Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Pick For The Third Batman Film?

With today's news of Tom Hardy being cast in Christopher Nolan's third Batman film came the discussion of a. who he would be playing and b. should a cannon female be added to this already intriguing mix, who would she play?

Patches (@misterpatches) from UGO opened up the Twitter floor with the question,

The responses mostly centered around 4 character suggestions - Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn & Talia al-Ghul, but also saw Huntress, Black Canary and Batgirl thrown out into the Twittersphere.

At this point in time, despite Harley being one of my all time favorite characters, I'm gonna throw my support towards Catwoman.

A lot of people complain that we've seen Catwoman many times before or she's never been done well the way we'd like to see it, and to this I say, I AGREE, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Chris Nolan in his grounded universe. In the Nolan series, Batman has never encountered a woman who is anything resembling interesting or challenging and Bruce Wayne has been completely devoid of any & all sexual energy. Yes, Bruce has gone through some shit, but that doesn't mean he should be asexual. I like the idea of a female villain coming on board that stirs something different in Bruce, something he isn't suspecting, something that sometimes gets the better of him. And a Selina Kyle done correctly (and played by the right actress) would accomplish this. Check out this description,

She is a "friendly foe who committed crimes but was also a romantic interest in Batman's rather sterile life." She was meant to be a love interest and to engage Batman in a chess game with him trying to reform her. At the same time, this character was meant to be different from other Batman villains like the Joker in that she was never a killer or completely evil.

Yes, Talia has a similar love/hate relationship to Bruce, but I don't see how her storyline would work without her father. Revenge has been done. What, pretending to fall for him to get revenge for the death of her father? Really? No thanks. As someone TORN between loyalties to her father and her attraction to Batman - now THAT's interesting. And also not possible anymore.

Now Harley, I love. When I think about what could have been if Heath Ledger had still been around - the Mad Love origin story of the smart, attractive shrink assigned to the crazy, manipulative Arkham inmate, who drives her mad as he simultaneously makes her fall in obsession love with him, BUT with someone who actually IS sexy in the role of the would have been brilliant. And mark my words - there totally would have been a super fucked up sex scene. And one of my favorite characters (and namesake of Kevin Smith's daughter) would be on the big screen. Amazing.

But - there isn't a Joker. Therefore, there shouldn't be a Harley. To use Harley in any sort of main storyline would only mean a copycat plot, and I think the franchise can do better than that. A throwaway line about the Joker seeing a shrink and thinking it's going well? THAT is just fine with me. But to actually incorporate Harley would feel forced. And while, as @selmaleh pointed out, Harley & Batman do have an interesting relationship (he doesn't WANT to hate her, she's cute & crazy), it's not the sexualized relationship I want to see Nolan's Batman experience.

That same reasoning applies to Poison Ivy - obviously sex is a HUGE part of her character, but it doesn't go beyond that with Bats. Bruce doesn't toss and turn at night thinking about Pamela Isley, he just wants her to stop murdering people with plants and kisses.

As for anyone who would be fighting alongside Batman? I'm not sure that interests me. I'm much more intrigued by an antagonist angle with the female role (though why we all seem to think only one female can be in this Batman movie says something not so great...).

It's weird to me that when I think of any of our recent big screen superheroes & their love interests, there seems to be a huge lack of sexual chemistry, save Wolverine & Jean Grey. Spidey and MJ? Meh. Clark & Lois? Super meh. Bruce & Rachel? Ultimate meh. Tony Stark & Pepper Potts? Sorry, Gwenyth, you only did it for me in Shakespeare in Love, for which I lovingly blame Joseph Finnes. The list goes on and on. I know that overall, superhero movies tend to aim towards being kid friendly, but since we are collectively moving in the direction of darker, more adult hero fare, maybe let's up the chemistry factor a bit? I'm already loving the potential of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Spidey and Gwen Stacey, as well as a Snyder directed Superman. So, don't get left out in the cold, Batman.

So here's what I think. Selina Kyle. Not crazy, no "cat powers", no comical costume. Straight up classic Catwoman, burgler, who is so smart, so stealthy, so unstoppable, that she is actually considered in the ranks of someone like The Joker, while not actually being a murderer.

So which female, or multiple women, do you want opposite Batman in the third film? If Catwoman, which origin - or a new one altogether? And how would you prefer they deal with her introduction and relationship with Batman? Very interested in your thoughts, readers.

Team Selina Kyle!

Update: The natural question after this discussion? Who could actually pull off Catwoman? We need an actress who fits the following - Great actress, can pull of the action/athleticism, not tiny - needs to be on the taller side & actually be fit, lean, believable as functioning in high society, needs chemistry with Christian, plays 27 at the least, 37 at most, and can easily walk the line between good & bad.

Here are the suggestions Twitter gave me: Marion Cotillard, Rachel Weisz, Zoe Saldana, Eva Green, Emily Blunt, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Page, Maggie Q, Brandy Burre, Diane Kruger, Olivia Williams, Gemma Arterton, Amanda Seyfried, Sienna Miller and oddly, my favorite of the options - Olivia Wilde.

Who do you think could pull Catwoman off?


Kristen said...

This is actually the best argument for Catwoman, that I've seen. I think Michelle Pfeiffer pretty much NAILED THAT ROLE TO THE WALL, in a way that would be really hard to top/equal/reinvent. (Unlike Jack Nicholson's Joker, which was pretty much just... CRAZY!JACK NICHOLSON, rather than the truly virtuoso take Heath Ledger gave us.) I think that we need to see something other than the longing for a childhood sweetheart. We need to see meaningful, confused, passion from Batman. Dark Knight he may be, but he's still a man, and the arm candy has been both boring and barely there. We need to see the man and the hero. An overabundance of villains/plot has left out some of the vulnerability that makes Batman a character we can empathize with.
You convinced me, now I'm trying to think who I'd cast. Oddly, Jessica Biel or Zoe Saldana spring to mind.

Unknown said...

Well I guess that if Christopher Nolan is directing there is a fair shot that Marion Cotillard will get the part. She is sexy and has the perfect eyes to pull it off. She also would have a kick-ass chemistry with Mr. Bale. All I know is that a bombshell like Angelina or even Megan Fox is too much for catwoman. I think Cotillard would be a good fit. Also, Zoe Seldana and I agree with your favorite pick-Olivia Wilde she would be wow in it!

EruditeChick said...

I've been saying it since the first Bats 3 rumors started- Marion Cotillard, hands down and without question, as Catwoman.

I think we had this chat during my brief love affair w/Batman: Arkham Asylum when I was staying at your house the last time. SAUCY CATBURGLAR FTW.

I agree with your reasoning about Talia and Harley. Ivey is great but too cartoony for the Nolan universe as it stands. Same with Zatanna.

CDerosby said...

I'm torn now. I was all for Harley, but you make a fantastic argument for Catwoman. Bring on Miss Kyle.

TotoroVsBatman said...

I want to take issue with one point... Michae Pfeiffer was incredible. To support Kristen, she nailed it. The problem was the plot and direction of that particular Batman picture.
As for the Nolan Batman movies. The Nolans have one flaw... They can't write/ direct/ portray female characters. At. all. Memento, Insomnia, Prestige, Both Batman movies, Inception... ummm... at best the female voices are one-dimensional and used as utilitarian plot points. So... while I am desperate for a Catwoman... do we trust them to handle the material? And I love the Nolans, but they have their limitations.
Don't get me wrong, it can be done. Personally, I think they would need a female co-writer or something. David Goyer is also not the best writer for a woman's voice.
As for Tom Hardy... Who knows what character he will be, but he is a damn fine actor.

LoquaciousMuse said...

@Totoro Yes, the one thing that worries me is Nolan's past when it comes to female characters, but he's so good at everything else, it's about time he step it up in the writing for women department. And I think the idea of introducing Catwoman could be inspiring, much more so than a Jokerless Harley or a Ra'sless Talia. Or if he needs to bring on another co-writer, that's okay too.

But to keep Batman devoid of all romance or remote sexuality for the entire series because the Nolans/Goyer can't write women very well? Laaaame. They need to fix that shit.

@Eruditechick Forgot to mention that in my post - yes, Ivy is way too cartoonish for this universe.


uh.... i KNOW i read that wrong. Catwoman never done well?

Michelle Pfeiffer was UNIMPROVEABLE in that movie. Shoulda been Oscar nominated.

I vote for Poison Ivy who they botched in her only movie go or The Huntress. I need these superheroes to get new characters. they're so repetitive. there's a ton of characters that haven't been used and they keep regurgitating.


I would also like to add. Maybe Tom Hardy should just play Catwoman? He forges, don't he?

LoquaciousMuse said...

@Nathaniel, it's not so much that I have a problem with Pfeiffer as Catwoman, not at all!! She nailed what was given to her. It's more that I want the character to be reinvented in the Nolan verse, where everything is much more grounded in reality. I wanna see that Catwoman. But no disrespect towards the Pfeiffer! None at all.

I do agree about using new characters, it's just the idea of specifically Catwoman in this universe that I can't get over! I'd love it if no more villains overlapped. Just her.

I mean, really what I want is Joker/Harley, auuughhh, it hurts.

How do you think they could do Poison Ivy in the more realistic Nolan verse??? Dying to hear your thoughts on that! Some kind of genetic splicing?

Castling said...

I think I would be a great Catwoman.

Steve G. said...

I agree with the others that say that Michelle P. nailed that role; she totally did. But because the rest of the movie was so iffy - you know, all the parts with the Penguin - it's a performance that gets overlooked when you're thinking of great comic book character movies.

Olivia Wilde is a good pick for Catwoman, in terms of appearance and attitude. If this was 10 years ago, Carrie Ann Moss could been a good selection. If you really want to take a big risk (and cast on the cheap), Alison Brie could be interesting.

Craig Bloomfield said...

"Great actress, can pull of the action/athleticism, not tiny - needs to be on the taller side & actually be fit, lean, believable as functioning in high society, needs chemistry with Christian, plays 27 at the least, 37 at most, and can easily walk the line between good & bad."

Asia Argento. I've been saying this for over a year now. (blog link: It should be her. I mean, the height thing is the only caveat there. But she gets my vote. Fun post!

OrigamiGirl said...

Wow. You have definately conveniced me tht it should be Catwoman. Harley is by far my favourite but I take your point that it wouldn't work without the joker. Sad though it is that we will have to miss the creative fun that could have gone into a Harley character.

I do like the idea of a sexual atmosphere that could bring the focus back to Batman as someone with depth. The last film was fantastic but it made Batman seem dull in comparison. I would love him to have a good relationship with a woman that makes both of them intriguing.

Shinyswoots said...

This is a beautifully done argument as to why this should be the next Batman "villain" (or at least one of them). Earlier, on twitter, I tried to figure out why Catwoman was the only significant female character being thrown out for this upcoming movie and part of that question was due to my own personal Batman 'ignorance' (I grew up a Marvel girl and have a LOT of catching up to do still with DC). There isn't much more I can add to this argument and you definitely convinced me (the only other one I was interested in is Harley Quinn but I completely agree with why she doesn't work for this).

As for cast? Zoe Saldana could be amazing and Olivia Wilde is the epitome of sexy so, you know, she would do all right too ;)

I just reeeally want someone to purge my brain of all memories relating to that"depiction" of this character (not referring to Michelle Pfeiffer).