Said article made mention of Talia al Ghul and the League of Shadows (“Assassins” in the comics) likely having a role in the central plot of the film, which most likely points to Tom Hardy’s previously announced role as Bane taking a hit in screen time and dramatic relevance.
My personal objections to this potential snubbing of Bane aside, I honestly feel that Talia could be an interesting element to the overarching story of the Nolan-verse of Batman lore.
With Catwoman already announced for the cast of the film, we now have 2 very potent femme fatales of Batman’s rogues present in 1 film.
Combine that with a Bruce Wayne who’s very likely still shaky around the lady-folk due to his previous love getting, y’know; blown the fuck up in the previous movie, and you have the makings of a very intricate and deceptive love triangle.
In addition to this, Talia serves as an effective anchor to Batman Begins in the form of her familial relation to the primary villain of that film, Ra’s al Ghul; making for an epic plot thread that, if executed properly; will lend a sense cohesiveness to the whole trilogy.
While nothing is certain, least of all the plot elements mentioned above; the thought of Bane being cast as anything less than a primary villain feels like kind of a letdown.
When Bane was initially announced as a villain for The Dark Knight Rises, I was hoping against hope that he was going to be the villain, that is; the main foil for Batman regardless of whatever notables of his rogues gallery ended up being cast in the film.
Upon reading that Talia was a possible element of the film though, it makes it hard to picture Bane as little more than the muscle, or worse yet; a pawn to the machinations of the League of Shadows.
Despite my personal disappointment in said news, (anything short of a live-action Knightfall will probably fall short in my eyes…) it’s interesting to note that this particular plot rumor actually follows the Batman comics pretty closely.
Not long ago, I was fortunate to acquire a copy of the somewhat rare Batman story arc entitled Legacy.
In Legacy, the Bat-Family (including Catwoman) is charged with preventing Ra’s Al Ghul, his daughter Talia, Bane, and the entire League of Shadows from unleashing a catastrophic plague on humankind.
While the story is indeed “comic booky” to the point of being unfeasible for live-action adaptation, the one element of the story that drew to pick it up, was that Legacy was known to contain the only legitimate rematch between Batman and Bane post-Knightfall.
While I honestly can say, grudgingly; that the rematch was not at all worth the considerable price of admission, it was fascinating to see Bane incorporated into a Ra’s Al Ghul story nonetheless.
In Legacy, Bane’s role was that of a stand-in for Bruce Wayne as Ra’s Al Ghul’s potential heir.
A key storyline that has often been used in interactions between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul has always been that of Ra’s wishing to marry Talia off to Bruce and have him take control of the League of Shadows.
Hell, at one point Batman actually went through with all of the above; only to turn his back on Ra’s and Talia after a moral disagreement.
The point is, Bane is and always has been somewhat of a cracked mirror image of Batman, such that their origins and motivations are nearly opposite, but their abilities and steadfast natures are nearly identical.
Going with this line of thinking, the writers cleverly wrote Bane into Legacy as Ra’s new heir, as well as future husband to Talia.
If Christopher Nolan and his crew were to associate Bane with the League of Shadows in a fairly logical (by comic book standards) manner, such as the one listed above; I see no reason why it wouldn’t work out.
My hope remains that Tom Hardy is given free reign to take center stage as the villain of The Dark Knight Rises, but with Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, the yet to be cast role of Talia, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s yet to be announced (or confirmed) role in the film also floating around somewhere in the script; it seems unrealistic to think that anyone will be claiming this film as their own.
Much like every Christopher Nolan film of the post-Batman Begins era, I’d expect The Dark Knight Rises to be very much an ensemble affair, making it unrealistic to expect a singular, commanding performance from anyone in the cast ala Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson’s Joker(s).
Bane’s a heavy for sure, but his charisma and personality can’t hold a candle to the endless possibilities that a character like The Joker presents to actors.
That being said, I’m a Batman nut, and a Bane fanatic; so The Dark Knight Rises is basically the biggest comic book movie ever for me.
Gonna’ be hard to wait for this one…