Big casting news for the next installment of British director Christopher Nolan‘s Batman series: Warner Bros. has confirmed that Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman), and British star Tom Hardy will portray the villainous muscleman Bane in the film The Dark Knight Rises, set for release in July 2012. Hardy previously worked with Nolan in last year’s mind-binding mega-hit Inception.
In recent months, many have speculated that Hardy could play Bane. Movies Online wrote, “While mainstream audiences may know Hardy as the funny Brit from Inception, cool people know him from Bronson, where he portrayed a violent physical powerhouse. So the casting makes sense.”
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer previously played Selina Kyle in 1992′s Batman Returns, opposite Michael Keaton. The late wrestler Jeep Swenson portrayed Bane in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, starring George Clooney as the Caped Crusader.
Last week, we noted that British actresses Keira Knightley and Gemma Arterton were both on Christopher Nolan’s shortlist for roles in Dark Knight Rises.