While we know The Riddler is out of the running as the villain for Batman 3, recent rumors pointed to actor Tom Hardy possibly playing Hugo Strange in the film. This week brings a new rumor that indicates that Talia al Ghul could in fact be Batman's love interest AND nemesis in Dark Knight Rises.
Talia al Ghul is a character who has been rumored for Dark Knight Rises for some time now. The character is of course the daughter of villain Ra's al Ghul, who was portrayed by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins.
Talia is a pivotal character in the Batman comics: she knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and even though she is loyal to her father she has been a longtime admirer/lover of Bruce Wayne. In recent Batman storylines, it's been revealed that she and Batman have a son, Damian, who is now the new Robin.
Well, those of you with long memories will recall that when George Miller was planning to make a Justice League movie there was a preliminary cast assembled for the stalled project - including actress Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul. Recently Palmer (last seen in The Sorcerer's Apprentice) talked to Movieweb about the news that Chris Nolan is auditioning female leads for Dark Knight Rises and was asked whether or not she was being considered for the role she once landed.
Check out Palmer's response:
"I've definitely put the feelers out there with my agents and that would be something I would be really glad to have happen...I doubt I would be one of the actresses high up on Nolan's list. I think they are definitely going after woman with a much bigger profile than I."
"It is the longest shot in history for sure but I've put my name out there with my agents and things. So we'll see who ends up doing that role. My managers made the phone calls but I'm pretty sure that they will end up going with a big name girl."
While that's not at all confirmation that Talia al Ghul is the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, one does have to leave that window of possibility open, based on her statement. If there was absolutely, 100%, NO CHANCE that Talia was in the film, you would assume Palmer's response would've been something along the lines of "We looked into it, but they're not using her [Talia] for the movie."
It should be obvious why some Batfans are clamoring for Talia al Ghul to be the villain in The Dark Knight Rises: her presence would provide the film with both a love interest and villain previously unexplored in the Batman movie universe; it would give the movie a complex female character (a rarity in Chris Nolan films); and, of course, it would tie this concluding chapter of Nolan's trilogy back to Batman Begins.
Personally, I've always wanted Talia al Ghul to be the center of The Dark Knight Rises. She such a rich and complex (and relatively unexplored) character that I find it hard to think of anybody else in the Batman gallery who could be as full-bodied and interesting in a movie (sorry Catwoman). More to the point, if you check our old Screen Rant comment boards you'll find that I've been saying since TDK was in theaters that Batman 3 should focus on the following story:
- Batman is now seen as a vigilante menace and is on the run from Gotham police.
- Talia al Ghul, the new head of The League of Shadows, sees the madness that was caused by the Joker in TDK and decides that she must "cleanse" Gotham as her father intended.
- Due to her father's notes and/or journals, Talia knows that Bruce was his student and is now Batman.
- While on her mission in Gotham, Talia inadvertently falls for Bruce and begins to believe that Batman can be the one to cleanse Gotham in his own way.
- Even as Talia comes around, a secondary villain in her employ (Bane? Azriel? Hugo Strange?) decides that she is weak and usurps her power for himself, intending to truly destroy Gotham.
- Batman and Talia save the day, Batman becomes a hero to the city, but he and Talia can't be together.
I've seen Teresa Palmer in a few films; she's not too bad, but nowhere near the caliber of actress that a part like Talia in Dark Knight Rises would require. So while the actress in question is a "pass" for me, I must maintain that of all the villain options out there, I still think Talia is best; a buffed-up Tom Hardy playing a brilliant and ruthless version of Bane (as Talia's lieutenant and suitor before she meets Bruce Wayne) would be icing on the cake. I'm keeping fingers crossed.
What do you guys think about Teresa Palmer's comments about Talia al Ghul and The Dark Knight Rises? Do you think she spilled the beans, or is the online community simply reading too far into an innocent comment? Would you like to see something like a Talia/Batman/Bane triangle be the focus of the next Batman movie?
The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters and IMAX on July 20, 2012.