Tom Hardy likely never intended to become a comic book movie superstar, but he may actually become that. Both 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. are eyeing the actor for roles in two tentpole comic book movies: the former as the main antagonist, the latter likely as an anti-hero.
According to a report at The Wrap, Hardy is being eyed as the eponymous villain for 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, the final entry in the “First Class trilogy” and starring James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. Bryan Singer will return from this year’s Days of Future Past to direct the film from a screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and Simon Kinberg. Apocalypse was teased in the post-credits sequence of Days of Future Past, and previous reports suggest that the film will primarily take place in the 1980s, as well as feature the arrival of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm to the Xavier School.
A previous piece from The Hollywood Reporter also details that Hardy is in consideration for a role in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad, which will take place in the studio’s burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe. While its not currently known which specific characters will be included in the film’s version of the notorious band of anti-heroes and supervillains, Hardy could be a great choice for any number of characters that have been a part of the team in recent incarnations. While previously rumored to be taking the director’s chair for the film, Fury‘s David Ayer has been confirmed to be leading the project as director.
Hardy, as most people likely know, played the main antagonist in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 trilogy finale The Dark Knight Rises. His character, Bane, is probably one of the best recent additions to Batman’s rogues gallery, and Hardy received particular praise for his portrayal of the character. Speaking just as a speculative fan, it seems likelier to me that Hardy would opt for a hard-hitting mercenary-style character that would likely be in Suicide Squad, as opposed to a superpowered villain like Apocalypse. Of course, there’s no way to know for sure.
In an interview I helped conduct with Hardy on the set of The Dark Knight Rises in August of 2011, Hardy seemed fully aware of the responsibility inherent in jumping into a big franchise that’s beloved by a lot of people. On that very topic, he said,
Working on Star Trek [Nemesis in 2002] really opened me up. I was a very young boy. I think I had only been working nine months when I got Star Trek, and it was huge. It was very overwhelming. So that opened my eyes a bit at an early age, kind of how not be frightened when walking into a responsibility of something like that. Like a Batman, or a Hobbit, or whatever it is. These characters belong to a large group of people who love them. And it’s a huge responsibility to deliver something important to them. So Star Trek was a stepping stone towards that, this journey. I’m incredibly grateful to be playing the villain in a world which, if I really thought to hard about what I was doing, I would get very nervous about the size and the magnitude of the importance and responsibility of being a villain in the world of Batman.
Of course, it goes without saying that similar responsibility would go into playing a beloved X-Men villain, but we’ll likely have to wait a little longer before we find out if Hardy will dip his toes in the Marvel Comics Universe, or if he’ll “come home” to portray another DC character. X-Men: Apocalypse is slated for release on May 27th, 2016, while Suicide Squad has recently been slotted for August 5th of that same year. Keep an eye on GeekNation for more details as they develop!
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