“Dark Knight” of 100 Stars
One of the hallmarks of the ’60s Batman TV series was celebrity cameos: You never knew who was going to pop out of the windows when Adam West and Burt Ward’s caped crusaders climbed up a building. (It was the superhero equivalent of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.) While Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t feature performances by the likes of Jerry Lewis, Dick Clark or Sammy Davis Jr., it is peppered with familiar faces who pop in for quick appearances. (And no, I’m not talking about the trio of Inception costars Nolan has imported—Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard—or Anne Hathaway, who’s a harmless kitten compared to Julie Newmar’s TV Catwoman). Here’s a roundup, in case you blinked.
TV COPS Jamie Estes barely had to change his uniform to go from playing Blue Bloods‘ NYPD Officer Jamie Reagan to TDKR‘s GCPD Officer Simon Jansen. (And if his partner, billed only as Veteran Cop, looks familiar, you might recognize Brent Briscoe from Sling Blade, The Green Mile or A Simple Plan). Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt’s partner, Reggie Lee, also fights crime as Sgt. Wu on Grimm, and Desmond Harrington gets busted down from Dexter detective to a patrolman guarding a bridge.
BAD GUYS Ben Mendelsohn’s fierce financier Daggett is almost as scary as the killer Pope he played in the Aussie crime thriller Animal Kingdom, while henchman Stryver is just as underhanded as the mysterious assassin Burn Gorman played on BBC America’s The Wire. And Irishman Cillian Murphy makes hay with his third go-round as Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka the Scarecrow.
DAVID SIMON ALUMS A pair of Wire veterans, Aidan Gillen (Mayor Tommy Carcetti) and Robert Wisdom (Maj. Bunny Colvin), transfer from Ballmer to Gotham City as a CIA op and an Army Captain, respectively. And Treme‘s Rob Brown leaves N’awlins behind as yet another member of the GCPD.
POLITICAL ANIMALS William Devane, who played JFK in the classic 1974 TV-movie The Missiles of October, reascends to the Presidency in TDKR, while a real-life Senator (and Batman fanatic), Patrick Leahy, wins his second term in a Dark Knight flick, as a board member of Wayne Enterprises.
LOSTIES FOUND Two former residents of the island fill other political roles: Brett Cullen (aka Goodwin Stanhope of the Others) as a Congressman and Nestor Carbonell (the ageless Richard Alpert) as the Mayor. Ironically, Carbonell also played “Batmanuel” on the 2001-2 superhero spoof The Tick!
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! Rescue Me‘s Daniel Sunjata tries to rescue Gotham City from a nuclear bomb as a special forces man, while Prison Break guard-turned-inmate Wade Williams gets bumped up to Warden. Onetime leading men Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) and Tom Conti (Reuben, Reuben) take on character-actor roles as Commissioner Gordon’s former GCPD partner and Bruce Wayne’s prison pal. And I confess I must’ve missed them, but at least according to imdb, Reno 911‘s Thomas Lennon, NCIS‘ David Dayan Fisher and Justified‘s Joseph Lyle Taylor all appear, as a doctor, a shoeshine man and a “DWP Man” (whatever that is). Holy cameos, Batman!
Did you spot any other recognizable faces in TDKR? ID them in the Comments!