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OTRC: Keira Knightly to star in third 'Batman' film, 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

Keira Knightley appears in a scene from the 2006 movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.' (Walt Disney Company / Peter Mountain)

Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel and Anne Hathaway are reportedly among the actresses being considered to star in the next Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." The film's studio, Warner Bros., has not commented on the report.

The Hollywood Reporter quoted sources close to the matter as saying that the three are due to test for roles of both a female villain and love interest of Batman, who is played by returning Christian Bale . Others reportedly being considered are Kate Mara, sister of actress Rooney Mara, and Charlotte Riley, the trade publication said.

Knightley is perhaps best known as Elizabeth from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. Hathaway recently played the love interest of Jake Gyllenhaal in the R-rated movie "Love and Other Drugs" and is co-hosting the 2011 Academy Awards with James Franco next month.

Biel rose to fame as a cast member in the drama series "7th Heaven" and later starred in movies such as "The A-Team."

Bale has said he will don the Batman suit for the last time in "The Dark Knight Rises", which is set for release on July 20, 2012.

The British actor played Batman and the superhero's alter ego, Bruce Wayne, in Christopher Nolan's previous films, "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight", the latter of which starred the late Heath Ledger as the sinister Joker. Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal played Wayne's love interest Rachel Dawes in the movies.

Michael Caine, 77, is also expected to reprise his role as Wayne's assistant, Alfred, in "The Dark Knight Rises". The movie's villain has not been revealed and Nolan has said it will not be the Riddler.

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