Is Marion Cotillard Joining 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

The French press reports that the Oscar-winning actress has accepted a role in director Christopher Nolan's next "Batman" movie.

Are Christopher Nolan's "Inception" dreams still haunting him as he turns his focus to casting "The Dark Knight Rises"? Following the signing of Tom Hardy to play the villain Bane in the next installment of the "Batman" franchise and news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in talks to join the production, new reports suggest a third star of Nolan's dream-world thriller could well land in Gotham City, too.

According to stories originating in the French press, Marion Cotillard is set to join "Dark Knight Rises." People magazine, citing unnamed sources, contends that the Oscar-winning actress, who is pregnant and expecting a baby in the spring with French actor/director Guillaume Canet, signed on to the film on Saturday in Paris.

A rep for Cotillard told The Hollywood Reporter that the actress is "in discussions, but nothing has been confirmed yet."

MTV News' request for comment to Warner Bros. was not returned as of press time.

There has long been talk that "The Dark Knight Rises" would rope in two central female characters. Anne Hathaway has already hopped aboard the production to play Selina Kyle, the well-known character in comics lore who is the alter-ego of Catwoman. Previous reports about actresses in contention for the film did not mention Cotillard; the names included Hathaway, Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley. The rumored second female role has not yet been filled, unless the Cotillard reports prove true.

According to People's sources, the French-born actress will begin shooting in London in mid-June — after the birth of her child — before traveling to Pittsburgh and Los Angeles this summer for further filming.

Nolan's third "Batman" flick, widely expected to be his last, "The Dark Knight Rises" will likely begin production in the spring with an eye on a July 20, 2012, release date.

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