For the last 3 days rumors have been circuiting the web that Tom Hardy has been cast as Dr Hugo Strange in Christopher Nolan's third Batman installment: The Dark Knight Rises. This morning we received word from a P.R contact involved with the third film in the franchise that the upcoming sequel will in fact be based on the graphic novel Prey. Prey centers itself around Batman being pursued by the deranged police psychiatrist ..Doctor Hugo Strange. When a police officer Max Cort is sent to Strange for treatment for his hatred of vigilantes, Strange hypnotises Cort into becoming a costumed vigilante himself named Night Scourge in the hopes of bringing Batman out of hiding. Strange also convinces the mayor to prepare a special task force to capture Batman with Commissioner Gordon as its head.

Prey is Batman scribe Doug Moench's unofficial follow-up to Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, which heavily influenced Batman Begins and to a certain extent, The Dark Knight. Now we don't know if Hardy will definitely play Dr Strange, there is also the possibility of him playing the Night Scourge but it now seems more then likely. Also there is a considerable age difference between Dr Strange and Hardy worth mentioning.

Prey features Lt. Gordon [Gary Oldman] finding his way in his new role as a Police Commissioner following the events of Frank Miller's Year One, whilst trying to maintain his relationship with a Batman who's despised by cops and seen as a criminal [The Dark Knight's ending]. Enter Professor Hugo Strange, a police psychiatrist obsessed with BatmanPrey also features Catwoman, whom earlier we reported an actress being offered the role back in August. Prey is easily one of the best stories that ran in the Legend of the Dark Knight series [this book reprints #11-15] in the vein of the Dark Knight ReturnsThe Long Halloween, Dark Victory and Strange Apparitions.

Nolan has always chosen complex psychologically driven characters over super powered & physically effective Villains and also the narrative fits perfectly into the natural progression of a very Frank Miller inspired origin via [Year One's] influence over Batman Begins & Batman the Dark Knight. Prey essentially is a dark psychological thriller that harbors the main themes that The Dark Knight brought to the fore i.e redemption, tested alliances and being ultimately judged by the people of Gotham.

Michael Caine speaking with the magazine Empire revealed the start date for production:

"Emma [Thomas], the producer, said we’d get the script in January. Christopher said: ‘Script in January, shoot in May, finish in November."

[Today MAY.14.11 Israeli actor Alon Aboutboul has been cast as the main Villain in Christopher Nolan's Batman The Dark Knight Rises. Sources describe the role as "a particularly evil and mad scientist"]

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