Last week’s confirmation that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a lock to star in The Dark Knight Rises also brought the news that lesser-known actress Juno Temple was in consideration for a role in director Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film.

Now Temple has officially joined the cast as well, as a character that’s been described as “a street-smart Gotham gal.” That description has already kicked off avid speculation about who exactly the actress will be playing – even as conflicting reports concerning Gordon-Levitt’s role in the movie have rejuvenated discussions about the actor’s possible part.

Variety confirmed Temple’s involvement with Dark Knight Rises, meaning that she’ll join Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, and Tom Hardy as newcomers to Nolan’s grounded take on the Caped Crusader. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman are set to reprise their roles from the previous Batman movies, and Morgan Freeman is expected to return as well.

Temple’s resume largely consists of indie titles, including Atonement, Greenberg, and more recently Kaboom (we’ll pretend Year One didn’t happen). Her star has been on the rise of late, and the actress will be appearing in this fall’s Three Musketeers adaptation. She was previously a candidate to star in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer as well.

L to R: Stephanie Brown, Carrie Kelley, and Holly Robinson.

The secrecy surrounding Temple’s Dark Knight Rises role so far has unsurprisingly prompted a good deal of speculation about who her character might be. Some of the least likely, but more popular theories have pegged her as possibly playing Stephanie Brown – daughter of the criminal Cluemaster, who eventually served as the fourth Robin and is the current Batgirl – or Carrie Kelley, a.k.a. the female Robin introduced in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”.

Another possibility (and, arguably, a much more realistic one) is that of Holly Robinson, who was introduced as a juvenile prostitute who lived with Selina Kyle in Miller’s “Batman: Year One” and is a frequent ally of Catwoman – even taking up the post herself, following the birth of Kyle’s daughter.

Holly Robinson and Selina Kyle

Robinson would make the most sense, given the possibilities of how Catwoman could fit into Dark Knight Rises – and Hathaway has confirmed the character will appear in the film (in some form). It’s also possible that Temple will be playing a one-note supporting character of little importance, but her rising stature as an actress makes that less likely. Plus, that’s not as much fun to speculate about, is it?

Production begins this summer on Dark Knight Rises, so we should have a bit more concrete information about the whole cinematic endeavor in the near future (“a bit” being the key phrase).

All will be revealed when The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters on July 20th, 2012.

Source: Variety