Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle, Catwoman, Bane

The internet is ON FIRE right now due to the press release sent by Warner Bros. announcing that Anne Hathaway has been added to the cast of The Dark Knight Rises as Selina Kyle – otherwise known at Catwoman.

Tom Hardy (who we already knew was involved in production) was also confirmed to play Bane – the villain who let loose all of the prisoners in Arkham Asylum before wearing down Batman’s defenses and breaking his back in the Knightfall story arc from the early 90s.

If you’re not familiar with the comics, Bane was also the goofy looking muscle-bound goon from 1997’s Batman & Robin and was previously played by professional wrestler Jeep Swenson.

The online consensus seems to be largely positive surrounding these announcements. Although I most closely associate Hardy with his reedy, sniveling performance as Praetor Shinzon in the much-loathed Star Trek: Nemesis, if you’ve seen him in Bronson or Warrior, you know that he’s capable to bulking up. I’m not worried about him.

It’s Anne Hathaway I’m scratching my head about.

The appeal of Catwoman has always been a strong mix between her street smarts and pin-up sultriness – neither of which Hathaway possess.

Don’t get my wrong. I like Anne Hathaway as an actress. I think she’s affable and makes good choices. I’m just not sure if she’s the right fit for Catwoman. She’s too “girl-next-door” to me. She’s not aggressive enough in my eyes to do the character justice.

I guess I don’t know who I would have cast from the current crop of Hollywood starlets for the role. Gina Gershon from about 10 years ago would have been good. Too old now.

Truthfully, Maggie Gyllenhaal would have been a good choice if she hadn’t already been cast (and killed) in The Dark Knight. She seems resilient and the product of an urban upbringing. And if you’ve seen Secretary, you KNOW she can do sultry.

Alas, it’s not to be.

More than anything, I guess I’m confused by the choices director Christopher Nolan is making for his villains. Catwoman and Bane? I mean, if you played them right, both characters could be seen as emotionally manipulating Batman. The original draft of Bane in the comics had him paired as a strategic equal to The Dark Knight. But over time, his cunning has been buried under a mountain of muscle that other writers have handcuffed him to.

I would think that a filmmaker as cerebral as Nolan would have had a field day with The Riddler or Hugo Strange. And by the way… what happened to those rumors?

I don’t know. I guess if Nolan sees something in the capability of these actors, then I have to trust him. But my gut is telling me this is a misfire.

What’s your take? Leave your comments below!