• Wed, Apr 20 2011

‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Gordon-Levitt and Cotillard Casting, Plus 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Talia al Ghul

Remember all that crazy speculation about who Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be playing in The Dark Knight Rises? Well, the verdict is in, and we done been trolled. Gordon-Levitt will not be playing Alberto Falcone. He will not be playing Black Mask. He will certainly not be playing the Riddler. He WILL, however, be playing John Blake, “a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon,” according to the official press release.

I would give you a rundown of five things you didn’t know about John Blake, but due to the fact that Blake is an original character who has never appeared in any of the comics, I sort of, um, can’t.

I can, however, give you a little more information in the form of Marion Cotillard. The prevalent theory regarding Cotillard’s casting was that she would be playing Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. Side note: I KNEW it! Batman was trained by a Jedi!). This, however, also appears to inaccurate, as her character in the press release is Miranda Tate, “a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.” /Film speculates that “Miranda Tate” could still be a cover for Talia al Ghul, though, so we’ll have to wait and see about that. In the meantime, here are five things you didn’t know about Talia al Ghul, just in case the rumor turns out to be true:

1) She’s not really a villain.
Nor is she a heroine. Talia is probably best describe as an antiheroine: Yes, her father is the criminal mastermind Ra’s al Ghul, but Talia has never really had an interest in the family business. That said, though, neither has she worked solely for the forces of good; her conflicted nature makes her a classic antiheroine. It’s also probably why she’s such a good match for Batman– better, in many ways, even than Batwoman.

2) She’s a mother.
Not only is she a mother, she’s Damian Wayne’s mother. That’s right: She and the Bat had a baby, and that baby became the fifth Robin. Weird.

3) She’s an Olympic-level athlete.
Proficient in many forms of martial arts and with most hand weapons, she’s a formidable fighter. Don’t get on her bad side or she’ll kick your arse.

4) Talia is responsible for the Red Hood.
Following second Robin Jason Todd’s murder at the hands of the Joker in Death in the Family, Talia throws Todd’s body into the Lazarus Pit in order to resurrect him. Though the 2010 cartoon Under the Red Hood posits that Ra’s al Ghul himself is responsible for Todd’s resurrection, in the comics, it’s his daughter.

5) She’s going to appear in Batman: Arkham City.
The upcoming sequel to the enormously successful 2009 video game Arkham Asylum has been highly anticipated. We don’t know what Talia’s role is going to be yet, but whatever it is, it’s probably going to be good. Check out a first look at the game here.

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