Christopher Nolan Narrows 'Dark Knight Rises' Casting List To Six Actresses, Two Female Leads

Rachel WeiszThe last time we heard anything about "The Dark Knight Rises" casting, Christopher Nolan was reportedly taking meetings with a slew of actresses in their late 20s and early 30s for the female lead in his next Batman movie.

Today we have word that the list has been narrowed down to six lucky ladies, and that Nolan is looking to cast two female leads — not just one, as was previously thought. The short list of actresses allegedly in contention are Rachel Weisz (pictured), Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley.

According to Deadline, Nolan is looking for an actress to play a love interest for Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne, and another to portray a villain.

Naturally, Nolan is keeping all the details about the roles under lock and key, similar to the way in which Tom Hardy's casting was announced.

This could be great news for Nolan's next Batman film, as the one aspect sorely lacking from previous installments was the right actress in the lead female roles. Out of the six actresses named, two stand out in particular: Rachel Weisz and Keira Knightley. Both ladies have a classic beauty that would fit perfectly into Nolan's film noir-ish Gotham, as well as the acting chops to bring real gravitas to either role. Naomi Watts might also work, but she's probably a better fit as Bruce Wayne's love interest than a villain.

And while Natalie Portman certainly has a fanbase, she could already have her superhero movie quota filled with commitments to "Thor." The same goes for Blake Lively and "Green Lantern."

What do you think of the actresses listed? Who should play the villain and who should play the love interest? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!