There’s even more buzz (than usual) circling The Dark Knight Rises right now, thanks to the combination of newly-released official plot details, images of Batman and Bane, and word that both the film’s prologue and a full theatrical trailer are slated to arrive in theaters during the 2011 holiday movie season.

Yet another Dark Knight Rises rumor has popped up online – and it concerns the character Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon’s daughter, who, in the original comic books, eventually grew up to become Batgirl (and, later, Oracle). However, perhaps more interesting than that is the actress who is said to be portraying the heroine.

It should go without saying that any discussion of what well-known actress could not-so-secretly be playing that role (and just how feasible this rumor actually is) definitely treads on mild SPOILER territory. So, only read ahead if you don’t mind finding out a bit more information about The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight Rises Rumors claims to have received a tip-off from one of their readers, who was passing by the Dark Knight Rises set a few weeks back (when principal photography on the film was underway in New York) when they noticed a trailer, as marked in the photo below:

[UPDATE: Multiple sources (including Batman News) are now reporting that the following image is in fact a fake.]

Christopher Nolan’s Inception starlet, Ellen Page, immediately comes to mind as the “E. Page” in question. However, seeing how the Juno actress was (according to IMDB) shooting The East around that same time, and that Jim Gordon’s daughter was still very young during the conclusion of The Dark Knight, it seemed (at the time when the above photo was taken) more than a bit ridiculous to presume that Dark Knight Rises would feature a grown-up version of Barbara Gordon, as portrayed by a familiar face from the Nolan movie universe.

Now that Nolan has revealed that Dark Knight Rises takes place some eight years after The Dark Knight, the idea of Ellen Page playing a youthful B. Gordon suddenly seems (relatively) less absurd. Plus, what with fellow Inception stars like Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, and (purportedly) Cillian Murphy being onboard, it’s not a huge stretch to say that Nolan would be inclined to bring back another thespian he has worked with before for his Batman trilogy finale.

While the Ellen Page news could easily turn out to be pure rumor mongering and nothing more, it is safe to say that Barbara will appear in The Dark Knight Rises, in some capacity – though, the chances that she’ll become Batgirl in the film seem (frankly) very poor, to say the least. However, if Ellen Page is playing the part, then it stands to reason that Barbara could play an important, albeit brief, role in the movie (though, again, almost certainly not that of Batgirl – Super jokes aside).

On a purely speculative note: it could be that Barbara Gordon will essentially become a (non-disabled? Hardy has mentioned that his incarnation of Bane has a thing for causing spinal damage to others…) version of Oracle in The Dark Knight Rises and provide information to both her father and Batman. In that case, the casting of Page (who played a similar young techno whiz in Inception) would make all the more sense.

Will Ellen Page appear in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

If nothing else, the mere possibility that Nolan has brought on a quality name actress to play Barbara Gordon, combined with Anne Hathaway portraying Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Marion Cotillard playing the (mysterious) Miranda Tate, is another good sign that The Dark Knight Rises will feature more interesting and fully-developed female characters than (essentially) any Nolan film to date. Considering that one of the few widespread and enduring criticisms of Nolan is that he tends to produce flat female characters, it’s good to hear that he will (seemingly) tackle that artistic weakness head on in his last Batman flick.

The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters around the U.S. on July 20th, 2012.

Source: The Dark Knight Rises Rumors 

“Oracle” Header Image Artwork by Rahzzah on deviantART