Monday, July 21, 2008

Everybody's Wondering...

... who the new villain will be in the next Batman movie... I think I speak for Nathaniel when I point out the fact that the actor that embodied the previous-best-Batman-villain is still working... still as lovely and agile and presumably nimble with a whip as ever...


She's been waiting for the call...
.
Pssst. take the Dark Knight poll at thefilmexperience.net

58 comments:

Hayden said...

I'll go against the grain in the safe, Pfeiffer-pfriendly environment. Michelle still hasn't been dethroned as the best Batman villain ever, contrary to popular (hehe, understatement) belief.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah the fanboys are so crazed i'm starting to hear dissings of Pfeiffer already at Dark Knight friendly places. as if pfeiffer has ANYTHING to do with this movie (she must be a subconcious threat to their fragile psyches since she gave the best Batman performance ever)

but where does this urge to destroy all non Dark Knight things come from? it's spooking me out --
there's death threats on rotten tomatoes and everything for people who don't like the movie.

question for any lawyers reading (i know there are a few of you who read given previous comments) is hate speech and threatening language protected under free speech always or are their exceptions. And are those types of things concern for a site like rotten tomatoes or is there some loophole that lets them leave it up there because it's basically a forum? I'm curious. They don't moderate at all and most websites do if the comments get too racist or violent.

There's crazy shit there what with people promising death rape and disease on other people. i think the Joker would be proud that the world is full of so many sociopath psychotics holed up in their parents houses typing away but Batman probably would not ;) But then neither the Joker nor the Batman would support the conform or die indoctrination.

If you love the Batman mythology shouldn't you be pro "freaks" and not eager for everyone to march in lockstep?

Nate Tyson said...

Nat, comic book nerds are just crazy.

Jason Adams said...

Hrm, I suppose I should've worded things better there... previous as in to say it was previous to this film, not previous as in Heath has dethroned her. I have no opinion either way on the film since I haven't really seen it yet.

Also yes, the cult of crazed fandom already enshrining Heath's performance as The Best Thing Ever is creepy. As much as I love a good villain - and I do I ever - I think, once I do see the film for real, I'll still, always, prefer his work in Brokeback.

Anonymous said...

I love Catwoman, but I think it would be hard to fit her into Nolan's gritty gangster Batman world without making her a bit less... I don't know... comic book-y?

Maybe they could make her a notorious cat burglar (get it?) and switch her cat-eared dominatrix suit for something like whatever Maggie Cheung wears in Irma Vep. "They call her the cat woman..."

I would go see that.

Hayden said...

The Dark Knight: 7/10
Batman Returns: 9/10

Pfeiffer > Ledger
Burton > Nolan

I just get annoyed because the entire source of this nonsense is context, context, context. Crazed Nolan fans (residual love from Memento)(Batman Begins) + Heath Ledger's death + exploitative marketing = total anarchy.

The reception to Ledger's performance was never going to be anything but orgasmic, so I have a hard time subscribing to the idea that hype has nothing to do with this. It's all hype. People were so determined to make Ledger's last performance one of the best ever and they've succeeded, as far as public opinion is concerned.

Hayden said...

...and all at the cost of undermining the elasticity of vision that made the Batman franchise so exciting to begin with. The only version worth a damn now is Nolan's, and everything else is fluffy or sub-par.

NATHANIEL R said...

well this I realize ;)

but as a former comic book nerd with a special place in my heart for other comic book nerds I feel weepy thinking about all these fragile people who just can't hold more than one idea in their head at a time.

yes, virginia a movie can be good and still flawed. a movie can be great and still flawed. you can love a movie with all your heart and not die if you can see that it has flaws.

The cinema isn't really an ideal place for absolutism.

NATHANIEL R said...

and by "well this i realize" i meant the 'comic book nerds being crazy' comment.

Frankly Speaking said...

SPOILERS

i just read on wiki that catwoman and penguin would not be villains in any upcoming Nolan films.

:(

yuck. But, here's to another female villain, which is likely, if you consider the fate of Rachel and the lack of female characters that now exists ... however, we never do see the actual death or funeral ... could Maggie be "the cat" and have nine lives? ... it's a stretch, I know, I know, especially considering Nolan's realism he's brought to the series. How on earth to you realistically create a woman who acts like a feline (why?) and wears a black skin tight suit (big why?) ... so many questions, but I bet Nolan and his team could answer them ... very well.

Frankly Speaking said...

I still don't understand the ambiguous ending for TDK. Was it retooled due to Ledger's death?

Jason Adams said...

Supposedly Nolan wants to do the Riddler as a bomb-crazy terrorist type. Which makes sense, and fits into the world he's created.

I think there are plenty of ways to make Catwoman realistic, though. Eccentric, sure, but real enough.

Hayden said...

Oh, I think a retooling of Catwoman could be quite interesting, actually, even within Nolan's world. But, of course, it would all come down to casting.

Frankly Speaking said...

Well, if Maggie isn't in the fold, then, I say Rachel McAdams. My roommate says Anne Hathaway. I love Anne.

Frankly Speaking said...

I thought Ledger was a bit of a terrorist already. Every time somebody talked about the Joker it was like the were talking about a militant Islamist.

Hayden said...

What about Poison Ivy? Calling all redheads. They could cast young and authentic like Amy Adams, who I've always thought has a great villain in her.

Or, a really edgy choice could be Julianne Moore. I feel like someone her age would command more power in Nolan's franchise. Maybe give her an executive position in a chemical firm negotiating a bio-botanical weapons deal. She could be so devilish.

Jason Adams said...

Tilda Swinton for Poison Ivy, y'all.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah i don't see why catwoman is any less realistic than The Joker or The Riddler or Two Face. it's all in how they're written/performed. And even then... Batman is probably the silliest of all so if they can make him work.

that said i hope Nolan steers clear of Catwoman. He's not particularly good with female characters (think about his filmography for a moment) and it's bad enough that we had to sit through Halle Berry messing with the role.

Anonymous said...

i have to disagree with alot of you and say jack nicholson and micheal keaton are the best batman performances ever.

Hayden said...

OMG Tilda.

Frankly Speaking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The reception to Ledger's performance was never going to be anything but orgasmic, so I have a hard time subscribing to the idea that hype has nothing to do with this. It's all hype. People were so determined to make Ledger's last performance one of the best ever and they've succeeded, as far as public opinion is concerned.

But he lived up to the "hype" and then some, so I don't see this as some overwhelming example of mass market-based, inflated expectations, or that it's wrong that buzz led many people to see this film that might not have otherwise. Many people are going to call Heath's Joker the performance of his career, hype or not, and they wouldn't be wrong for thinking that if that's what they really believe, no matter how they came to that conclusion. It's so easy to play cynic and piss on the popular zeitgeist, but Heath's earned this one on merit, and I'm thrilled for him.

Hayden said...

Well, of course it's all a matter of opinion. You may think that his performance matched the hype, but I'm of the belief that his work was blown so far out of proportion before the film premiered that "living up to the hype" was virtually impossible. To me, the spectacle has overshadowed the actual performance.

Unknown said...

Hmmm...

It would be interesting to see Pfeiffer's take on Catwoman in Nolan's universe. I'm not a fan of Burton's entries into the franchise, but her performance in Returns is brilliant.

I don't think it'll happen, but... interesting.

As far as the whole hoopla surrounding The Dark Knight, I actually thought the movie was excellent. Currently a B+, but maybe bumped up to an A- based on the pure, unrelenting psychological force of the thing. It blows 99% of other movies out of the water in this regard. Definitely one of the best movies of the year so far, and will likely be sitting comfortably in the bottom half of my Top 10 when the time comes, unless the second half of 2008 is really fantastic.

So, very, very good (is 'potent' perhaps a better word?), but no masterpiece.

Ledger merits the hype, though. Phenomenal.

Joe Reid said...

It should probably be pointed out the the hype for Ledger's joker started before he died. Soon as those first photos leaked out, this thing had started to build. It escalated in the months since he died, yes, but I also wouldn't go so far as to call the marketing exploitative.

The other thing is, Batman as a franchise has ALWAYS been prone to comparison, due to the constant reinventions. Burton's original was better than Adam West's. Schumacher's movies were inferior or Burton's. Nolan's were superior to Schumacher's...then Burton's...then every other movie of all time.

It's become a runaway train this time, for reasons I can't entirely grasp, but Batman's been historically susceptible to it.

Anonymous said...

Reaction to the TDK thing from just another international reader.

I feel mostly like an alien, seeing the huge-(icity) of everything related to this movie with my eyes wide open. The figures, the reactions to first views, the Oscar potential. I've never witnessed such a reaction to a movie which is part of a franchise or to any other one that isn't (franchise which exists, I think, partially to the economic success of that from the 90s). But, I'm new to movie blogs/sites reading and maybe reaction to Titanic or LOTR was similar.

What strikes me as unusual or even as a wrong strategy is that there hasn't been a simultaneous world release in these the times of piracy, as there was with Indy IV.

And yes, I'd love to see Pfeiffer again in her (and only hers) black tight attire. And though I don't think it's going to happen, dreaming is free.

That's all from such a hot spot right now, I feel like going out and ask anyone to "water me" as Carmen Maura would. ;)

Iggy

RahulB said...

I'm still holding out hope for Catwoman since, next to the Joker, she's Batman's perfect villain/ally. Her duality will mess up anyone's head.

Not to mention, without a love interest anymore, it'll make the 3rd movie a wonderful sausage fest. I'd still prefer some female lead there too...Kate Winslet is my choice after Pfieffer. I just don't see why they can't make her into this cougar-ish socialite, who steals.

But that's just me. If you want to see real insanity, head over to the IMDb boards.

adam k. said...

I need to stop reading these threads before I've seen TDK. Nobody types "SPOILERS" cause they just assume everyone in the universe has seen it...

Anonymous said...

wasn't Kidman offered the role of Catwoman for the previous film that eventually starred Halle Berry?

Anonymous said...

Maybe The Riddler could be Batman's love interest? That would keep the fanboys entertained, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Ann Hathaway? As Catwoman? Ugh...spare me...no!
Can we have athletic Catwoman please?
And not Rachel McAdams either.
Really, I think Evan Rachel Wood could nail it in a Pfeiffer-esque way...plus she's a Black belt already.
Cate Blanchett ten years ago.
I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head...
someone athletic and not girly please!!! Sexy...but strong and unpredictable!

Anonymous said...

over here in the ul johnathan ross the uk's top chat show host has said that if ledger had not died there would not be all this fuss over his performance and oscars talk.

lawyer tony fernando said...

Nat, I´m a lawyer, but a brazilian one,so I can´t help you with that, cause USA law is not my scene!

But, about Catwoman a reporter asked Nolan if that line about cats in the movie was a Catwoman related and I quote: ´´Bale asked me the same thing, it was just a inside joke!´´

Man I wished they would honor Pfeiffer in the new movie, ´´some way, some how... I want you the right way``,oops sorry too muchh of Something to Remember!

Anonymous said...

I think Nolan has said that no villains that come close to having super powers will be there so that leaves out (if I remember the 90's cartoon correctly):

Poison Ivy
Clayface
Mr. Freeze
Killer Kroc (Croc?)
The Mad Hatter
Man-Bat

Though I suppose Scarecrow had his "fear gas" which treads the line. I did really like the villains and the "costumeless costumes" that he's been able to create, so whatever he chooses is fine by me.

Maybe Harley Quinn? She could take over for a "martyred" Joker. But Catwoman is the only real "name" villain I can think of that will get more than the bat-maniacs thrilled. Because there is a whole mob theme running through this, that guy with the scarface dummy wouldn't be THAT out of place. Just tone him down a little.

Man I loved that cartoon, I wonder if it holds up?

Anonymous said...

Kristen Bell?

tspatil said...

It would be interesting to see Nolan's take on the Penguin. Instead of the lame, gothic, sensory-deprived camp in Burton's Batman Returns, I hope that Nolan conceives of the Penguin as a criminal mastermind, whose elegance, intelligence, and aristocracy contrasts sharply with the dementia of other Batman villains. This is how he is portrayed in the original comics, and it would be a fascinating exploration of the criminal underworld.

I would like to see the saga return to its dark, mythic core. While there was gritty realism to the first installment, it also had an incredibly profound sense of atmosphere and style. Scenes of warped hallucination, mythic East Asian clans, and the endless stream of bats were so beautifully realized in the first film. What the Dark Knight gains in grandeur and scope, it loses in atmospheric surrealism. The first installment took a brave step towards the realization of a mythic and surreal universe of dark absolutes, suggesting the possibility of a Lynchian Batman universe. With something as rich and dark as the Batman saga, visual style is as important as the moral and ethical complexities of the story. Hopefully, Nolan is able to combine the best elements of both films to produce a true masterpiece.

adam k. said...

I think Evan Rachel Wood for Catwoman is a fantastical idea. Love that girl.

evermoon said...

How about Tilda Swinton as Harlequin? Now THAT would be creepy.

Talia Al Ghul would also make sense.

Bane, "the man who broke Batman," deserves another shot at a cinematic appearance after his absurdly crappy portrayal in that dumbest of Batman films.

Oscar_Buzzer08 said...

Hayden said...
What about Poison Ivy? Calling all redheads. They could cast young and authentic like Amy Adams, who I've always thought has a great villain in her.

Or, a really edgy choice could be Julianne Moore. I feel like someone her age would command more power in Nolan's franchise. Maybe give her an executive position in a chemical firm negotiating a bio-botanical weapons deal. She could be so devilish.
-------------------------------
Amy Adams is too soft. Julianne Moore is too old. I think the perfect Catwoman would be Jolie. Jolie could combine Mrs. Smith and The Fox = Purrfect Catwoman

Anonymous said...

Oh Pfeiffer. How I wish you had starred in your own catwoman spin off with Burton as director back in, gee, 1993/4? Instead we got a Pitof, erm, masterpiece 12 years later with some broad named Halle Berry.

I loved Ledger's Joker, but I love Pfeiffer's catwoman more. But then again, I'm biased.

If Maggie becomes the cat, I will cry. It just wouldn't make sense. And plus, the only person I can see playing catwoman with as much gusto as Ms. Pfeiffer is Ms. Jolie.

Anonymous said...

I'm of the belief that his work was blown so far out of proportion before the film premiered that "living up to the hype" was virtually impossible. To me, the spectacle has overshadowed the actual performance.

Too bad for you then for letting "hype" cloud what the actual performance ended up being. Yes, there was pre-movie attention, but for all of the rabid fanboys that were salivating over each new photo and clip of Heath as The Joker, there was still skepticism over his casting and if he would handle the role properly. For him to not only meet expectations but vastly exceed them is a triumph to his talent, and no level of "hype" can change that.

NATHANIEL R said...

i never understood that initial fanboy response you speak of (Though you are correct about it) --the doubt about his casting. How did he not prove with Monster's Ball and Brokeback Mountain that he could handle a difficult role with great imagination and craft?

It's nice though that the fanboys now have a way of appreciating his gift that still lets them ignore movies that make them feel uncomfortable in their special places ... because great talent like Ledger's should be enjoyed by everyone.

anyway. it's a little weird that everyone suddenly thinks he should have won the Oscar for 2005. I can't even count the amount of places this is popping up.

My response: Um, DUH!!!!! and also where all these people and why weren't they speaking up in winter 2006? Oh right. Because back then groupthink demanded that you acknowledge that Philip Seymour Hoffman was the greatest actor working.

looks like the masses have conveniently forgotten this now so that they can be part of the Ledger worshipping crowd. Ugh. groupthink!

It makes me crazy. I'm not even really blogging this week and I'm still being driven crazy by blogging.

HELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPP MMMMMEEEEEEE

c.p. iñor said...

catwoman.... mmm.... evan rachel wood? seriously?.... i don't think so... i would prefer sarah michelle gellar

Anonymous said...

heath was great... Pfeiffer was great... but DeVito is tops!!!

Anonymous said...

I am gonna feel like a lesbian in a Playgirl photoshoot but I was not overly impressed with Michelle as Catwoman. (Awaits the razzing).

Anonymous said...

A co-worker and I discussed it this morning. We agreed that -- with the demise of the Rachel Dawes character -- Catwoman (or Selina Kyle) would work as the lone estrogen component of the next film. We also considered The Riddler as another villain.

Anonymous said...

"5 exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind." At this rate, our good bloghost could be a fitting candidate for future Batman villains.

Pfangirl said...

I keep hearing Amy Adams and I think she could could play any of the female Bat villains... although right now I think she would make a fantastic Harley Quinn.

The problem with the Nolan Bat films is that by keeping everything so "realistic" it's unlikely we'll see any of the more special effects associated villains. Poison Ivy falls into that category, with all her plant manipulation, as does one of my other faves, Clayface (basically the Batman equivalent of Spidey's morphing Sandman).

The Riddler, backed up with Killer Croc for some ugly muscle, could work.

I'm only seeing The Dark Knight when it opens here this weekend, but I was not crazy in love with Begins. Although it successfully moved the focus to the internal struggles of the hero, it did that at the expense of the villains. I hated the way Scarecrow, one of my favourite Bat villains, was treated.

Anyway, for me, the most authentic feeling Batman movie is actually Tim Burton's 1989 Batman. It actually felt like a Batman comic - dark, but still with a touch of the cartoony.

Anonymous said...

I've always had a soft spot for Harley Quinn. She's such an interesting character, but it would be a pain to find the right actress. Amy Adams could indeed do it but depending on the way she'd be written Tilda Swinton would be DA BOMB.

Anonymous said...

hey nat, you didnt mind groupthink so much when brokeback mountain won every award in early 06 (to be fair, except the oscar). it goes both ways...

NATHANIEL R said...

anon --i hate groupthink period.

it's not the best way to appreciate the cinema. it wipes out all nuance.i get super bored if everybody has the same opinion.

Frankly Speaking said...

I love the super-powerless, realistic universe of Nolan's Batman and I hope he has a great concept for another installment.

And, yes, Angelina Jolie would be amazing as Catwoman. But, I would fear she would be more campy like Pfeiffer (which I loved) and less realistic than Ledger and not fit into Nolan's world. But, what do I know?

I can't believe the Bale arrest. Odd occurence and even odder timing.

Anonymous said...

Mia Kirshner for Catwoman!

NATHANIEL R said...

ooh Mia Kirschner, that's a good choice.

but i still hope they don't use catwoman.

Anonymous said...

Angelina's probably the only Catwoman casting choice that would inspire the huge levels of fanboy hysteria to parallel Heath in "The Dark Knight". And I think she'd rock the hell out the role too, but she'll need a strong script that plays hella dark and not campy.

NATHANIEL R said...

true enough AT FIRST. but remember fanboys are easily swayed by production stills and good marketing.

they didn't like the idea of Heath Ledger at first "he's that gay cowboy [insert abundant homophobia and bigotries here]"

so cast any hot actress in a batman role and they'll be excited if the marketing and stills are good

Anonymous said...

Maybe, but I don't think that Amy Adams or Kate Beckinsale or Emily Blunt would inspire the same kind of hype as Angelina would, no matter how little clothing you put on Catwoman or how trampy they make her look.

Keelay! said...

i'm with the guy who said sarah michelle gellar. seriously.