there’s no major leap of faith required. I find her smoking hot, but she also has some wit and solid comedic timing (really, she even made Ella Enchanted pretty enjoyable). And with an outside shot at her second Oscar nomination coming up, she’s becoming entrenched as one of today’s top actresses. Nolan already supplanted one iconic Bat-villain performance, as Heath Ledger assured no one will ever think of Jack Nicholson as the Joker again. Supplanting Michelle Pfeiffer from the pinnacle of her hotness might be tougher, but if Nolan gives us a Catwoman with more depth and layers (a sure bet) to go with the skin-tight suit (still a must), I think he could re-define yet another Bat icon.

    Like you said, Bane is the weird one. Drug-induced massive muscles doesn’t seem like a natural fit in Nolan’s gritty, down-to-earth world, which makes me think the character is likely due for at least a partial overhaul. And because he’s far from wildly popular, I don’t see fanboys being upset if character details get changed. I’ve only actually read Bane in the novelization of the Knightfall storyline, which was entertaining. Other than that, my main exposure was the Batman animated series, and the Clooney movie is better not mentioned. I’ve only seen Hardy in Inception, but the fact that he was a somewhat standout in the midst of an amazing ensemble cast speaks favorably for him (and we all know by now how Nolan likes re-using his favorite actors).

    This will be the final Batman movie for Nolan and Christian Bale. Then I’m guessing Warner Bros. will probably go find a director willing to introduce Robin and do Batman in 3D (both of which Nolan refused). I’ll be super pumped to see Dark Knight Rises, natch.

    X-Men: First Class? I’ll definitely see it, but nothing about it has me ready to be super pumped. The cast itself is OK, with some pretty good actors involved, despite a lack of star power (unless you still consider Kevin Bacon a star at this stage in his career). But some of the choices of characters included are odd, and like most people, I would have enjoyed seeing more (at least more than the current total of one) of the original X-Men. What’s more, I really just doubt the box office draw of a movie without Wolverine. I think it’s going to bomb, and maybe bomb hard. But at least my expectations are low enough (for it and the new Spidey reboot) that it’ll be hard to disappoint me.

  2. gokitalo Says:

    And hey, Bryan Singer’s onboard as producer and Matthew Vaughn’s directing. That’s some pretty good talent right there. So I’d say the movie stands a fair chance of recapturing what made the first two X-Men films great.

    As for The Dark Knight Rises, IGN wisely points out that since Carmine Falcone appeared in Batman Begins, they might make Selina his daughter, which Catwoman: When in Rome strongly hinted at.
    http://comics.ign.com/articles/114/1145394p2.html (scroll down a bit)

    Newsarama also came up with a very clever take on what The Dark Knight Rises might be about, pointing out that the first two Nolan Batman films dealt with real, current issues (particularly terrorism)
    http://www.newsarama.com/film/catwoman-bane-roles-tdkr-110120.html

  3. davidry214 Says:

    What made the first two movies profitable was largely Wolverine, but I digress.

    Newsarama’s column certainly has some clever guesswork, and I wouldn’t be surprised if parts of it are spot-on. But nevertheless, I disagree with the main premise. In his first two movies, Nolan developed very strong thematic elements of crime and terrorism, ends and means, the nature of heroism. This is his final Batman movie, and I don’t see him deviating from that to play up themes of class and economics. All of this is guesswork, obviously, but my own guess would be that he returns to those same predominant themes once more and attempts to build his opus out of them for the conclusion to his trilogy.

  4. gokitalo Says:

    I don’t think he’ll stray from those themes either, but that doesn’t necessarily keep him from exploring others, as well…

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