By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 19, 2011 at 5:34AM
What's a Sundance? Sorry Robert Redford, but our attention has been refocused today as Warner Bros. has announced that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in "The Dark Knight Rises," while also revealing that Tom Hardy will be playing Bane in Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated film.
Just last week it was revealed that screen tests were underway with a bevy of actresses including Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley for what were reportedly two roles: a love interest and a villain. Of course it remains to be seen if Selina Kyle will become Catwoman in the film (we doubt it, read on), and moreover, how the character/potential villain will be reinvented for Nolan's much grittier and realistic take on the world of Gotham City. But that's not the only news coming out of the Batcave today, as Tom Hardy's role in the film has finally been confirmed.
After much speculation, Hardy is confirmed to play the villain Bane, a relatively new Batman foe. The character first cropped up in the comics in 1993, and in the "Legacy" storyline, he impresses Ra's Al-Ghul so much he is chosen to become his heir and together they launch an attack on Gotham City. Bane is blessed with extraordinary intelligence -- he knows six languages, has a photographic memory and is a master of various scientific fields -- and in comics lore, he actually worked alongside Bruce Wayne at various points. He also had superhuman strength at times thanks to a serum known as Venom, but it remains to be seen how Nolan will play the character (the character later swore off the stuff). We're really excited that Nolan has avoided fanciful villains like The Riddler or The Penguin and gone with a character who is more grounded and suited to the Gotham he has created. A hyper-intelligent villain is far more intriguing than one with a bag of tricks and we think it's very smart choice.
If previous reports are accurate we presume that Selina Kyle will be a love interest to Bruce Wayne, which leaves the role of Talia Al-Ghul -- who we presume will play a role in turning Bane against Batman -- still to be cast. So don't be surprised if Selina never bothers with the black spandex (sorry, dudes) and Nolan focuses on the Bane/Talia/Ra's villain connection in the film. With the picture gearing up to start shooting in May, more announcements should be on the way but all signs are pointing in the right direction and "The Dark Knight Rises" is gearing up to be one helluva of a goodbye for Christopher Nolan to the franchise. The film hits on July 20, 2012.