Armchair Casting Director: Open Letter To Christopher Nolan

Published on December 23rd, 2010 in: Movies |

By Lisa Anderson

christopher nolan

Dear Christopher Nolan,

It was recently announced that your next film, The Dark Knight Rises, will be Christian Bale’s last Batman movie. Since Bale is a more than decent actor who has enthralled audiences so far as Batman and Bruce Wayne, I’m sure you want to make the most of his final spin in the Batmobile. I have a suggestion to this end, and it has to do with who Batman will fight this time around.

There’s already been some speculation about this. You’ve announced that Tom Hardy, of recent Inception fame, has been cast as one of the villains, without saying which one. Speculation has focused on lesser-known antagonists, and IMDB has him rumored to be cast as Dr. Hugo Strange. At one time, Hardy’s Inception co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was rumored to have been cast as The Riddler. However, you recently confirmed that The Riddler would not appear in The Dark Knight Rises, and IMDB has also removed this rumor from Gordon-Levitt’s listing.

In both of the previous Batman movies, you’ve put him up against two villains. This isn’t unusual for Batman, across TV and movie history, so I doubt that you plan for Tom Hardy’s character, whoever he is, to be Batman’s only opponent. If I may make a humble suggestion, I think the other one should be Talia Ducard, a.k.a Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul.

Think about it: it’s perfect. You’ve had great success with the less-familiar Batman villains before—specifically, Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow. While Two-Face may not be quite as familiar to casual fans as The Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, or Penguin, he’d been portrayed on film before (although most of us would prefer to forget it). Why not use this last outing with Bale to show two more villains who’ve never been in a movie before, and give Batman the first female opponent he’s had under your direction?

Talia has every reason to be angry at Bruce Wayne. In comic book canon, they were romantically involved. Ra’s arranged it, but neither of them exactly complained. They even have a child together in one storyline. In the your version of the Batman myth, I can easily see Talia having been abandoned when Bruce left the League of Shadows, and blaming him for her father’s death in Gotham City. This gives you the opportunity to create all the sexual tension, angst, and bittersweet romance that you might have with Catwoman, but with less risk of unwelcome camp, and with much higher stakes than stolen jewels.

The casting is easy. Marion Cotillard, another of Tom Hardy’s Inception co-stars, would be perfect for this role. She’s not yet such a big star that her presence is distracting, which works well for the character she would play. Most importantly, though, the violent rage and sense of betrayal that she conveyed as Mal in Inception would translate really well to Talia.

My only other suggestion has to do with cameos. There’s been a rumor that left-over footage of The Joker as portrayed by the late Health Ledger will be in The Dark Knight Rises. While this is just a rumor, it’s a bad idea for reasons which should be obvious. Any cameo should be by Cillian Murphy, as Jonathan Crane. Crane already appeared for a moment in The Dark Knight. If he was in The Dark Knight Rises, he could be like a counterpoint to the hero, a thread tying together all of your Batman movies . . . a mesmerizing, blue-eyed, deep-voiced thread. Sorry, where was I?

Anyway, those are my two cents. I hope you will consider them or have already thought of them. I’m sure to see The Dark Knight Rises either way. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

Yours Battily,

The Armchair Casting Director

One Response to “Armchair Casting Director: Open Letter To Christopher Nolan”


  1. Danny R. Phillips:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 11:25 am

    very good… letting the geek light shine!!!

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