Batman, “Dark Knight” talk from co-star Michael Caine

By Sean O’Connell Michael Caine has never shied away from commenting on camera about Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, often giving rabid fans cannon fodder that, at times, works out but also can miss the mark. Wasn’t it Caine who once suggested that Nolan wanted Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Johnny Depp to play the Penguin and the Riddler, respectively?

Well, Caine has been talking again about the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises,” and what he’s saying isn’t revelatory, but it has raised the anticipation level for a picture that’s already burning across everyone’s radars.

“‘The Dark Knight Rises’ starts at the end of May,” Caine told Access Hollywood. “But [Nolan] hasn’t finished his script yet. I talked to him last week. … He’s still working on the script.”

That’s not too much of a surprise. No doubt Nolan and his team will be polishing this script right through the shoot. They’ve got the idea down pat, reportedly, and now it’s just about trimming the hedges. We hope.

As for the film’s villain (or one of them, anyway), Caine was able to comment on Tom Hardy, who has been cast as Bane for Nolan’s third and allegedly final Batman installment, and said, “Tom Hardy is one of my favorite British actors. I saw him maybe four years ago in a show on British television, and I was stunned at this guy.

“This is the toughest guy in British movies,” Caine continued. “He’s obviously playing a tough character because he is.”

Tough enough to break Batman’s back? We can only wonder at this point, and count down the days until “The Dark Knight Rises” in July 2012.

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