I think the best way to categorize this new The Dark Knight Rises related rumor is to call it a bit of overhyped spin as Showbiz 411 (via The Playlist) reports recent cast addition Matthew Modine is in fact playing “a key villain” in the film.
The character, whose name has already been reported as “Nixon,” is described by Showbiz as “a corrupt politician” which to me doesn’t sound like a key villain as much as he may be a middle man to one of the film’s key villains, which to this point all we know for sure is Tom Hardy’s character Bane is the film’s only villain. Anne Hathaway will be playing Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), but the nature of her character has yet to be revealed.
In the past, superhero films have gotten bogged down by too many villains. Films such as Spider-Man 3 and Batman and Robin immediately come to mind, and I’m sure you’ll even have some people that think The Dark Knight had one too many and, to be honest, I would have a hard time disagreeing with a good argument on that one.
If The Dark Knight Rises truly is Nolan’s third and final installment in this trilogy of films it begs the question whether he would add upwards of three villains and if he did, would he try to tie up all the loose ends or leave things a bit frayed in an effort to keep fans wanting more? And if we’re going to walk down that alley, it makes me wonder how the news of a Christopher Nolan-led Batman reinvention we heard about back in March would factor into matters.
At the time, Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov said, “We have [The Dark Knight Rises], but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman… Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
My hope is they won’t “reinvent” the franchise and instead keep things just as they are. Nolan has created a superior superhero atmosphere with his first two Batman films and audiences have responded. I would much rather see Warner Bros. keep things going and essentially turn this latest Batman incarnation into their own Bond-esque superhero franchise. Replace Christian Bale with a new Batman and just as fans held their breath leading up to the announcement of Daniel Craig as the latest James Bond wouldn’t they do the same for a new Batman?