'Inception' Star Tom Hardy Answers the Bat Signal

[caption id="attachment_11513" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Warner Bros."]Tom Hardy in "Inception"[/caption]

"Inception" fans of female variety, get ready to swoon.

According to Deadline, the handsome breakout star from this summer's breakout hit, Tom Hardy. has signed on to co-star in Christopher Nolan's hotly-anticipated "Batman 3" alongside Christian Bale. Or should we say, to co-star opposite Bale?

While you pick your jaws up off the floor, here's a quick refresher: in "Inception," Hardy played Eames, aka "The Forger," the intensely stylish con artist who used mental disguises to bamboozle people in their dreams. And Nolan directed him in it.

But we're guessing you're not really interested in playing "One Degree of Christopher Nolan" right now. The real question is just who will Hardy be playing?

Rumors are already flying that Hardy, who has become one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood thanks to his commanding presence in "Inception," will be playing a villain, with everyone from the Riddler to Killer Croc and Clayface being offered up as possibilities.

And some believe he may even play another superhero who works alongside Bale's Batman, such as Robin or even Batman stand-in Azrael.

Our guess? Well, we still have a sneaking suspicion (read: we're still crossing our fingers and our toes) that Nolan will tap Hardy's "Inception" co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role  of Riddler. And it sure would be a shame to cover up Hardy's smoldering good looks under the layers of makeup or CGI that Killer Croc or Clayface would require.

Because of that we're going to go way out on limb and suggest that Hardy would make a great Deadshot, the tough-as-nails assassin who originally started out as a high-flying playboy -- the perfect mirror image of Bruce Wayne's Batman.

Whoever he ends up playing, though, one thing's for sure: with Hardy on board alongside Bale, we can't wait to find out more about "Batman 3...." or at least see photos from the set.