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Batman: The Dark Knight Rises - Has Tom Hardy's role been identified?


JUST over a month ago, Tom Hardy landed an unspecified role in Christopher Nolan's third Batman movie.

Hardy, who previously showed his chameleonic range in such films as Star Trek: Nemesis, RocknRolla and Bronson, first entered Nolan's realm in this year's dream-manipulating thriller Inception.

When the filmmaker revealed the title of the next Batfilm as The Dark Knight Rises, he added that the Riddler wasn't part of the story. So we can rule out Tom Hardy for that character (and at the same time also dismiss talks of Johnny Depp, Eddie Murphy, David Tennant, Edward Norton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and anyone else playing the Riddler. You gotta love the internet for persistently making up nonsense).

Nolan is notoriously (and commendably) secretive about his films and in that vacuum, the rumours flourish. Hardy's varied roles make it even more difficult to pinpoint who he might be playing.

But the latest talk is that the actor has been cast as deranged police psychiatrist Dr Hugo Strange. Or maybe it's Max Cort? Black Mask and Hush also seem to be on the list of possibilities...

So what's leading the web chatter towards these conclusions?

The fansite Batman-News.com says a tipster "strongly believes" Hardy has been cast as Strange. It says the source had previously been right with early hints about the absence of Riddler and in naming two of the actresses being up for lead roles, but cautions that this is just a rumour.

Film blog Scriptflags is more confident in its assertion that The Dark Knight Rises will be based on the graphic novel Prey, which features Hugo Strange.

It says "a PR contact involved with the third film" has confirmed that Prey is the basis for Nolan's screenplay.

Prey, written by Doug Moench, is the follow-up to Batman: Year One, which influenced Nolan's two previous Batmovies. It sees Jim Gordon in his new role as commissioner and trying to maintain his relationship with Batman, who's now despised by police and viewed as a criminal (as we saw at the end of The Dark Knight).

Professor Hugo Strange is in the story as a psychiatrist working with a police task force assigned by Gotham's mayor to capture Batman.

Obsessed with the caped crusader, Strange hypnotises violent cop Sgt Max Cort into becoming a masked vigilante (called Night Scourge) to lure Batman out of hiding. Interestingly, the graphic novel also includes Catwoman.

Total Film had suggested that Hardy might be cast as Cort rather than Strange. It also offered up several other possibilities for Hardy to play, including Bane, Black Mask, Killer Croc (who was speculated at one point to be in the story), Hush, Reaper, Wrath, Victor Zsasz, Deadshot, Firefly and Prometheus.

Most of this is clearly just web gossip at present, though some of the suggestions are very plausible.

But with Nolan's close protection of the script, I would suggest that genuine leaks of story details to minor fansites are unlikely; if Hardy is playing Strange, it will be a correct guess rather than the result of insider information.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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