Five Actresses Up For 'The Dark Knight Rises' Roles

The Dark Knight RisesWith both Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes officially off the table, Batman is suddenly in the market for a new leading lady. Looks like he's about to get more than he bargained for.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed a short list of five actresses vying for the leading lady roles in "The Dark Knight Rises," Christopher Nolan's third and allegedly final Batman film. That's right, there are two leading ladies in the Caped Crusader's next cinematic outing -- one a hero, one a villain.

According to THR, the five actresses in contention are Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Beil, Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley.

Knightley is best known for her work as Elizabeth Swann in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, and she also had a bit part in the "Star Wars" prequels, while Hathaway starred as the White Queen in last year's "Alice in Wonderland." Both Biel and Mara are already comfortable in comic book territory, having starred in "Blade Trinity" and "Iron Man 2" respectively. Riley, on the other hand, has an inside advantage over her competitors as she's engaged to Tom Hardy, who was previously cast in "The Dark Knight Rises."

One of the roles they're allegedly vying for is reported to be Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of Liam Neeson's Ra's Al Ghul from "Batman Begins." A frequent lover of Batman's and the eventual mother of his child, Talia is even more deadly than she is seductive.

The other role is unknown other than its status as "a love interest." Perhaps we're judging prematurely, but it seems that the cat is out of the bag -- in other words, perhaps Catwoman isn't a shoe-in for "The Dark Knight Rises" after all.

Tell us what you think of the news in the comments section and on Twitter!