Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, whose alter-ego is Catwoman, in "The Dark Knight Rises," the upcoming third "Batman" film by Christopher Nolan, while Tom Hardy has been cast as the villain Bane.
Hathaway, 28, rose to fame as the star of Disney's "Princess Diaries" films and the movie "The Devil Wears Prada. She recently appeared in the R-rated romantic comedy "Love and Other Drugs" with Jake Gyllenhaal, whose sister Maggie played the love interest of Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, in the previous film, "The Dark Knight."
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story," Nolan said in a statement provided by Warner Bros. Pictures. "I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman's most formidable enemies."
It was reported last week that in addition to Hathaway, Jessica Biel and Keira Knightley also tried out for a part in "The Dark Knight Rises."
Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed Catwoman and Kyle, a shy secretary who gains confidence after an attack and who has eyes for Wayne herself, in the 1992 movie "Batman Returns," which was directed by Tim Burton. Halle Berry played the feline villain in a spin-off 2004 film, which was a box office flop, while Julie Newmar and the late singer Eartha Kitt portrayed her in a 1960s series.
Bane is an escaped convict who gains superhuman strength due to a series of drug experiments. Hardy, a 33-year-old British actor, starred in Nolan's 2010 thriller "Inception."
Christian Bale, who has portrayed Batman since Nolan's first film in the franchise, "Batman Begins," says he will take on the role for the last time in "The Dark Knight Rises," which is set for release on July 20, 2012.
Hathaway is also set to co-host the 2011 Academy Awards with James Franco next month.