[UPDATE: Cotillard is officially "in discussions" to star in The Dark Knight Rises.]
A previous rumor that French actress Marion Cotillard passed on the role of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's final entry in his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, turned out to be little more that fluff last fall. Recent news of the her impending pregnancy seemed like the final nail in the coffin for fans hoping to see the Oscar-winner land one of the two female roles in the film as well.
Now there's a legitimate foreign newspaper claiming that Cotillard will star in The Dark Knight Rises, which would reunite her with her Inception director - as well as costars Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, and potentially Cillian Murphy as well.
Le Figaro claims to have the scoop on Cotillard, saying (and this is a rough translation):
"The actress, who is expecting a child in the spring with Guillaume Canet, will be scarce this year. She’ll do a single film and her choice fell on 'Batman 3'. This blockbuster produced by Warner Bros. enables her to work with the director Christopher Nolan, with whom she had turned very successful sci-fi 'Inception'.
"Marion Cotillard will join the filming this summer in Los Angeles. She will share the bill with Anne Hathaway."
The third chapter in Nolan's Caped Crusader saga has exhibited an almost magnetic attraction for purely speculative (or inspired by hopeful fans) "news," with the latest bits revolving around Robin Williams as Hugo Strange and Robin appearing in The Dark Knight Rises. Until there's an official notice on the matter, best to take your customary grain of salt and consider this firmly a RUMOR for now.
So what are the chances that Cotillard will play the love interest (or villainous?) opposite Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne in Dark Knight Rises? She backed out of David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis last month, reportedly due to a scheduling conflict - though many at the time speculated that it was more due to her expecting a child in the near future. If Le Figaro iss correct, Cotillard's departure may have been due to her desire to instead collaborate with Nolan once more.
Since Anne Hathaway officially landed the role of Selina Kyle in Dark Knight Rises, there's been much speculation about just what incarnation of the character will appear. Catwoman has traditionally been either a foe, lover or opponent for Batman (and sometimes a combination of all three), and will almost undoubtedly play some breed of femme fatale, opposite the titular masked hero. What isn't so readily apparent relates to the persona of the other main female character in Batman 3.
Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins, remains a possibility to appear as Kyle's counterpart, and also has a history of doing battle with the Caped Crusader on the streets of Gotham (and in the bedroom - see the graphic novel "Son of the Demon"). The involvement of Miss Ghul in Nolan's final Batman pic could help with bringing Bruce Wayne's personal story arc to a fitting conclusion, and further tie in to the events of Batman Begins to The Dark Knight Rises as well.
There's also the chance that whoever ends up portraying the non-Catwoman female lead in Dark Knight Rises (be it Cotillard or someone else) could play a more standard love interest for Bruce Wayne, like Vicki Vale, or another new creation of Nolan's, a la Rachel Dawes. Regardless of whether or not Batman has to match wits with two anti-heroines or just one in Dark Knight Rises, it goes without saying that his love life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.
Expect to hear an official announcement about the second female lead in The Dark Knight Rises in the near future. It's possible that Cotillard has indeed landed the part, but until the news comes straight from Warner Bros. or the mouth of Christopher Nolan himself, color us skeptical.
UPDATE: Cotillard's reps have confirmed that the actress is "in discussions [to sign on for 'Dark Knight Rises'], but nothing has been confirmed yet." THR insiders are also saying that Nolan has held readings and meetings with the likes of Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts to over the past few weeks as well, but it looks like Cotillard is the current front-runner.
The Dark Knight Rises next summer on July 20th.
Update Source: THR