Tom Hardy Joins 'Batman 3' Cast

Tom HardyIf Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine's recent comments on the third "Batman" film weren't enough to excite you about the upcoming sequel, then perhaps some casting news will sufficiently whet your appetite.

Deadline reports that Nolan has recruited his "Inception" collaborator Tom Hardy for a lead role in "Batman 3," which is expected to begin filming this spring at least partially in New Orleans. There's currently no word on who Hardy is playing, though speculation suggests that he could be up for one of the film's villain roles.

Hardy is a hot commodity these days thanks in large to his co-starring turn in "Inception" as Eames, a mercenary who specializes in dream theft. Prior to "Inception," Hardy delivered a critically acclaimed performance as real life prisoner Charles Bronson in "Bronson," directed by noted "Wonder Woman" enthusiast Nicolas Winding Refn.

Beyond the third "Batman," Hardy has quite the full schedule; he's starring in director Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" as well as McG's romantic comedy "This Means War" opposite Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. Additionally, he's set to take over the title role from Mel Gibson in "Mad Max: Fury Road," though the picture has recently been delayed.

Hardy's enlistment in Nolan's "Batman" universe isn't entirely surprising, as the filmmaker has a tendency of working with the same actors on multiple pictures. Indeed, Hardy's "Inception" co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been frequently rumored as a candidate for the Riddler in "Batman 3," though both the actor and the character's involvement remain unconfirmed. Between Hardy and Caine, and the rumored involvement of Gordon-Levitt, Nolan's third "Batman" movie is shaping up to become quite the "Inception" reunion.

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