Saturday, April 22, 2017

No 'Dark Knight' return for Holmes (Cary's Comics Craze flashback)

CCC has been Batman-heavy in the last couple weeks.

From my retro-reviews of "The Dark Knight" (posted here for the first time) and an updated one for the BATMAN: EARTH ONE graphic novel, reviewing the delightful new BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ADVENTURES series (so good! so worth checking out!) to my "Great Superhero Debate" about Bats and Superman to once again declaring why the Dark Knight is the first and greatest badass (and it's not just because he's Batman!), Cary's Comics Craze has been all Batman all the time -- or at least every few days lately.
Batman by one of the greats, the late Jim Aparo!
So let's keep the Batsignal shining here at CCC! Check out this 2007 column I wrote for the original NORWALK REFLECTOR version of Cary's Comics Craze, when it was just a twice-monthly column. I was inspired to write this after I read online that Katie Holmes wouldn't return as Rachel Dawes for "The Dark Knight."

Now ten-plus years later upon reading the quote from her spokeswoman again, it sounds like recasting Dawes was a forgone conclusion.

Maggie Gyllenhaal snagged the role -- and did a bang-up job.

Did you know she based her feisty take on the assistant D.A. on what the late Carrie Fisher did with Princess Leia? (Check out this 2012 CCC column on feminisim in action films in which I quote Gyllenhaal and see for yourself!) As I've stated clearly here, Leia remains an awesome role model and standard for writing and portraying strong and capable women in the action genre.

Amid this Rachel Dawes casting gossip (as it was at the time -- January 2007), hear who very well might have been in the running to play Harvey Dent, thanks to an exclusive CCC interview with Bill "Jett" Ramey, webmaster of the comprehensive and long-running Batman-on-film fansite! (Thanks dude!) And even a decade later, I'm still proud of my clever headline, "No 'Dark Knight' returns for Holmes". . .

Circa February 2007 -- Actress Katie Holmes won't be hitching a ride in the Batmobile.

A scheduling conflict with her upcoming movie "Mad Money" will keep her from reprising her role as Gotham Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes in "The Dark Knight" (TDK).

"We never got to the negotiating stage," Holmes' spokeswoman, Julie Polkes, told THE WALL STREET JOURNAL in a Jan. 26 (2007) interview.

Holmes, who played a lifelong friend of Bruce Wayne, was part of the stellar "Batman Begins" cast featuring Christian Bale as the hero, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.

Dawes tells Wayne at the end of the film that she can't handle the billionaire being Batman and insinuates she is out of his life. The other cast members are expected back for "TDK," set for a July 18, 2008 theatrical release.
Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) shares a heart-to-heart moment with her lifelong friend,
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), in the closing minutes of "Batman Begins.", one day before the WALL STREET JOURNAL interview, contended that the "TDK" crew is searching for another actress to play Dawes.

Back in October (2006), webmaster Bill Ramey predicted Holmes wouldn't be returning for "TDK" after hearing it "from a source that I trusted." He has said many times the Dawes character should only be in the sequel "as long as she served an important role."

"It was kind of final between her and Bruce in the last film, so I can't see Rachel being the 'love interest' again," Ramey told me via email recently.

Latino Review also reported Harvey Dent (the villain Two-Face in a guaranteed third film) would be in "TDK" and that "Matt Damon passed on the role."

"The filmmakers met Josh Lucas and there is an interest in Jamie Foxx and Ed Norton," the reporter continued.

Dent, the Gotham District Attorney who befriends Bruce Wayne, most likely will be Dawes' boss if she is in "TDK."

"I think (Damon) was going to be cast last fall and he balked," Ramey said. He expected the Dent casting announcement in the fall (of 2006), but said it now should be "within the next month, since shooting is about to start" in March (2007).

The Internet Movie Database lists "preshooting" as starting Jan. 11 (2007). That probably means a second unit film crew has been filming on location for background shots, but nothing that involves actors. 

Sir Michael Caine played Alfred Pennyworth throughout the entire "Dark Knight Trilogy."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE columnist Terry Armour reported Jan. 28 (2007) that "TDK" will be in the Windy City for 13 weeks of filming. Caine, who plays Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, has said filming will be in Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Baltimore -- not the city in Maryland, but the village in Ireland.

The CCC perspective: Holmes was not the strongest part of the "Batman Begins" cast, but she held her own. The Dawes character served an important part because she helped Wayne see how oppressive the mob is in Gotham and that he was a "coward with a gun" when he wanted to kill his parents' assassin.

Dawes is no longer needed. Having her killed off by the Joker would be too predictable, but Dawes' murder would give Dent more ammunition to prosecute the psychotic villain and make the Caped Crusader truly "The Dark Knight."

Aaron Eckhart ultimately landed the role of district attorney
Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight."
Like Ramey, I thought director Christopher Nolan would have announced who would play Dent by now. Known for holding his directing cards close to his chest, Nolan may be waiting to do that in conjunction with Holmes' replacement or is still struggling with the Dent casting choices.

Dent should go to a handsome actor in his 30s who has natural chemistry with Bale. Just as important is being an intense, passionate prosecutor, but one who has a dark side bottled within him one that rivals Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader.

Josh Lucas is my bet for snagging the role. After all, he has expressed interest to the media, played opposite Bale in "American Psycho" and displayed bottled-up rage in "Hulk" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

I'm also pulling for Matthew McConaughey, but, like Damon, he's better suited to play Captain America. Nolan also could choose Eion Bailey, who was a finalist for the Batman role. Only time and Nolan will tell.

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