Warner bros have just given a press release and it spectacularly confirms and de-bunks what has been speculated upon for the previous 3 months. 

First up Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, interestingly Catwoman is not referred to. Way back in August we reported that both the roles of Talia Al Ghul and Selina Kyle had been offered to actress Marion Cottilard but she had to turn down the roles for scheduling reasons. Second up is Tom Hardy who had been linked to Hugo Strange for months. Hardy has been cast as the muscled behemoth: Bane. This is really unexpected but Hardy's portrayal of Bane will be I am sure outstanding and as the press release states a "new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies". Bane is best known for breaking Batman's back in the Knightfall series. He is hooked up to a chemical known as “Venom” that causes his body to become super-muscular when injected. As a choice of villain Bane seems [trying not to say strange], a very misunderstood character, its the first time Nolan is really tackling a physically effective Villain but whats not so obvious about Bane is that he is extremely intelligent which passed Joel Schumacher by completely. Ultimately I am a little disappointed by the inclusion of Bane, Nolan has always departed from the more laconic comic stereotypes and Hugo Strange was certainly an intriguing prospect. But lets not be to judgmental, I for one don't think Bane be the only Villain in the final chapter excluding Selina Kyle/ [potentially Catwoman]. So in the aftermath of the supposed leaked early draft of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, and the connection to Prey we have to wait longer as these are the only details Warner have released at this time.

Here’s the press release:

BURBANK, CA, January 19, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.Christopher Nolan stated, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.” In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.” Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.“The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

The Dark Knight Rises is due out July 20th 2012.

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