Ever since the opening day of The Dark Knight in theaters, it has been speculated who the villains would be for the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.  Today, the guessing can end, as Warner Bros has announced the villains casting for The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR).

It has been long-since rumored that Tom Hardy would be involved in TDKR after his performance in Nolan’s INCEPTION.  Among all the rumored castings of individuals from prior Nolan-involved projects such as Leonardo DiCaprio or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Tom Hardy rumor had enough legs to get a listing on IMDB.com, and now we know why.  The actor with a cult following will now have further opportunity to gain in popularity, as he is cast as Bane in TDKR.  Previous rumors had him set to portray Hugo Strange in Nolan’s third installment based on comments which had the Batman: PREY storyline as a concept used as part of the backbone for TDKR.

Tom Hardy cast as Bane for The Dark Knight Rises

Tom Hardy (from "Bronson") is Bane for The Dark Knight Rises

For anyone not familiar with Bane, the best source material to read up on pertaining to that character is Batman: Knightfall, a novel by Dennis O’Neil based upon a storyline arc from the comics.  This will not be the first time Bane has been represented in a Batman film, however the Batman & Robin character is almost unanimously hated amongst Batman fans, with Bane’s portrayal adding significant cause for the disapproval.  Fans who were hoping to get the Hugo Strange storyline can look to the Batman: Arkham City video game to fill that void.

Cast in the female lead for The Dark Knight Rises is Anne Hathaway, who will play the role of Selina Kyle, best known by her costumed alter-ego as master thief Catwoman.  It can be speculated that Hathaway’s character will be something of a love interest for Christian Bale when he’s not en-cowled, now that the Rachel Dawes character from the first two films is dead.

Fans should be enthusiastic about the casting, as both actors are capable of great performances, and the Nolan / Goyer duo seem dedicated to not only creating a realistic atmosphere in which the characters work, but also keeping true to various aspects of characters from their comic book source material.

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