Since the beginning of November there have been rumors circling The Dark Knight Rises regarding the casting of not one, but two new female lead characters. While it’s been impossible to confirm which characters Christopher Nolan will add to this trilogy-concluding Batman film, the shortlist of actresses reportedly mentioned in consideration are nothing short of the top talent in the industry.

The candidates initially reported included Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley. With Portman pregnant and Lively playing the leading lady opposite Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern, the list narrows. According to the latest rumors, only one of these candidates will be joining the cast of The Dark Knight Rises.

Collider has the exclusive on several exciting and important details on The Dark Knight Rises from reliable inside sources. Since they cannot attain official confirmation, they have labeled the following information as a “rumor.”

The most important update comes on the casting front with Naomi Watts (listed above) and Eva Green rumored to have joined the cast of Batman 3. Their source is unable to confirm who is playing who from the DC Comics, but assumes that Green will be playing the villainous Talia al Ghul, with Watts portraying the character of Vicki Vale, a reporter previously played by Kim Basinger in Tim Burton’s first Batman (our man Ben Kendrick nailed that one).

[Update: THR reports this information as false and list six candidates scheduled to test for the roles over the next two weeks. Find out who they are here.]

Naomi Watts as Vicki Vale in The Dark Knight Rises

If Eva Green (Casino Royale) is playing Talia Al Ghul, that does confirm previous rumors and works to tie in the events of Nolan’s Batman Begins which of course, featured Liam Neeson playing Talia’s father, Ra’s Al Ghul.

Another possibility follows the other common rumor that Christopher Nolan and co. will be basing the story of The Dark Knight Rises on the Batman: Prey graphic novel which would put Green in the role of Catwoman instead, and previous casting addition Tom Hardy into the role of Dr. Hugo Strange.

Now to the other details from Collider’s scoop:

  • New design for Batmobile is similar to Tumbler, but more streamlined.
  • New Batcave same as old with circular pad for Batmobile.
  • There will be an armory of Batsuits (like Iron Man 2?).
  • We will see the Batcomputer in the cave.
  • Shooting begins May 6th.
  • Post-production begins November 28th.

They also hint towards what’s likely going to be the introduction of another new Batsuit, which we expected would happen anyway. In movies like this, you always need a new costume for each movie to help sell some toys.

Hopefully, official confirmations will roll out soon. But regardless of how accurate this information may be, we all have a lot to look forward to as Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale aim to finish their run with the Batman franchise. We can however, say for certain that The Dark Knight Rises will not be in 3D and will star Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Tom Hardy.

The Dark Knight Rises begins production in May and is scheduled for theatrical release on July 20th, 2012.

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Source: Collider