Ending what seems to have been a wide-ranging search for his next female lead, director Christopher Nolan today announced that Anne Hathaway would play Selina Kyle in the upcoming Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." Hathaway will join returning star Christian Bale and a host of other cast members from Nolan's previous DC Comics adaptations for Warner Bros. along with newcomer to the franchise Tom Hardy who was revealed to be on tap as the villain Bane.
Hathaway won out the coveted role of the future Catwoman over a list of actresses rumored to include Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley. Her most recent feature was last year's "Love And Other Drugs," and at present the news does not confirm whether she'll appear in the iconic leather outfit of Batman's feline foe or simply represent an earlier version of the comic anti-heroine.
Long known to be part of the "Rises" cast, Hardy became one of Nolan's more favored collaborators after appearing the director's smash hit "Inception" though this is the first time it's been known that he'll play super-powered steroid villain Bane. That character has been portrayed on film before in Joel Schumacher's "Batman & Robin" as a cartoonish thug, but considering the tone of Nolan's previous superhero efforts, it may be safe to assume that this Bane will more closely resemble the mastermind of comic stories like "Knightfall" where Bruce Wayne's spirit and spine were broken by the villain.
"The Dark Knight Rises" will be the third and final entry in Nolan's Batman saga and is promising a number of returning faces to the fray outside the lead hero.
For more on this news, keep your eyes peeled to CBR and Spinoff Online, and see the official release below.
Official Press Release.
BURBANK, CA, January 19, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Christopher Nolan stated, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.”
In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”
Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.