Official: Anne Hathaway is Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Tom Hardy is Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

After a lot of debate and rumors and speculation, Warner Bros. has saved us all the trouble and made it official: Anne Hathaway has beaten out all of Hollywood’s starlets to play Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises”. She will be the third actress to tackle the role on the big screen, following in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” and Halle Berry in the ill-conceived “Catwoman” movie.

Meanwhile, Tom Hardy will play the muscle to Hathaway’s guile, stepping into the mask of Bane, the man who, in the comic books, literally “broke” Batman. Bane last appeared on the big screen in Joel Schumacher’s ridiculous 1997 Batman film “Batman & Robin”, but let’s all just pretend that never happened, shall we?

Official press release ahoy:

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Christopher Nolan stated, “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.”

In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “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.”

Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.

Looks like it’s time to get back into “Bronson” shape, Tom Hardy!

Batman rises again July 20, 2012.