We come to bury the Dark Knight Rises casting rumors, not to praise them. It’s true, though. They’re dead – killed by the official announcement that Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy would be playing Selina Kyle and Bane respectively.
For those who knew the rumors best, they were a source of comfort in an uncertain time. Although, even though they almost always made us laugh, the rumors were like a madman, cropping up every few months and chaotically cutting through the banal everyday like a breath of fresh hurricane.
Now that those casting rumors are dead, let’s fondly and somberly look back at our favorites.
Anne Hathaway has stolen the role that could have gone to (apparently) a whole host of possible Selina Kyles. The best of the best included:
- Angelina Jolie – perhaps the most obvious choice for a rumor considering she’s the “biggest” female star out there, and she’s up for every role out there that includes latex jumpsuits.
- Rachel Weisz – some fans are probably disappointed that this didn’t happen, and it’s unclear whether it was even ever a possibility, but she would have undoubtedly made a sultry, deadly version of the character.
- Megan Fox – Go ahead and laugh, but Fox could nail the hooker angle on this one.
- Cher – The absolute, hands down winner of the list. There was once a rumor that Christopher Nolan wanted the character to be an aging, burnt out has-been clinging to glory and stage make-up. Cher was apparently his top choice, which made everyone ever laugh and laugh and laugh.
Perhaps because it’s the second-most famous male villain in Batman pop culture, The Riddler got tossed out a lot. Fortunately, he won’t be making a starring appearance in the next feature. But if he had, who was supposed to play him?
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt – This would have actually been pretty cool, and with his role in Inception, it seemed like a lock.
- David Tennant – Again. This might have been really cool. Wait. Are we sure The Riddler’s such a bad idea?
- Johnny Depp – Oh, yeah. This guy again. There’s no way this rumor was ever true, and besides, Depp already got to play The Riddler in two movies already.
- Eddie Murphy – Why didn’t he end up getting the role? No fat suit involved.
- Dane Cook – God. Bless. America.
No? No one guessed Bane? Alright. Moving on.
There’s something so incredibly obvious about The Penguin as a villain after Tim Burton tossed him into the mix of Batman Returns. On the plus side, there were two astounding actors that could have made the role their own (even if the reports of their casting happened before the script had even started):
- Paul Giamatti – He thought playing the role would be truly challenging and fun, and it’s highly unlikely that many disagree with him there.
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman – It’s as if God himself were planning to cast the Penguin in The Dark Knight Rises. Sadly, God never got the EP credit he wanted.
As if anyone could ever replace Alicia Silverstone. Still, the rumors of who would ultimately be cast as Batgirl turned out to be (accidentally) prescient:
- Anne Hathaway – It turns out the rumor was just off by a few feet.
- Miley Cyrus – Imagine if you will, for just a moment, that any two of these rumors were true. In your mind, try to picture a world in which Christopher Nolan is directing Dane Cook as The Riddler and Miley Cyrus as Batgirl. Do it. Wash your mind out with bleach later, but do it anyway.
Not all the best casting rumors could fit into the nice major roles that people who had never read the comic assumed would exist in the next film. They may be out of left field, but these random ones are some of the best:
- Robert Pattinson as The Joker – Someone needed to fill Heath Ledger’s purple shoes. Why not cast that other guy with noteworthy bedhead?
- Sam Worthington as Batman – There was a time when it was unclear whether Christian Bale would be coming back to scowl through the cowl. Sam Worthington was tossed into the rumor mill because he’d just been cast in every giant movie of 2009 and 2010.
- Kristen Bell as Harley Quinn – This was wishful thinking more than actual casting rumor, but what heavenly wishful thinking it was.
- Shia Labeouf as Robin – Stop laughing. Just kidding. Keep laughing.
- Three Midgets in a Trench Coat as Clayface – I may have made this one up.
R.I.P. Casting Rumors
It’s been a wild ride, and we’ve weathered it together. In some ways, it will be sad to see the wildly inaccurate casting rumors go away, but it’s also nice to get some concrete information about a massively anticipated movie.
They are gone but not forgotten, unless Joseph Gordon-Levitt still has a shot at a bit role as The Riddler…
What do you think?