Here we go again: there’s a new superhero film clattering along the pre-production railway to its shoot and now comes the long list of possible performers lining up to test for the various available roles. In this case, it’s The Dark Knight Rises, and the names in the mix range from the expected crop of established stars such as Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley and Jessica Biel to those more in the lesser-known category, including Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley.
According to the Heat Vision blog, all of the above names are getting set to audition for Christopher Nolan, with two rumoured hefty female roles up for grabs. The Heat Vision team are talking up one being Talia Al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s (as played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins) who in the comics has been both an adversary and a lover to Bruce Wayne.
While Hathaway, Knightley and Biel need little introduction, Kate Mara has been seen in the likes of Transsiberian, Brokeback Mountain and, more recently, 127 Hours. Riley, meanwhile, is better known for her telly work, having cropped up in The Take, 2009’s version of Wuthering Heights and Foyle’s War. But she did also act in Easy Virtue alongside Biel. Oh, and she already has a vague Rises connection: she’s engaged to Tom Hardy, who has already locked down an unknown role in the new film.
Collider, meanwhile, has heard a few rumblings about Eva Green and Naomi Watts (whose name has been floated in the past), adding that they’ve heard from a source that the parts available are Talia and Vicki Vale, the reporter played by Kim Basinger in Tim Burton’s 1989 movie.
And stepping away from possible actresses for a moment, the site’s report also mentions that the Tumbler will return in a sleeker re-design (not shocking given the vehicle’s destruction in The Dark Knight) and that Bruce (Christian Bale) and Alfred (Michael Caine) are finally going to get back to using the Bat Cave.
Given how tightly Chris Nolan controls security on his films, nothing can be considered beyond a rumour for now, though it does make sense that quality actors would flock to be a part of the third – and likely final – Batman film crafted by Nolan, his brother Jonathan and David Goyer. With production planned to start in May, expect the parade of rumour, speculation and news to hit avalanche levels in the coming months.