Anne Hathaway is Catwoman, Tom Hardy is Bane

You may have heard this news uphold.  Warner Brothers has announced Anne Hathaway will be playing Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Tom Hardy will play Bane.  For some people, the only thing they know about Bane is what they saw in the awful 1997 film Batman & Robin, where Bane was played as a nearly mute robotic piece of scenery by Jeep Swenson, who died the same year the film was released and was thus hopefully spared from watching it.  Bane is actually a much more awesome villain than that terrible film let him be.

Bane is blessed with extraordinary intelligence—he knows six languages, has a photographic memory and is a master of various scientific fields—and in comics lore, he actually worked alongside Bruce Wayne at various points. He also had superhuman strength at times thanks to a serum known as Venom, but it remains to be seen how Nolan will play the character (the character later swore off the stuff). [Playlist]

He was also raised in a prison on a fictional Caribbean island and kept a shiv hidden in his teddy bear to take out any prisoners who crossed him.  Somebody needs a hug. For an insanely well-researched backstory on Bane’s awesomeness (with possible spoilers), you can check out io9’s writeup from earlier this afternoon.  And if you need me to explain who Catwoman is, GTFO.

UPDATE: Thanks to a very kind person who emailed me, I now know the Hathaway as Catwoman photoshop is based on this picture by Adam Hughes.

After the jump is the official press release and Batman’s official response to the news:

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Christopher Nolan stated, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.”

In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.

Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.

The Dark Knight Rises is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

[Pictures via Cineboobs and TDW, press release via BleedingCool]

One more thing . . .