Christopher Nolan Meeting Actresses for The Dark Knight Rises

I'm glad the new Batman film got a title (The Dark Knight Rises) because now we can focus on more important things. Like characters in the film. Deadline New York reports that director Christopher Nolan has six women on his meet list (in no particular order):

Rachel Weisz
Naomi Watts
Blake Lively
Natalie Portman
Anne Hathaway
Keira Knightley

The word is that one will be a love interest for Bruce Wayne while the other will be a villain. The obvious thoughts are that the villain will be either Catwoman, Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn and that the love interest will be someone created for the film. After the jump I'll look at six potential villains (and one female non-villain), which of the above actresses would fit the role and the likelihood of that character in the film.

Best Actress: Blake Lively or Anne Hathaway
Likelihood: Catwoman would have to be the obvious choice for the third film. She's the most popular female character in the Batman universe and has a duality to her (Selina Kyle) that also adds love interest for Bruce Wayne. Nolan has shown in the past though that he doesn't always like to do the obvious (Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul) and he's used arguably the biggest character in the Batman stable in Joker. He may want to scale it back a bit and go with a lesser known character and considering he's shepherding the DC universe on-screen I doubt he'll get pushback from Warner Bros. if they want her in and he says no. Lively seems like she has less of a chance here (to be in the movie at all) considering she's already playing Carol Ferris in the Green Lantern film.

Poison Ivy
Best Actress: Rachel Weisz or Naomi Watts
Likelihood: After Catwoman, Poison Ivy probably makes the second most sense. She is almost as popular as Catwoman and would be a great villain, also using that duality with Wayne. One thing Nolan has shown us in the first two films is that he tends to stray away from the somewhat supernatural (he had Inception for that), so I don't know that we'll see her controlling plants to take over Gotham in the next film. Plus, DC and Warner Bros. may want to move away from the Poison Ivy portrayed in Batman and Robin. Weisz or Watts both have an elegance to them that would play well to the role of the scorned Pamela Isley.

Talia al Ghul
Best Actress: Anne Hathaway or Keira Knightley
Likelihood: Talia al Ghul would actually be a really great choice for both the villain and the love interest here. She's long been a constant in Bruce Wayne's life and, with Batman Begins focusing on Ra's al Ghul there would be a built in storyline for the third film. She's also somewhat unknown when it comes to mainstream audiences and could be a breath of fresh air in terms of villains. Also, like Catwoman and Poison Ivy, she has a certain duality to her that would both play a villain and a possible wrench in Bruce's love life (I'm detecting a theme here in female villains in the Bat Universe).

Harley Quinn
Best Actress: Natalie Portman or Anne Hathaway
Likelihood: Harley Quinn would make sense from a continuity standpoint. Since Heath Ledger's tragic death it's going to be a long, long time before The Joker is portrayed in a Batman film again. Having said that, The Dark Knight Rises could feature Quinn fighting on for The Joker's legacy. As morbid as it sounds, the writers could reference to a death of the Joker, giving Harley Quinn reason to incite panic in his memory. The biggest drawback I see however is that the storyline would be similar to The Dark Knight, except instead of The Joker threatening to blow up boats and hospitals for chaos you'll have Harley Quinn blowing up stuff so people don't forget Mr. J.

Best Actress: Keira Knightley
Likelihood: Slim. Her inclusion is heavily reliant on the storyline for the third film. If Nolan goes the Black Mask route, then we can expect to see a heavy dose of Lynx. Lynx was a martial artist and assassin who sought to expand gang territory in Gotham for her Ghost Dragons. Her role would be reminiscent to that of Batman Begins, replacing Carmine Falcone as the mobster seeking territory. Knightley has proven she has the action chops (Pirates of the Caribbean and Domino) and would play the role well. Her primary battles are with Batgirl though, and since I don't see her being included in the film I doubt we'll see Lynx either.

Lady Vic
Best Actress:Anne Hathaway or Keira Knightley
Likelihood: Lady Elaine Marsh-Morton is an English noblewoman who works secretly as an assassin, bounty hunter and mercenary. She's fond of weapons handed down through her family, including a matched pair of Katara, a Japanese katana, a Thuggee strangling cloth, a Maasai javelin and a Webley revolver. She doesn't square off with Batman directly per se, but their paths have crossed numerous times. Enough where I would think a storyline could be created in the film. Since it's a nobility role, I could see Hathaway or Knightley pulling off that aspect as well as the assassin/bounty hunter/mercenary aspect well.

Best Actress: Blake Lively or Natalie Portman
Likelihood: Barbara Gordon is probably better known as Oracle. Now in The Dark Knight Commissioner Gordon's kids were relatively young and the focus was more on his son than daughter. We're not sure though how much later The Dark Knight Rises takes place but, considering it would have to be at least ten years for his daughter to be remotely close to being computer savvy agewise, Oracle seems like a longshot. Still though, her inclusion would make for an interesting film and could possibly set up an actual Birds of Prey film later on.

So there you have it. Six actresses. Six villains (and one potential non-villain). As I mentioned earlier, I'm expecting the love interest to be either created for the film or one of the above in non-villain form (for example, Selina Kyle is the love interest but isn't acknowledged as Catwoman). Nolan could go in another direction as well and create a new villain for the film, but I'm guessing with the rich history of characters already created he'll use an existing character. My guess? Anne Hathaway plays the villain (Catowman) and Rachel Weisz plays the love interest (ironically, her name probably won't be "Rachel" in the film).


  1. I so want to see Keira Knightley in one of these roles.....

  2. We've speculated on our blog as well, but not since the news broke that these women were slated to meet with Nolan. Good call on all of them. I'd love to see Catwoman or Ivy, but I think Talia is a perfect fit for the Gotham Chris Nolan has created.

  3. ya cause just dont think you can have Harley Quinn with out the Joker. Poison Ivy would be tough to do but could make her not cheesy like Batman and Robin but make her a master with herbs and able to make those powders and plant usage that way.


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