Nolan Looks for "Dark Knight" Female Leads

Deadline reports director Christopher Nolan is meeting with actresses for roles in "The Dark Knight Rises," the third film in his "Batman" cycle. "I'm told one of the roles is a love interest for Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne, and the other is a villain. The actresses are: Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley," writes Deadline's Mike Fleming.

While Nolan is famously tight-lipped about characters and plot details, he recently told The Los Angeles Times that The Riddler would not appear in the film. Subsequently, rumors began circulating of various actresses being courted for the role of Julie Madison, a fiancee of Bruce Wayne's during the early run of the character in the 1940s. She made occasional appearances since and was portrayed by Elle Macpherson in 1997's "Batman & Robin," though that role was little more than a cameo.

The previous Nolan directed films featured one major female role -- Rachel Dawes -- played by Katie Holmes in "Batman Begins," and Maggie Gyllenhaal in "The Dark Knight." The second film also featured Monique Gabriela Curnen as Detective Anna Ramirez, a character similar to Renee Montoya from "Batman: the Animated Series" and subsequent "Batman" comics.

The Deadline article also says Tom Hardy will most likely play a villain in the film. The actor was recently listed on the Internet Movie Database as playing Detective Harvey Bullock, but that has since been removed.

With news of a female villain, speculation opens wide to characters as obvious as Catwoman and as obscure as Lady Shiva.

Stay with CBR as this story develops and the identities of both characters come to light.

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