Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway vying for Batman roles?

By Sean O’Connell Time to sift through the latest batch of “The Dark Knight Rises” casting rumors.

We continue to focus on the actresses vying for roles in Christopher Nolan’s third spin in the Batmobile, primarily because the main male parts have been filled by the likes of Christian Bale, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine. It also has been revealed by sources close to the production – which, of course, is being kept under wraps – that Nolan would like to cast two actresses, one as a villain and one as a love interest.

Collider advanced the rumor that the female villain in question would be Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson in “Batman Begins”). The site then linked Eva Green to the role, but admitted it was a rumor.

Another rumor floated by the site was that Naomi Watts was “going to be cast” as love interest Vicki Vale, a character most will remember from Tim Burton’s initial “Batman” (she was played by Kim Basinger).

Why are we hesitant to embrace Green or Watts as sure-fire “Dark Knight” players? Because neither name shows up in a report filed by Heat Vision.

Ah, the joy of casting rumors!

Borys Kit, instead, reports that Nolan’s shortlist for “Dark Knight Rises” includes Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel, adding that they are expected to screen test in the next few weeks. Heat Vision also mentions Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley as contenders.

The site also confirms Talia al Ghul as a potential villain, so that’s sounding closer and closer to becoming fact instead of speculation.

But really, with a project of this scope, we won’t know anything for sure until Nolan comes out and tells us … and even then, I’d be suspicious of the old bait and switch!

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