Anne Hathaway Is Catwoman, Tom Hardy Is Bane In 'The Dark Knight Rises'

The speculation can end about one of the two big female roles in Christopher Nolan's third Batman film. Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle, whose alter ego is Catwoman, in The Dark Knight Rises.

Additionally, we know the villain role Tom Hardy will play: Bane.

Hit the jump for the press release.

So, yeah, this is weird. I know a few people had called Tom Hardy as Bane, but I never would have expected that to actually be where The Dark Knight Rises was heading. The character was created in the early '90s for the 'Knightfall' storyline, in which Bane famously broke Batman's back. He looks like a luchador, but is highly intelligent and a master of many disciplines. He's also not as crazy as many of the classic Batman villains, and has switched sides to work with Batman on more than one occasion.

How does this fit into The Dark Knight Rises? And where does Catwoman figure into things? Frankly, I don't know.

So, questions: Is Selina Kyle really the love interest, and if so, will we even see the Catwoman alter ego? If that's the case, then Talia al Ghul could be the other female character, which would make sense, because her father R'as al Ghul had some association with Bane in the comics. Stay tuned for developments on that front, but at the very least, don't be surprised if there's no real 'Catwoman' in the film after all.

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.