Last month, the announcements surrounding the cast for Dark Knight Rises (DKR) told us that Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy were joining the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series.  Slated to portray Selina Kyle and Bane, respectively, they represent two welcomed additions to the group of actors involved in portraying key figures on the Gotham City landscape which already includes the likes of Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.  Now two additional names can be added to the already impressive list, as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard have both been linked to DKR.

It’s not surprising that Nolan cast Cotillard or Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Both actors, along with Tom Hardy, portrayed roles in Nolan’s INCEPTION.  Cotillard gave a stunning performance which some thought was worthy of a supporting actress nomination as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife Mal, and Gordon-Levitt portrayed DiCaprio’s business partner Arthur.

Though it has yet to be announced which roles they will be portraying, there is speculation as to their respective roles.  Christopher Nolan has already indicated that neither The Riddler nor Robin will appear in this film, and although that might be a smoke-screen diversion (there were reports that he was scouting locations for a place he was calling “Robin’s Nest”), there are significant characters who could be portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt without adding a significant villain to the film nor a side-kick.  Anyone familiar with the Long Halloween graphic novel, on which The Dark Knight is partially based, would likely remember Alberto Falcone.  That would be a potentially meaty role which Gordon-Levitt could take, filling the mob boss role which is vacant due to Salvatore Maroni being killed by Two-Face in The Dark Knight, and Carmine Falcone (Alberto’s father, portrayed by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins) still being locked up in Arkham Asylum.

For Cotillard, the significance of the role could vary quite a bit based on the direction Goyer and Nolan go with the script.  Were they to cast her as a female member of the Falcone family, she might have what would be considered a very minor role in the film.  Alternatively, there are talks of DKR including the role of Talia al Ghul, in which case Marion would likely be an integral part of the film as both a potential love interest and the daughter of the man who trained Bruce Wayne to be Batman, Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson from Batman Begins).

With all the praise heaped upon The Dark Knight (which currently sits in the #10 spot on the list of all time great movies on, questions arose as to how Christopher Nolan was going to recreate that level of success with the third installment.  Given the additions of four additional superlative-worthy actors to the ensemble, three of them having received nominations for an Oscar and/or Golden Globe Awards, the issue isn’t going to be with the performances.

Looking to the future…

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