In all likelihood, we're still quite a ways off from any real news regarding a third "Batman" movie from director Christopher Nolan—if he's even returning to the franchise, that is—but that's not stopping us from wondering which Dark Knight villain we should see in the inevitable sequel.
There's no shortage of rogues to choose from, but the one I think is an absolute necessity is Catwoman. Given the state of Bruce Wayne's life after the events of "The Dark Knight," this feels like the perfect time to introduce Selina Kyle—the woman who could either help mend Bruce's fences, or bring all of the walls tumbling down.
If Nolan, David Goyer and the other folks at DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. decide to go the Catwoman route, I think that these five actresses would be great for the role.
EMILY BLUNT: The British-born Emily Blunt was a near-miss for the role of Black Widow in "Iron Man 2," but perhaps she could get a second shot at comic book glory in Gotham City. As a redhead, she might appear a better match with Poison Ivy, but I get this strange Julie Newmar vibe when I look at her. But Blunt exudes an icy intensity that distinguishes her from the campiness of Newmar's era, which I think suits Nolan's "Batman" universe quite well.
KATE BECKINSALE: Having already crossed paths with Christian Bale in "Laurel Canyon," Kate Beckinsale's romantic chemistry with the on-screen Batman is already committed to film reel. Their relationship was sordid enough in that drama, so I'd certainly be interested to see how their dynamic intensifies in the backdrop of Gotham City. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Beckinsale has some action and comic book experience already under her belt, not to mention her physical resemblance to the feline fatale.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Another actress with comic book credibility is Natalie Portman, thanks to roles in "V for Vendetta" and the upcoming "Thor." But Portman, who debuted with so much promise as the little assassin that could in "The Professional," has yet to really sink her teeth into a full-fledged badass character. Catwoman could be the one for Portman, who definitely has the physique and talent to pull off Batman's sultry nemesis.
REIKO AYLESWORTH: Nolan has filled his "Batman" films with famous faces for the most part, but that shouldn't preclude the lesser known names. An actress such as Reiko Aylesworth has the talent, versatility and relative anonymity to disarm not only Bruce Wayne himself, but audiences as well. If you're not familiar with her body of work, check Aylesworth out in "24," "Lost," and even "Aliens Vs Predator - Requiem," which was poorly received but featured a great turn from the actress.
RHONA MITRA: Once upon a time, a rumor made the rounds that Rhona Mitra was a contender for the role of Catwoman. While there's nothing concrete about her involvement right now, I still think it's an interesting prospect. Mitra boasts a colder presence than the others on this list, yielding what I imagine would be a no-nonsense Selina Kyle. With the way the recent "Batman" movies have leaned towards a darker tone, I think Mitra's sensibilities for Catwoman would fit into Nolan's Gotham purrrfectly. (Come on, I had to!)
Who do you think should play Catwoman in the third "Batman" movie? Should she even be in the film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter!