Anne Hathaway to play Catwoman in “Dark Knight Rises,” Tom Hardy is Bane

Stop the presses because we have official “The Dark Knight Rises” casting news. After tons of rumors of Christopher Nolan searching for two female leads, he’s found at least one, and it’s for the role of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Academy Awards darling (and this year’s host) Anne Hathaway will played the role originated by Michelle Pfeiffer. Warner Bros. also announced this morning that Tom Hardy will in fact be playing a villain — Bane, one of the later additions to the comics and one of Batman’s fiercest foes.

Ok, so now that you’ve read the big news, shake that silly grin off your face and get up and walk around a bit before reading on. Okay, now that you’re ready, it’s time to speculate away until Warner Bros. delivers an official plot summary — or we pass out.

Catwoman has had various incarnations over the years, so it’s too tough to gage which direction Nolan, brother Jonathan and David S. Goyer have taken her character. My hope is that she will be less villainess and more of a competing interest with Batman. Most versions have her carrying out her own form of justice, one that crosses paths and clashes with Batman’s vision for a crime-free Gotham. Hopefully there’s a lot of juicy conflict and some serious sexual tension. After all, Bruce Wayne is dealing with the death of his childhood love, Rachel Dawes, post-“Dark Knight.”

As for Bane, fanboys must be peeing themselves silly.  You can bet that Warner Bros. had a tough time accepting the muscle-bound Bane as the villain, but with Catwoman in the picture, the studio was likely pleased enough as she’s second in popularity (arguably) to The Joker.

Hardy is perfect for the role other than not being Caribbean. His work in the prison film “Bronson” (pictured to the right) was audition enough for the part: the actor bulked up to play someone psychologically disturbed.

Here’s my summarizing of the Bane Wiki: Introduced to the Batman universe in 1993, Bane was born in prison and forced to carry out the sentence of his father. Growing up, he soaked in incredible knowledge from everyone in the prison and worked out — a lot. After causing some trouble, prison guards administered him a test drug known as “venom” that killed the other tested inmates, but not Bane. He became super strong and developed an addiction to the serum, which he needs every so many hours to maintain his abilities.

Still not convinced? In Bane’s most famous issue, he literally snaps Bruce Wayne’s back in half and leaves him paralyzed. An addition to the strength, his knowledge and strategy skill makes him seriously formidable. In other words, Christian Bale’s Batman is in for a heck of a finale.

See the full press release below:

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.


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