A Case for Black Mask in Batman 3

Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio
It was very recently announced that Tom Hardy was cast as a lead role in the third Batman film. It got me thinking after watching a few of Hardy's clips on the internet: "This guy would make the perfect Black Mask." However, my reasoning is more than just "he could play the part." Black Mask would fit into the Nolan Batverse incredibly well because of the way the Nolans (and Goyer) set up the past two films.
 
Recently, we saw Black Mask appear in the straight-to-dvd film Batman: Under The Red Hood as the current crime boss of Gotham City. As great as it was to see the character in the film, I felt the character lacked in a few areas compared to the comic book version. The film version of Black Mask lacked the intimidation factor that comic version had. He came off as a little too goofy in the film, and I kept questioning why his thugs put up with it, and because of this, he lost that intimidation factor that a crime boss needs in order to retain control over his empire. He also didn't feel as dark or violent as the comic book version, and again, that leads to losing that intimidation factor the character needs. He needs to be smart, in control, and cunning, three pieces of the puzzle that were missing from the animated feature.
== TEASER ==
Nolan's Batman films aren't necessarily about super-heroes fighting super-villains. They about one man's attempts to return a city to its glory days when the people ruled the streets and not organized crime. While there may be a main villain within each film, Batman is simply trying to dismantle pieces of crime families. At the end of the second film, Batman is no longer seen as a hero by the authorities in Gotham, he is now the enemy. Batman took the blame for all the crimes committed by Harvey Dent, in order to save his image and name, shortly before his death. This is where Batman is for the third film, or at least, where he should be. He's being chased by Gotham authorities and most likely, trying to fight crime at the same time. Without all of his crime-fighting efforts on actual crime-fighting, a new crime boss could easily take the reigns and rise to power: Cue Black Mask. He's ruthless, twisted, but intelligent, and he's the perfect person to lead Gotham into a new era, an era without the Bat on crime's back. 
This brings us back to Tom Hardy, an actor I truly believe could pull off the Black Mask if that was the part he was playing. User Bruce_Vain sent me a few links to a film that Tom Hardy starred in, and from watching this clip, I immediately knew, if he had the chance, he could play the part. He is incredibly intense in these scenes, angry, and more intimidating than any actor I can think of in recent years. For me, he has all the tools to make Black Mask pop on screen and become one of the most memorable villains on screen. Sure, a lot of people would rather see Riddler, Killer Croc, or one of the other countless Batman rogues take center stage in this film, but many of them can easily come off as hokey on the big screen, and a little too far-fetched. Needless to say, whatever character Tom Hardy is going to play in this film, I'm sure it's going to be amazing. The Nolans and Goyer have crafted two amazing films, and I am sure this third film will be a dynamite end to their run. We can only sit back and wait for now.
 
 
~Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a comedian, teacher, comic book writer, and comic store employee.
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#1 Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree with this. I hope Nolan is reading this article. 

#2 Posted by Sydpart2 (1092 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Black Mask a lot...but I just don't think he could be done right in a PG-13 movie. I mean what he's most known for is torture...that and his origin is pretty complex, maybe if they'd started it in the last movie,  but idk now...If he's in it I'm sure they'll do him well, but I think it'd be better to go with Riddler...

#3 Posted by ComicMan24 (147042 posts) - - Show Bio

He can fit into the Batman movies and I am interested to see him there.

#4 Posted by N7_Normandy (2430 posts) - - Show Bio

this would be great.  Like others have stated, however, a pg-13 rating will prove a tough barrier in creating a good black mask

#5 Posted by alicemalice (74 posts) - - Show Bio

This would absolutely fit into the Nolan universe.  My boyfriend and I were actually talking about him as the villain before, so I'm glad this article was written.

#6 Posted by conformist21 (413 posts) - - Show Bio

red skull appearing 2011, so i doubt he'll be done, unless he pulls through with a more diverse look

#7 Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio
@Sydpart2 said:
" I like Black Mask a lot...but I just don't think he could be done right in a PG-13 movie. I mean what he's most known for is torture...that and his origin is pretty complex, maybe if they'd started it in the last movie,  but idk now...If he's in it I'm sure they'll do him well, but I think it'd be better to go with Riddler... "
@N7_Normandy said:
" this would be great.  Like others have stated, however, a pg-13 rating will prove a tough barrier in creating a good black mask "
Tonewise: Dark Knight could have easily been rated R.... you don't necessarily have to be violent and gory to get the point across
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#8 Posted by piratehistorian (14 posts) - - Show Bio

i'm not so sure about this. 
 
on screen, black mask is going to look a lot like red skull and it might confuse non-comic fans (i know there is a color difference but both of them look like skulls). they will think that either marvel is copying dc or the other way around, depending on the release dates for cap and batman 3. if average people start thinking that these ideas and visuals are constantly being reused by different companies, they'll feel shafted and stop going to see comic movies.

#9 Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, the Joker could have made the Dark Knight an R-rated film, but they just toned it down a little.

#10 Posted by true.djnw@gmail.com (15 posts) - - Show Bio

doesn't the black mask get killed by catwoman?

 

#11 Edited by jakob187 (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to see them do Deadshot.  Black Mask would be cool as well, but I think it would be cooler to get a character that few people know so Nolan can truly make the film his own.

#12 Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio
@true.djnw@gmail.com said:
" doesn't the black mask get killed by catwoman?   "
Yes he does!
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#13 Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego said:
" @Sydpart2 said:
" I like Black Mask a lot...but I just don't think he could be done right in a PG-13 movie. I mean what he's most known for is torture...that and his origin is pretty complex, maybe if they'd started it in the last movie,  but idk now...If he's in it I'm sure they'll do him well, but I think it'd be better to go with Riddler... "
@N7_Normandy said:
" this would be great.  Like others have stated, however, a pg-13 rating will prove a tough barrier in creating a good black mask "
Tonewise: Dark Knight could have easily been rated R.... you don't necessarily have to be violent and gory to get the point across "
Exactly.
#14 Posted by Doctorchimp (62 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah I feel the same way about Black Mask in Batman 3. 
 
I also think if Nolan is going to dip in the Inception pool he should grab JGL and have him cast as The Riddler... 
 
Black Mask and The Riddler would be awesome.

#15 Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio
@doctorchimp said:
" Yeah I feel the same way about Black Mask in Batman 3.  I also think if Nolan is going to dip in the Inception pool he should grab JGL and have him cast as The Riddler...  Black Mask and The Riddler would be awesome. "
::internet high five::
JGL is so awesome.
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#16 Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) - - Show Bio
@jakob187 said:
" I would like to see them do Deadshot.  Black Mask would be cool as well, but I think it would be cooler to get a character that few people know so Nolan can truly make the film his own. "
Maybe Gotham City officials will hire Deadshot to take Batman down.  
 
Batman said at the end of the movie: "You'll hunt me. Set the dogs after me because that is what needs to happen."
#17 Posted by Alpha_Lantern_2814 (24 posts) - - Show Bio

awesome i could see that in Nolan's world of the Dark Knight and would seem to just kinda slide right into place as far as the storyline the only fear is that most of the ppl who dont know Batman or think that they know Batman dont really know The Black Mask and will be like "WTF?!?!?" definitely a good choice though

#18 Posted by Pizawle (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

While Wayne is not being Batman because of the current climate, Black Mask and Penguin begin a bloody war for rule over the Gotham criminal underworld.
 
I think something along those lines could work wonderfully.

#19 Posted by Edamame (27982 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pizawle said:
" While Wayne is not being Batman because of the current climate, Black Mask and Penguin begin a bloody war for rule over the Gotham criminal underworld.  I think something along those lines could work wonderfully. "
Well, Nolan stated that the Penguin wouldn't fit well into his "realistic" world. 
#20 Edited by Mr. Dead Pool (2625 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I'd like to see Nolan's take on Croc and have him be Black Mask's muscle, same goes for Bane. Have Croc be a cannible with a skin condition and Bane as a well educated luchadore thug.

#21 Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge (1221 posts) - - Show Bio

To quote Heath Ledger as the Joker, "This town deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm gonna give it to them." With most of the crimelords a bit disorganized due to the Joker, someone needs to reorganize everything to make it seem brand new again.
 
Plus, should CATWOMAN make an appearance, both her and BLACK MASK would make interesting encounters.

#22 Posted by GraveSp (318 posts) - - Show Bio

It would fit pretty well with the power gap that would now exist in the Nolan universe after the Joker killing some of the mob bosses.

#23 Posted by username4321 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

No, he's Hush.

#24 Posted by Pizawle (1074 posts) - - Show Bio
@Edamame said:
" @Pizawle said:
" While Wayne is not being Batman because of the current climate, Black Mask and Penguin begin a bloody war for rule over the Gotham criminal underworld.  I think something along those lines could work wonderfully. "
Well, Nolan stated that the Penguin wouldn't fit well into his "realistic" world.  "
That is nonsense and it kind of shows that Nolan is getting a little too full of his "brilliant" vision. 
 
There is nothing unrealistic about Penguin and within the film he does not need to be portrayed to the extremes of the comic.
#25 Posted by Lustwish (531 posts) - - Show Bio

It actually could work. keep it low key but gritty and intense as hell.  They seem to be keeping the formula simple...as it has worked already in the first 2.  A mastermind with a bigboy..that could work.  Black Mask  with his Killer Croc to do the dirty work. 

#26 Edited by CaptainGenisVell (293 posts) - - Show Bio

I've wanted Black Mask in the third installment since Dark Knight, along side The Riddler as a police consultant, so Bats would be stuck in a hard place stopping Black Mask and on the run from the GCPD with the help of Nigma.
 
On another note, what issues are those pictures taken from?

#27 Edited by Bruce Vain (1869 posts) - - Show Bio

What's funny is originally Black Mask was gonna be the main villian in Batman Begins. But because he wasn't really a well known villian yet. They went with Ra's and Scarecrow. Which of course I'm happy that they did. Because we got to see Liam do a fantastic job as Ra's al Ghul, and Ra's is one of my favorite Bat-Villians. So Black Mask is a good possibility if he was in the original script.
 
And I agree with you Mat. I felt Black Mask's portrayal in the Red Hood wasn't intimidating enough, he seemed a bit hokey to me. His design wasn't that great either. He looked like an old school guido pimp to me and the voice acting was blah. I felt they could've gotten someone better. So for me and for you as well. Tom Hardy would just be THE guy to do Black Mask justice. IF that's what's gonna happen - hopefully.
 
And IF Killer Croc is gonna be in this (which I kind of hope so cause I want to see Bats go up against a real heavy) I think it would be smart to have him be like Black Mask's bodyguard. Though I don't want him to look like a mutant croc like in the Hush storyline. The way he was done in Azzarello & Bermejo's Joker book is perfect for Nolan's world. Basically a guy with a reptillian skin disease ,which does exist with people who have this condition, and who's a cannibal with filed sharp teeth.
 
As far as the people who think Black Mask wouldn't be done right because of the PG-13 rating - I say BS on that. Because Joker did some crap that I haven't seen done in a live movie except in the comics we read. Just cause you didn't SEE Gamble getting cut or slashed or seeing Lau on fire on top of that pile of money or the cop being blasted away by Joker with the shotgun. You did KNOW he did it. The point was made of what he did. If it was shown you would've had an R rating. Like Mat said you don't HAVE to be gory to get your point across. If it's implied you can get away with it. So with Black Mask he can be done right just like Joker was. Same goes for Two-Face when he filled that cop with lead and put a slug in that driver's head. You didn't see it but you know that's what happened.
#28 Posted by Sydpart2 (1092 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego: That is true, but seeing that some of the best know thing black mask has done were very graphic torture (Catwoman's sister and husband, Stephine Brown's death, I forget his girlfriend's name whose face he basically destroyed, ect.) With a character that violent I'm sure you could do some of it off camera but I don't think that you could get a real feel for just how much he loves to do it...I think I'm having trouble explaining it...I don't mean to say that he needs to be gory to succeed I'm trying to say that there would need to be some gore to really sell it the same way that they did with Ra's, Scarecrow, Joker, and Two-Face. I think the best way to put it is that the character has gore heavily associated with the core of who he is...
#29 Edited by WillRobinson (14 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego: Agreed, Dark Knight got away with a lot of R Rated imagery by having very little obscene language. Which didn't come across as corny because the writing is was, and is, so strong.
#30 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy Cow I've been saying Black Mask should be the main villiain for months upon months. He would fit absolutely PERFECTLY into the Nolan bat-mythos. Tom Hardy seems like the kinda guy who could pull it off in spades too. Somebody make it happen
#31 Posted by TheMess1428 (2176 posts) - - Show Bio

How about Penguin and Black Mask fighting over Gotham's underworld while Batman has to take them both down? I originally wanted to have Riddler fight Penguin over the underworld but Black Mask could work too.

#32 Posted by Chibi-Iroh (388 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont care all i want is my Harley Quinn.

#33 Posted by NightFang (9900 posts) - - Show Bio

The third film should have two villains...Black Mask and Deadshot, the Penguin and Catwoman or the Riddler and Rupert Thorne.    

#34 Posted by uroboros (140 posts) - - Show Bio

ever since the end of the last film I have had my fingers crossed for Black Mask..he is an amazing character and he deserves public recognition..he is perfect for Nolanverse and fits perfectly where the story is..he is epic.. 
 
I say you do him another character who isn't really well known and Catwoman for public recognition..do Ragdoll..he amuses me..

#35 Posted by Dark Walker (477 posts) - - Show Bio

I want to see Black Mask, always have since Batman Begins.  I keep reading on another site that Tom Hardy could be playing Killer Croc.  I say no to Croc, if Penguin is too far fetch for Nolan then Croc is more so.  But if anyone has even a chance of pulling this off its the Nolan brothers.  Wouldn't mind seeing Catwoman, someone needs to redeem the character after the travesty of Halle "Hit & Run" Berry did to her.  They could make her sisters husband a more important figure and Black Mask kidnaps Catwoman's sister and husband like he did in the comic, torturing them and then she kills him.  That was a good storyline.

#36 Posted by Freddy.Mercurial (152 posts) - - Show Bio

Black Mask, Deadshot, Talia al Ghul & maybe Croc= WIN!

#37 Posted by k4tzm4n (36433 posts) - - Show Bio

Excellent article.  I'm completely with you that Black Mask would fit perfectly into Nolan's established world.   
Staff
#38 Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio
@k4tzm4n said:
" Excellent article.  I'm completely with you that Black Mask would fit perfectly into Nolan's established world.    "
Thanks sir!
Staff
#39 Posted by Mr Bubbles (148 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope Black Mask is in it

#40 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Black Mask is a perfect fit.

#41 Edited by AMS (1387 posts) - - Show Bio

Anymore than two major screen time villians enters Spiderman 3 major flop territory.
#42 Edited by k4tzm4n (36433 posts) - - Show Bio
@AMS said:

"Anymore than two major screen time villians enters Spiderman 3 major flop territory. "


I disagree.  Venom was essentially rushed into the script and against the liking of the director.  End result: Well, you saw the movie ;) 
 
Two villains can be done, but in the case of Lizard, there simply isn't a need.
Staff
#43 Posted by AMS (1387 posts) - - Show Bio
@k4tzm4n: 
 
True, In Nolan we trust lol.
#44 Posted by k4tzm4n (36433 posts) - - Show Bio
@AMS said:
"@k4tzm4n:  True, In Nolan we trust lol. "

LOL, agreed.  He's an excellent writer/director.  I have full faith in his decisions.
Staff
#45 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope he's in it, he's perfect for the films.

#46 Posted by mistrx75 (207 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Joker's portrayal in TDK showed us that PG-13 does not necessarily mean they'll be limiting the violence.  I think Black Mask could work in 3.  I'd like to see it.

#47 Posted by RiddlingGambit (204 posts) - - Show Bio

Nolan is going to let you guys down and not use Black Mask, at least not in a star role. The more you speculate the unlikelier the chances. You think Nolan is going to bow down to you guys & let you all be right? Hahaha. No way. Plus Black Mask (outside of his cult of fans) isn't very likable like Joker, Two-Face, Scarecrow, etc. He's suited for a Rated R movie because the character is pure evil. Only a true sadist could relate to him, & children shouldn't be exposed to such a character. Also, how silly would it look with a guy talking with a mask stuck on his face? His mouth wouldn't be able to move much, it'd be muffled. How would he even eat? He's also a little too much like the Joker going around with an expendable masked gang. Do we need 2 movies in a row where henchmen are being killed by their boss? 

#48 Posted by jakob187 (998 posts) - - Show Bio
@Edamame said:
" @jakob187 said:
" I would like to see them do Deadshot.  Black Mask would be cool as well, but I think it would be cooler to get a character that few people know so Nolan can truly make the film his own. "
Maybe Gotham City officials will hire Deadshot to take Batman down.    Batman said at the end of the movie: "You'll hunt me. Set the dogs after me because that is what needs to happen." "
Now that some time has passed since the Tom Hardy announcement, I should put it out there that a rumor has Hardy pegged as the cop-everyone-loves-to-hate, Harvey Bullock.

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