A "trusted source" is telling 'Batman' website Batman-News that Tom Hardy will apparently be taking on the role of Dr. Hugo Strange in Christopher Nolan's third film in the wildly popular franchise. Since Hardy's casting was announced, speculation has run rampant as to what sort of role the most wanted actor would fill in the long-awaited sequel. Everything from a Gotham City cop to the main villain was on the potential list, but it appears as though the latter is more likely than the former at this point.
Hardy, who was stunning in Nicholas Winding Refn's 'Bronson,' has become a hot commodity in Hollywood. The actor shined in Nolan's 'Inception' this summer and is currently set to play Mad Max in George Miller's 'Mad Max: Fury Road' -- which has been delayed until 2012. Jumping into a villainous role in the 'Batman' universe seems like a great fit for the performer.
While Hugo Strange might not be the most obvious choice to build a film around from Batman's rogues gallery of bad guys, Hardy seems like he would be perfect in the role. Strange actually predates The Joker and Catwoman in the comic chronology, and has had a long and storied history with The Dark Knight. The character often turns up as a brilliant psychologist who conducts bizarre genetic experiments that leave his guinea pigs as monsters. Strange is obsessed with Batman -- who he thinks is the "genetically perfect man" -- to the point that he wants to kill him and take on his identity. Not just brilliant and insane, Strange is also well versed in hand-to-hand combat, making him a worthy adversary for Gotham's guardian angel.
Sure, Hugo Strange might not be the "sexiest" pick for a Batman movie villain (most people are more familiar with Catwoman, The Penguin and The Riddler), but the idea of Hardy taking on the part is exciting. If this rumor does turn out to be true, it seems likely that Strange will find a new legion of fans after 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Does Tom Hardy sell you on the idea of Hugo Strange or would you prefer a more traditional and recognizable Batman adversary in the next film?