This article contains SPOILERS for the ending of The Dark Knight, but that’s okay, because surely you’ve seen it by now, right?
Tell me what characters you’d like to see in the next movie … and cast them.
Given Batman’s fugitive status at the end of The Dark Knight, I think it’s about time he met Selina Kyle, a.k.a Catwoman.
And I’m not talking about the Selina Kyle from Batman Returns, who was nothing like the Selina Kyle from the comics (even though Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as Catwoman is hot, hot, hot, hot, hot).
And I’m not talking about the version of Selina who’s a hooker-turned-thief from the often inspired but childishly vile imagination of Frank Miller in Batman: Year One.
I’m talking about the Selina Kyle from the pages of two of my all-time favorite Batman stories, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, which really set up the “mobsters and freaks” dynamic that works so amazingly well in The Dark Knight.
Photo stolen from this guy
As written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, this Selina Kyle is a gorgeous society girl who steals partly for thrills, partly to rile up Batman in more ways than one, and partly because she just happens to be …
[SWIPE THE WHITE AREA BELOW WITH YOUR MOUSE TO REVEAL A PLOT TWIST]
… the illegitimate daughter of Carmine “The Roman” Falcone, played quite awesomely by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins.
How awesome is that? It would fit in perfectly with what Team Nolan has already established in their Batman universe, and, like I said, I think Bruce Wayne needs a gal like Selina Kyle in his life after the events of The Dark Knight.
(The thought of seeing a scene of Selina Kyle played against Michael Caine’s Alfred makes me happy.)
And my pick to play Selina is …
… Rachel Weisz.
(Going back in time a bit, I remember telling my friend Lauren shortly after we’d seen Batman Begins that I wanted Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Selina Kyle. My wish of seeing Maggie in a Batman movie did come true, but she was cast as Rachel Dawes instead.)
Rachel is a phenomenal actress who’s no stranger to physicality in movies; see the Mummy flicks and Constantine for examples. (Also notice how the latest Mummy movie felt woefully flat without her.)
She’s beautiful in a timeless kind of way, and she can be ridiculously sexy, and I can really see her fitting right in with the likes of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.
And since Nolan likes to present realistic versions of the characters, I can see her burglar outfit being more in line with the one Adam Hughes draws so beautifully:
It’s cool and it’s functional and it’s not silly or slutty.
Just imagine a now-fugitive Batman still taking his fight to the mob but dealing with interference from Catwoman, all while Bruce Wayne romances Selina Kyle on the society circuit. Work that in with her lineage that I whited out above, and you’ve got a winner.
And since Catwoman and the Riddler worked so well together (as characters) in the Loeb/Sale miniseries Catwoman: When in Rome, I’d put the Riddler in the next Batman movie, too.
Not as the flamboyant Frank Gorshin version from the old TV series, and certainly not the ridiculous Jim Carrey version.
No green suit.
No purple cane shaped like a question mark.
I’d make the Riddler a master strategist.
Ra’s Al Ghul challenged Batman’s will.
The Joker challenged Batman’s very soul.
I want the Riddler to challenge Batman’s mind.
Can you imagine a story where the Riddler sets up twisted mind-games to toy with Batman’s brain, with twisted, catastrophic results if Batman fails?
Think about the tone and the mood that Christopher Nolan built in The Prestige, and then imagine what he might do with the Riddler in one of his Batman movies.
I think it would be awesome.
And my choice for the Riddler is …
… Casey Affleck.
Earlier this year I ended up buying two Casey Affleck movies on the same day: Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
In the former, he goes capably toe-to-toe with Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris; in the latter, he holds his own like a champ against one of the most fascinating Brad Pitt performances you’ll ever see.
Take the confidence he showed in Gone Baby Gone and mix that with the nearly-creepy oddness — which grew into more confidence over the course of the film — he displayed in Jesse James and you’ve got one scary customer who could absolutely send chills down our spines.
I know that some of you will jump on this and say that he’s not an obvious choice.
But do you know who else wasn’t an obvious choice initially?
And we all know how that worked out, now, don’t we?
So, yeah. Those are my picks for the villains and actors for the next Batman movie: Rachel Weisz as Selina Kyle and Casey Affleck as one seriously dangerous Riddler.