Who should they play? THE DARK KNIGHT RISES actress shortlist arrives

Sean Hunter

by: Sean Hunter
November 11th, 2010

The Dark Knight Rises

Well, here we go again. It's not like this is the first time anyone has written about a theoretical THE DARK KNIGHT RISES cast and the imaginary roles they may be playing. But, it's so damn hard to resist Christopher Nolan's ability to tease the masses with such thing. So without further ado, I present to you another TDKR post.

This time we're talking about the ladies of the film. It was "revealed" today that there will be two key women in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - 0ne good, one bad (more theories on that coming later). Just who are the women lined up to potentially play these roles? Deadline has revealed six ladies in contention, some of whom include a princess, a pirate, and a baby-momma. Read on for details.

One of these following ladies will be either a Bruce Wayne love interest or Batman's worst nightmare - Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, and Keira Knightley.

The love interest will probably be a creation of Nolan's own making, considering the trend of the previous films and the shallow pool of non-villain love interests from the comics. However, there are certainly enough potential female villains for me to assign each one of these ladies with their perfect Batman antagonist. I've tried to keep them as Nolan-verse Batman a possible.

Natalie Portman - The Phantasm

With the right tweaks to the character, The Phantasm would be a really interesting villain for TDKR. Her story is similar to Bruce Wayne's in that she seeks redemption, but instead of achieving it through justice she becomes a murderer. With redemption being a major theme in TDKR, The Phantasm could serve as a necessary vehicle to drive the message home. In addition, Portman would be the perfect actress to portray such a conflicted character considering the wide scope of roles she has played in the past. There is some serious power behind The Phantasm but she also has a very sincere and innocent core, which is exactly what Natalie Portman is known for.

Naomi Watts - Lady Shiva

Lady Shiva is one of the more minor female villains in Batman's canon. She has been linked to the League of Assassins, which was headed up by none other than Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson). As a villain in Nolan's films she could work as the new head of the league after Ra's Al Ghul's death, seeking revenge on Batman. Lady Shiva (or some other assassin) is basically the only role I could see Naomi Watts playing, as I find her to be kind of an uninteresting choice for a female lead in the film.

Blake Lively - Black Canary

Okay, Blake Lively is another actress whom I'm finding it hard to believe will make it into TDKR. But, should she end up getting cast, I think she would be a perfect fit for the Black Canary. Though she is mostly used as a hero in the DC Universe, Black Canary would be an interesting villain choice for TDKR. She is often portrayed as blunt and brutal and could work if Nolan portrayed her as a vigilante-gone-bad who Batman has to keep in check.

Rachel  Weisz - Harley Quinn

Rachel Weisz doesn't really fit into either the love interest or villain roles for me. She is a great actress, but I don't see her being the love interest for Bruce Wayne and she's not tough enough to pose a traditional villain threat. Unless, of course, she was Harley Quinn. As I'm sure you know, Harley Quinn is The Joker's main squeeze and would serve as an interesting side-character to the bigger story of TDKR. With Heath Ledger's Joker shelved and Nolan left having to rework the script for TDKR, it's possible he turned to Harley Quinn as a way to incorporate the absence of The Joker. Weisz would be a really damn good Harley Quinn and if she gets cast, that's my number one pick for her.

Anne Hathaway - Catwoman

People have been pushing for Catwoman in Nolan's Batman films for a while now. It's hard to deny that if Nolan wanted to go all out with a female villain, he would turn to Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman). She's powerful, smart, seductive, and pretty much oozes the class and wit I feel Nolan would be looking for in a villainess. Out of the shortlist I can only see Anne Hathaway fitting this role. She's got the acting talent to pull off such a complicated character as well as the most fitting look of any of the actresses on this list. I was rooting for Olivia Wilde to play the part, but since she's not on this list, Anne Hathaway is going to have to be second best.

Keira Knightley - Talia Al Ghul

Talia Al Ghul is probably the most underrated choice for a Batman 3 villainess. A lot of people see her as a viable option for Nolan's film, but I don't think people really see Talia Al Ghul as a particularly interesting character. That's where they are wrong. If any single female character from the Batman universe was appropriate to book-end the Nolan Batman films, it's Talia Al Ghul. Being the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, there is already a built-in storyline for her character to want vengeance upon Batman. Having her pop up in a storyline that will most likely center around people hunting down Batman, I can't see a finer choice. Keira Knightley definitely looks the role of Liam Neeson's daughter and could slide into the role quite easily. Plus, Talia Al Ghul is one ass-kickin' chick and that's some pretty familiar territory for Knightley. If I were a betting man, I'd place my money on Knightley as Talia right now.

There we have it. Of course, we'll probably hear nothing about this for another month and even then we'll end up with no character announcements. Until then, everyone is just going to have to spend their time building up expectations for the film only to have them flipped upside down when Nolan presents us with an even better version of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Who do you think is most likely to get a role in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and what do you think they should play? Leave your thoughts below!

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  • Todd

    Naomi Watts – just because she’s known but not big enough to take away from the story or Batman.

  • Stoopidpepper

    You guys forget Nolan likes to use Actors and Actresses that you would not expect. Like Heath Ledger as The Joker. When I first heard that, I was like “you cant top Jack Nicholson”.An he was amazing. So with that being said I see Anne Hathaway, Niomi Watts or Blake Lively being cast over any of them. Considering they have not played a roll like anything like a christoper nolan batman storyline character.

  • http://twitter.com/instanthunter Sean Hunter

    I’ve seen a large magority of Weisz’s work and my assumption is that Nolan would go for a more “cunning” female villian rather than a brute. Therefore I don’t see why Weisz had to be tough to aquire that kind of role.

    Naomi Watts really doesn’t strike me as an option anyway, I’m not huge on her career…

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