Joseph Gordon-Levitt packs his bags for ‘Sin City’ sequel

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

It looks like Gotham's new hero has already succumbed to corruption.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be trading his crimefighting lifestyle in "The Dark Knight Rises" for a walk on the wild side as he joins the cast of "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," the sequel to Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's 2005 pulp noir fever dream, "Sin City."

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" will be incorporating two of Miller's previously published "Sin City" graphic novels (or "yarns," as Miller is fond of referring to them) as well as some brand new plot elements and characters. Gordon-Levitt will be playing Johnny, a new addition to the "Sin City" universe, a cocky gambler who disguises a darker mission to destroy his most foul enemy at his best game.

And no, Johnny isn't the younger version of Hartigan, the hardboiled cop played by Bruce Willis in the original "Sin City." You know, in case you were looking for a "Looper" connection (which, admittedly, would've been pretty sweet).

The central plotline to the sequel comes from what's arguably the best "Sin City" yarn to date, "A Dame to Kill For," a steamy tale of lust and betrayal that follows Dwight's (played by Clive Owen in the original film) mission of revenge against Ava Lord, the irresistible femme fatale that did him wrong. Ava has been the subject of much casting speculation as the role has been linked to Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and several other hotties over the years.

Confirmed cast members to date include returning players Mickey Rourke as Marv, Jessica Alba as Nancy, Rosario Dawson as Gail and Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy, with Dennis Haysbert stepping in for the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute and Jamie Chung replacing Devon Aoki as Deadly Little Miho.

However, is anyone really clamoring to return to Miller's hyperstylized (and, let's face it, hopelessly misogynistic) world where almost every woman's a prostitute and almost every man is morally compromised (to say the least)? It will have been eight and a half years since the first "Sin City" once "A Dame to Kill For" finally hits theaters on October 4, which makes one wonder whether anyone still really cares. This movie probably should've come out no less than three years after the original film (sequel rumors commenced the second the first movie hit theaters), and by this point the series' unique visual style  ... well, isn't so unique anymore.

Plus, it's probably safe to say this now ... "Sin City" wasn't very good, actually. Sporadically amusing at best; awkward and misguided at worst. Very few of the actors seemed to "get" the world they were inhabiting (and Miller's self-consciously histrionic dialogue and voiceover works about a thousand times better written than spoken). Hopefully Rodriguez and Miller have something new and exciting up their sleeve to make it all fresh and new. Something besides, you know, making it 3D.

Anyway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will definitely bring some class and charm to the whole sordid thing. Last seen getting slapped by Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln," acting through unnecessary prosthetics in "Looper" and power-biking through Manhattan in "Premium Rush," he's next set to unveil his writing and directing debut, "Don John's Addiction," which premieres this month at the Sundance Film Festival.