Sgt. Max Cort
Backstory: A violent, thuggish copper from Batman: Year One follow-up Prey , Cort is placed in charge of a special task force established to hunt down the Batman. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer to start with, Max becomes a pawn in the game of crazed police psychiatrist Hugo Strange, who hypnotises him into becoming a masked vigilante in an attempt to lure the Dark Knight out of hiding. Dr. Strange has his own agenda you see, and would far rather get his hands on the Bat himself than hand him over to the authorities…
If Hardy Plays Him: He’d be great as the crooked bruiser with a badge, the sort of officer whose “punch first, ask questions later” attitude would play right into the hands of a cannier villain…
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? Most definitely, as is the sinister Dr. Strange, and a plot that picks up where the last film left off. We’re quietly confident about this…
Essential Scene: An interrogation scene in which Cort beats a suspect to a bloody pulp, much to the dismay of the new Commissioner…
Backstory: Born in prison and forced to serve a life sentence for a crime committed by his father, the grotesquely over-muscled Bane is the product of an experiment with the mysterious serum known as Venom. Brought up hearing of stories of the Batman’s incredible crime-fighting prowess, he vowed to break out and one day destroy him. He’s mad you see. In the comics he becomes known as “The Man Who Broke The Bat”, after snapping the Dark Knight’s spine in two. Ouch.
If Hardy Played Him: He’s got the right sort of physique, although he’d need to do some serious gym-work to measure up to Bane’s distorted frame. Bane is more than just a brute though, and his damaged, obsessive nature would give Hardy plenty to get his teeth into.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? The Venom serum is problematic, although that could be tweaked to some kind of experimental hormone treatment. His fierce desire to prove himself against Batman could make for a compelling secondary villain, just so long as he doesn’t end up a two-bit henchman, as he was in Batman and Robin . *Shudder”
Essential Scene: A flashback to his brutal prison upbringing. No need to spend too much time on how he broke out, but we need to see why he is how he is.
Backstory: Born Roman Sionis, the Black Mask was raised into Gotham high society in much the same way as Bruce Wayne. Unlike Bruce he burned down the family home, with both his parents inside. Inheriting their fortune, he took over the family cosmetics business, only to be humiliatingly bought out by Wayne when it went belly up. Sionis soon clocked he was better at crime than business, and set himself up as an underground crime lord, sporting a macabre mask carved from his old man’s coffin. Nice chap.
If Hardy Played Him: As we saw in Inception , Hardy’s got the Black Skull’s debonair patter down to a fine art.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? Very much so. He would slot comfortably into the timeline of the film, filling the Gotham crime scene’s power vacuum in the absence of Maroni and Falcone. A hardened criminal, rather than a cartoonish super-being, his very personal grievance against Bruce Wayne would add a certain something to his encounters with the Bat.
Essential Scene: The kidnap and torture of Lucius Fox (as happens in the comics) in the absence of his real target Bruce Wayne. Morgan Freeman has had too smooth a ride so far…
Backstory: A former crocodile-wrestler with a skin condition that renders him reptilian in appearance, Waylon Jones is one of the more lurid villains Batman has encountered over the years. Ridiculed all his life for his grotesque appearance, his vendetta isn’t aimed at Batman specifically, but at humankind as a whole. If only people had been more understanding…
If Hardy Played Him: He’d presumably be wearing a mo-cap suit, unless Chris is about to break open the green paint.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? Almost certainly not. Too simplistic a baddie to pique Nolan’s imagination, not to mention how jarring he’d look in his hyper-realistic take on Gotham. That said, DC would love to steal Marvel’s thunder by upstaging The Lizard…
Essential Scene: A tearful scene in which Waylon hears of Steve Irwin’s untimely demise.
Backstory: Dr. Thomas Elliot was a childhood mate of Bruce’s, but like so many in Gotham, he hated his parents. So much so that he did a number on the brakes in their car, killing his father in the resulting crash. His mother was saved in surgery by Bruce’s dad, kicking off a festering resentment of Wayne that would grow with age. Having become a skilled surgeon himself, Elliot (now referring to himself as Hush) eventually united with The Riddler, the only man to have worked out that Bruce is leading a double-life…
If Hardy Plays Him: Another physical presence on the page, Hush would suit Hardy’s brains and brawn combo to a tee.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? If rumours surrounding The Riddler are true, it would make sense for Nolan to opt for a secondary villain to complement that character. The comics have Hush and The Riddler working in tandem, so why not the films?
Essential Scene: A bashed-up Batman finds himself in A&E, in the capable hands of a familiar face…
Backstory: Another of Gotham’s seemingly endless production line of moneyed playboys, Judson Caspian spends his days quaffing martinis and his nights bringing the city’s ne’er do wells to his grisly brand of justice. Having seen his wife murdered by a street-robber, Caspian has made it his business to clean up the streets, impaling the troublemakers he meets with his trusty scythe. Splat.
If Hardy Plays Him: Smoothie by day, nutcase by night? Hardy ticks all the boxes.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? The scythe is a bit theatrical, but the parallels between his and Bruce’s life choices might make for fertile ground. Vigilantes both, but living by two very different codes.
Essential Scene: An encounter with Joe Chill, the stick-up artist responsible for the deaths of Bruce’s parents, in which Reaper kills him, thus robbing Batman of his revenge.
Backstory: The Wrath’s parents were a pair of petty crooks, accidentally killed by a rookie cop who mistook their fleeing through a window (in order to avoid paying their landlord) for breaking and entering. The Wrath took this fairly badly, dedicating his life to murdering law enforcers whilst dressed remarkably similarly to Batman.
If Hardy Plays Him: He might out-Bale Christian in the hooded growling stakes.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea: Chris likes his doubling-motifs, and The Wrath is something of a mirror-image of Batman. Where the Dark Knight has committed himself to catching the type of villains that did for his parents, The Wrath has set about attacking the do-gooders who gunned down his. Two peas in a pod, aren’t they?
Essential Scene: A group of beat cops greet Batman with open arms, only to realise he isn’t Batman after all. And he’s armed…
Backstory: A fairly straightforward member of Gotham’s rogues gallery in that he’s more or less your common or garden serial killer. Favouring a knife as his weapon of choice, Zsasz gave up on life after a chronic gambling problem drove him over the edge of sanity. Now he kills people in order to “liberate” them from the futility of existence, carving a tally-mark on his body for each victim “saved”. A bit of a Samaritan then really.
If Hardy Plays Him: He’ll have to slim down quite drastically if he’s to mirror Zsasz’s wiry frame in the comics. But if Bale did it for The Machinist, we don’t see why Hardy can’t repeat the trick.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? A manic-depressive self-harmer on a mission to kill as many people as he can? Yeah, he’s probably dark enough for Chris.
Essential Scene: Batman bursts into Wayne Manor to find Alfred nowhere to be seen and Zsasz carefully carving a notch in his arm…
Backstory: Professional assassin Floyd Lawton is a skilled marksman who claims to “never miss”. Initially presenting himself as a crime-fighter, he is revealed to have designs on the top spot in the criminal underworld. Entirely dispassionate towards human life, his only real desire is to die in spectacular fashion. With the Batman as an enemy, he might just get his wish.
If Hardy Plays Him: Hardy would make a swaggering gun-for-hire, although he might have to reign the charisma in a bit to capture Deadshot’s steely composure.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea: Yes, but only if he scraps the wrist-mounted weaponry and daft outfit. We can imagine Nolan penning a scenario in which official forces higher-up than Commissioner Gordon hire him to hunt down the Dark Knight.
Essential Scene: A frantic chase through Gotham’s streets as Batman desperately tries to stay out of Deadshot’s crosshairs.
Backstory: A pyrotechnic expert working in the movie industry, Garfield Lynns finds himself out of a job when Gotham’s economy feels the pinch. Turning to crime, he takes up arson as a hobby (as you do) believing he can see visions reflected in the flames. Not very popular at barbecues.
If Hardy Plays Him: Strip back the naff insect gimmick and play him as an unhinged pyromaniac. We recently suggested Hardy for the role of Heatwave in The Flash …we like him even better for this.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea? Again, provided he can look past the ridiculous costume and various accessories (suit with built-in flamethrower etc), we don’t see why not.
Essential Scene: Firefly burns down an elementary school, leaving a flaming bat-signal on display to shift the blame.
Backstory: The child of a pair of hippy criminals, Prometheus travelled cross-country with his folks, watching them murder their way from one state to the next before witnessing them meet a sticky end at the hands of the police. Unsurprisingly, this messed him up a bit, causing him to wage war on law-enforcers and superheroes alike.
If Hardy Plays Him: He’ll need to dye his hair white for a start. Poor old Prometheus lost all the colour in his barnet from the shock of his parents’ murder.
Nolan’s Cup Of Tea: Prometheus’ back story takes in far more fantastical elements than the ones mentioned above (including numerous space-bound encounters with the JLA), but if he were to home in on the more realistic trauma of his upbringing, Nolan could have a genuinely terrifying villain on his hands.
Essential Scene: The murder of his parents should be shown in unflinching detail. This could well be the most adult film of the three…