Cat Scratch Fever

Christopher Nolan announced several casting decisions earlier today concerning his next project, "The Dark Knight Returns." The heavily-awaited sequel to The Dark Knight has been the focus of much speculation by the fans.

Clayface was an early contender for the next featured villain; his character's backstory and subsequent struggles with identity and humanity seem right up Nolan's alley. However, Nolan was quick to dismiss these rumors. Nolan's Batman universe is cemented in realism. Fantastical elements (such as a walking, talking, shapeshifting pile of goo) will never be part of the franchise.

The Riddler was also an early speculated fan-favorite. Mere weeks after The Dark Knight came out, photoshopped images and posters flooded the net. Such images proffered casting possibilities ranging from Neil Patrick Harris to Johnny Depp to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It's the same sort of badgering and mouth-foaming fandom that was responsible for Venom being shoehorned into Spider-Man 3, so I thank Christopher Nolan from the bottom of my heart for not succumbing to fanbase peer pressure.

Instead, Nolan has decided on Tom Hardy to play the super-strong, steroid-allegory Bane. The web is now full of film fans pretending they know Tom Hardy from any role other than Eames in Inception. Bane was previously featured in the 1997 movie Batman and Robin, and I don't need to say anything else about that.

Also announced: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, the professional cat burglar, sometimes adversary, sometimes ally, sometimes love-interest of both Bruce Wayne and Batman. I have not heard more nerds whining about such a trivial issue since Roger Ebert claimed video games weren't art.

Here are five reasons why the Anne Hathaway rage is unfounded:

1) You nerds will never be fucking happy.

In Batman Begins, nerds were complaining about Katie Holmes' portrayal of Rachel Dawes. They claimed her acting was wooden, stilted, and the worst part of the movie.

In The Dark Knight, nerds were complaining that Maggie Gyllenhaal's portrayal was lackluster and whiny, and she wasn't attractive to play Rachel. (Can someone please explain to me how and why nerds on the IMDB Message Boards have such ridiculously high standards?)

Now, before Anne Hathaway has even received a copy of the script, everyone is claiming she is all wrong for the role of Selina Kyle. I claim there is not a single actress in Hollywood that will ever satiate the whining masses. So it's a moot point at best.

In all fairness, past Catwomen have set the bar unreasonably high.

2) Anne Hathaway is not a terrible actress.

Granted, Anne's filmography is nothing to write home about. There's a bunch of formulaic romances, and a couple of quick paychecks, but it's still a damn fine resume. And let's be honest with ourselves; this isn't some prestigious, artistic, era defining piece of cinematic mastery. This is Batman. A man in a leather suit beating people up for two hours. It's the man's equivalent of the chick flick. Anne Hathaway not moving backwards or forwards with her career, she's moving laterally. Anne Hathaway is not someone randomly pulled off the streets; she is an acceptable choice for the role.

Besides, even though she's made some questionable decisions, she's also made some very good movies. She has an Oscar nomination for God's sake! Watch Rachel Getting Married, watch Brokeback Mountain, watch The Other Side of Heaven. Stop posting images of The Princess Diaries, and give credit where credit's due.

I'll double check, but I don't think Eartha Kitt's available...

3) Catwoman is not a sacred icon.

Halle Berry completely fucked up Catwoman. So did everyone else involved with that movie, but I don't care enough to look up their names, so Berry's getting all the blame from me. Anne Hathaway cannot possibly do anything worse to the character than what Halle Berry did.

Despite that cinematic embarrassment, Catwoman is not a particularly respected or feared member of Batman's rogue gallery. Her greatest asset is being the rare female adversary, but her popularity is nowhere near Harley Quinn's and Poison Ivy's. There is nowhere for Catwoman to go but up.

Egyptians worshiped cats. Maybe they were on to something...

4) Christopher Nolan knows what the fuck he's doing.

After Joel Schumacher razed, burned, and salted the Earth, nobody thought Batman could be saved. Or at least, he'd never be taken seriously again. But Christopher Nolan made Batman Begins and proved everyone wrong.

Nobody thought a superhero movie could be considered great cinema. That even the best superhero film would be just another popcorn flick. But Christopher Nolan made The Dark Knight and proved everyone wrong.

Christopher Nolan has made six of the best films of all time, and he has only made six films. Give the man the benefit of the doubt.
To Christopher, Thanks For Everything! - Julie Newmar

5) There is no possible way you are not seeing this film.

Really? Are you really claiming Anne Hathaway's casting bothers you? As if there was any possible reason you would not see this film on opening day?

It's the sequel to The Dark Knight. It could be five minutes long and made entirely with finger puppets; you would still see it. We know you better than you know yourselves.

Stop your bitching and go eat a Hot Pocket. The Batman franchise is fine.

You're getting awfully worked up for someone whose whole gimmick is cat puns.

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