Alright, let’s get this out-of-the-way now. We could simply just wait for Nolan to release the information later about what villain actor Tom Hardy will be playing in the third installment to his Batman franchise, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. But where’s the fun in that?? It’s way more entertaining to get our hopes up and see who picks the right character to receive perpetual bragging rights. So what do we know so far? Nolan has already confirmed that The Riddler will NOT be appearing in the next film. One name down. He also said Mr. Freeze will not be making another appearance. And how could he after the masterful performance given by Arnold in Batman and Robin? Another name off the list. I think we can all safely assume The Joker will be retired after a true masterpiece was delivered by now deceased actor Heath Ledger. Three down. What else can we assume? The more comic-bookey characters won’t be making it into Nolan’s world because he prefers to stick with more humanized and “normal” characters. Hence ruling out a character like Mr. Freeze who has a giant freeze ray and has a super powerful cold suit that runs on expensive diamonds. The Joker was nothing but a man in some makeup with a skewed view of reality and the charisma to lead Gotham’s underworld. His weapons were nothing but guns and explosives. Scratch Scarecrow, Mr. Zsasz, Two-Face, and Ra’s al Ghul because they’ve all appeared in Nolan’s movies before. So who can we count out? Who can we rule in? And who would actor Tom Hardy be most suited to fit? I’m sure every other site will do this same article, so why not give it a try?
Why? This is a prime example of a character not fitting into Nolan’s humanizing role. Could it be done? Yes, anything can be. But a giant human bat flying around Gotham City just doesn’t seem to be probable in Nolan’s world. The realism is lost in the franchise with a character as absurd as this one, even if he was prevalent in the comics and TV series. Man-Bat was once Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist with a specialization in bats who tries to develop and extract to give him sonar, like a bat, to prevent his battle with deafness from taking away his hearing completely. To his relief it works, but with a few side effects. Like turning into a human sized bat. I just can’t see Tom Hardy all CGIed up to look like a bat and battling Batman. Sorry Man-Bat.
2) Killer Croc
It pains me to write off this character so easily, because I would love to see Hardy in this role somehow, but the chances of seeing Croc in the new Batman are little to none. For the same reasons as Man-Bat, I can’t see a sewer dwelling criminal terrorizing Gotham City by crawling up their toilets. Ok, he’s really tenfold more badass than that, but he just couldn’t fit Nolan’s villain requirements like the previous do. Waylon Jones aka Killer Croc was born with a birth defect called atavism that blessed him with reptile traits. His parents are disgusted by him and eventually abandon him in the wilderness, where he learns to hate humanity and embraces a life of crime. I love him as a villain, but he has less human traits than Man-Bat. There would have to be a tremendous amount of CGI done to Hardy for him to pull of the look, but his personality would be right up Hardys alley. He’s essentially just a brute, and would probably be a tremendous amount of fun to play. Out of all the people being ruled out now, I’m keeping Killer Croc as my wild card and will reserve some hope that Nolan uses him to some capacity.
Why not this ugly mofo? Well, could you see Nolan going for a villain who has powers that turned him into clay? In Batman folklore, there have been multiple Clayface type villains, each one with a different backstory. The original is Basil Karlo, an actor who goes crazy when one of his old horror films gets remade. He turns to a life of crime (like so many others before him) and becomes a villain of Gotham City. Just like Croc and Man-Bat, Clayface throws realism out the window and is way too cartoony to be let into Nolan’s dark and brutish world. No more explanation needed, just see the above two explanations to see why Clayface would be a serious mismatch for a Nolan Batman film
Although I do think Nolan would be able to pull this character off if he wanted to, because Arnold Wesker is nothing but a real ventriloquist with a multiple personality disorder, he’s unlikely for the next film. He acts out his gangster personality in his dummy Scarface, and commits crimes through the dummy. But if you look at how he’s portrayed, Tom Hardy is much to young to play the grey haired freak. Eventually, a female comes along and takes Wesker’s place as villain. Again, unless Nolan just used the idea of an evil ventriloquist and adapted it to Hardy, it would not be true to the back story which Nolan has done a nice job staying to.
5) Any Female Character
The actor portraying the villain is male Tom Hardy. Need I say more?
Yes, Bane has already made an appearance in the laughable Batman and Robin movie, but he has some serious potential in Nolan’s universe. He wouldn’t look as cartoony as seen in the picture or in Burton’s Batman film, but Hardy is a muscular man who could certainly look intimidating as a realistic Bane. But, with Bane, comes someone who would have to control him and the door would be open for another super villain to help Bane. He’s more of a henchman than a master villain himself, so unless a big name signs on to the cast, consider Bane a long shot.
2) The Penguin
Another cinema alumni, Danny DeVito played the criminal mastermind and aquatic bird enthusiast Oswald Cobblepot. He’s a dreadful long shot, but an easy fit into Nolan’s Gotham City. With no real superpowers, The Penguin relies on regular weaponry and inventive “trick umbrellas” that double as gadgets and gizmos. The big turn off here would be why pick Tom Hardy for a role that is normally portrayed as a short chubster. But, Nolan may want to reinvent The Penguin and go the route of turning him into a profound British gentleman. In that case, Tom Hardy would be a perfect fit.
And now for my pick and answer to the question of what character will Tom Hardy be playing…criminal mastermind Hush. Thomas Elliot was a childhood friend of Bruce, growing up with an equally rich family. He would teach Bruce things while playing together, like how to think like his enemies in battle. But, Thomas never enjoyed his life and tried to stage his parents death so he could be an heir to the fortune. While in a psych ward, the exact situation happens to Bruce, and upon his release Thomas is stricken with jealousy, and turns all his anger towards Bruce. He goes on to be a very successful surgeon, and also masters the twin M1911.45 caliber pistols he becomes quite the artist with. There is a great potential for story in Nolan’s world with Hush, being able to go back in Bruce’s life and uncover his childhood. The drama would be fantastic, and he’s a very human character. His success comes from the meticulous planning and above average intelligence, not crazy superpowers. Hardy could play this role perfectly, and he would make the most sense in Nolan’s Gotham City.
4) Black Mask
Probable? Nah. But could be. Again, there’s no crazy super powers Nolan would have to deal with. Black Mask is nothing but a former business man turned gangster, who has a deformed face due to neglect from his parents as a child. He resents Wayne for bailing his company out in return for controlling power, so he breaks into his families mausoleum and crafts his mask out of his father’s coffin. Besides that, he uses guns and henchmen just like any of Nolan’s other villains.
Don’t be turned off by the costume because Nolan can easily change that. Deadshot is nothing but a suicidal assassin who has no regard for humanity and will sell his expertise to the highest bidder. Initially he came to Gotham to fight crime and replace Batman, but the Dark Knight reveals Deadshot’s plan to take over the Gotham underworld and he is sent to jail. Suffice it to say, when Deadshot is release he doesn’t like Batman all that much. So now, he runs around the DC universe causing trouble for all sorts of superheros. Nolan could bring him back to Gotham to settle his differences with Batman, and again Tom Hardy would fit the persona very well.
6) Mad Hatter
Another long shot, but the possibility is there because of his extremely dark persona, which is mirrored from the Alice In Wonderland character. The Mad Hatter is a scientist that develops the ability to use mind controlling technology. In cartoons he’s more portrayed as a goof-ball, but in the comics he’s becoming increasingly more creepy. Because of his use of mind control, Nolan would only be able to use him if he found a brilliant way to explain it. But, Nolan was able to pull of the Scarecrow with the gas he uses on people so it isn’t out of the question. Sure, Hardy is a little tall for the character, but Nolan is all about adaptation. Plus it would be funny to see Hardy in a giant green hat.
I throw Anarky in because of his lack of superpowers and his desire to shake the system. Described as a child prodigy, Anarky uses numerous gadgets that he creates and his superior intelligence to challenge Batman and society as a whole. Does that not sound like a great fit into Nolan’s dark world of Gotham? He looks tremendously familiar to V from V for Vendetta though, which could be a reason not to use him. Nolan may want to avoid the similarities and with so many other villains to choose from, it shouldn’t be that hard.
Conclusion: Are there a ton other villains Nolan can choose from? Countless. But in my opinion, and judging on the characteristics the other villains Nolan has chosen, these are the ones most counted in and out. Like I said, I like Hush right now as my pick, but all that can change if more details are given out. Since I’m a gambling man too, I’ll take the Mad Hatter as my long shot. But knowing my luck, Nolan will decide to take the Burton route and turn to the most unrealistic and cartoony villain possible. Only time will tell on that one. Feel free to comment if I’ve missed any, what your thoughts are, or if you think I’m a complete moron for my opinions. All are welcome!