While the character of Batman represents iconography and dark justice in a twisted environment – without his unrivalled cast of villains, the hero is nothing more than a two-dimensional charcoal sketch. The Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, The Scarecrow, The Mad Hatter, The Penguin, The Riddler, Killer Croc – in describing this endless cascade of dangerous dames and demons, the term ‘rogues gallery’ is perhaps more appropriate than ever, as each colourful adversary is as aesthetically fascinating as The Dark Knight himself – they are artistic spectacles in their own way.
They could easily be the occupants of a 1930′s circus and are essentially a sideshow of enemies that represent childhood phobias haunting The Caped Crusader; further drawing on the metaphor of our hero as a boy, who’s lost his parents amongst a vast circus, filled with freaks, clowns and acrobats – distorted by the eyes of a child frightened of the dark. The cast amongst this ‘circus of fear’ is what makes The Dark Detective’s world thrilling and so memorable; actors find themselves employing a great deal of their own creativity in portraying these iconic, larger-than-life characters – in terms of performance, each role is a potential goldmine, which makes them so incredibly sought-after by the most recognised Hollywood stars.
The greatest performances in Batman movies are not always those that adhere to the source material the closest – but rather, those that merge these surreal characters with an essence of eerie plausibility; conveying the disturbing concept that these sinister distortions could exist in the real-world and are often mere victims – infected by the vampiric disease of crime.
Here are 10 of the best casting choices in The Dark Knight’s live-action cinema outings…
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