Christopher Nolan Sets Tom Hardy for Major Role in 'Batman 3'

October 13, 2010

Tom Hardy

Though we'd heard over the summer that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had been listed on a studio casting grid for the role of The Riddler in the next Batman film from Christopher Nolan (which he's finally confirmed to be directing), it seems another Inception star might step into the role. Deadline reports Nolan has set Tom Hardy (Bronson) for a lead role in the next installment of the Batman franchise at Warner Bros. However, as with everything surrounding Nolan's projects, Hardy's role is being kept secret and sources won't even confirm whether or not it's a villain role. After you get through cheering raucously, read on for our take on the news.

Honestly, I'd be surprised if Hardy wasn't playing the villain. The real question is whether or not the villain will end up being The Riddler or if another villain has made it into the script. There's always the possibility for two villains again since The Dark Knight utilized both The Joker and Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, but for now we're left waiting for official word on Hardy's role. It seems development is moving forward fairly quickly since the film is supposed to start shooting early next year, so hopefully we'll have some solid announcements regarding more casting and confirmation of just what villain will face-off against Batman this time around. Excited?

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, TDKR



Absolutely! I trust Nolan explicitly, as he was the only director to be able to break the "Never Have Two Villains" rule, and break it well. I was certainly worried with the Joker/Two Face combo meal - I mean, there's plenty of precedence for awfulness there - but the script, the actors, allowing for a longer film to tell the complete story instead of rushing to get it below two hours, it all just worked wonderfully. Count me in.

William Mize on Oct 13, 2010


Yes! Great news, Hardy deserves another meaty role.

Ravster on Oct 13, 2010


Many of us predicted how many JGL stans i've argued with over the summer trying to convince them that Hardy was clearly the stand out in Inception and that it was going to be him cast in Batman

talli on Oct 13, 2010


as for my take...I think Nolan would go the unpredictable route, and not having a orthodox villain...he will either have a detective, hell bent, on trying to uncover batman's identity..or a major business threat to Wayne enterprises. Hardy would be great as anything though, so it doesnt matter!!!

talli on Oct 13, 2010


He'll to the YES! I knew after the news broke about Mad Max being delayed that Hardy had so ething else in the works, and the news couldn't be better, he has got to be a bad guy. Couldn't be looking forward to this movie any more than I already am. Happy times...

Dandoo on Oct 13, 2010


Great news, Hardy is just pure class. Seeing two intense mofo's like Bale and Hardy eating up the (IMAX Fingers Crossed) screen is making this as good a build up as TDK. At least we know Robin wont be turning up as Bale said he'd walk if the boy-wonder was included......but id still love to see Nolan would handle Dick Grayson.

Ryan on Oct 13, 2010


I think her is going to portray Hush: that charater seemd like a reality based villain that Nolan, has prefered in the past. Also that character has a history with both Bruce Wayne and Edward Nigma. Either way, Tom Hardy is a great choice for this anf future Nolan films.

WHAT!!! on Oct 13, 2010


Wow, taking some of the Hush storyline would be very clever, Hardy playing Thomas Elliot would be a f*$king amazing call.

Ryan on Oct 13, 2010


Black Mask is a great choice, seeing as how he parallels Bruce Wayne in many ways...both hide out in the public using the mask of businessman...but who they truly are, are these masked enigmas.....i think that would be an interesting character study to finish out the story

talli on Oct 13, 2010


I say new DA.

Mayhem on Oct 13, 2010


Besides the fact that Hardy is an awesome actor in general, I think he's an ideal villain choice for one big reason: he can do both cerebral and physical. I like JGL and think he'd make a great Riddler, but you need a physical villain (the "muscle" in other words). With Hardy, you can have both in the same package. @7: That's definitely a possibility. I'm not too familiar with the character, but from what I read, Hush sounds like he'd be right up Hardy and Nolan's alley.

Corran Horn on Oct 13, 2010


I stil say cast Gordon Levitt. Hardy and Levitt would a great addition to the Nolan Batman team. I really hope they flesh out Wayne a bit more, he seems to have fallen by the way side.

Xerxex on Oct 13, 2010



Darren on Oct 13, 2010


@ Xerxex, JGL is a great actor, but i don't think he's a big time leading man. He'll look like a boy for the rest of his life... I really liked him in Brick and Inception, but I see him as more on an actor of this moment, he's got a trendy look, or he did three or four years ago. He's more of a Spike Spiegel if Cowboy Bebop ever gets off the ground. He doesn't have as much range as someone as masculine and dynamic as Hardy is in Bronson, Rocknrolla and Inception, three roles that couldn't be more different and powerful. Obviously, the casting here is tricky, how can you take the franchise in a direction it wasn't intended to go, in regards to moving away from Ledger's joker but still being faithful to that world. I honestly just don't think JGL has the tony chops to go head to head with a monster like Bale's Batman. I can see Hardy having a ball as the bad guy. This all being said, his role isn't even confirmed yet, he could be playing Robin the Boy Wonder for all I know.

LINKFX on Oct 13, 2010


hardy plays the riddler gordon-levitt plays robin arnold's back as mr.freeze and the nipples are back too.............!

whatthe on Oct 13, 2010


@ xerxex, i realize you werent't saying cast JGL as a villain, it was kind of a general response to most people saying he'll be the Riddler. I could see him working better as a D.A. or a subcharacter. And i agree, more Wayne. We need more Bruce.

LINKFX on Oct 13, 2010


I think the only reason the "Two Villain Rule" worked in Dark Knight is because Nolan treated the Joker like a tornado of destruction and chaos. No backstory and no deep arch, which is pretty brilliant. I don't know if Nolan can do that trick again and keep Bats 3 interesting.

CL on Oct 13, 2010


@ whatthe lol at the nipples!

Linny on Oct 13, 2010


I really have no idea where Nolan is taking us but i have one thought that hasn't left my mind since the first time i saw TDK, which is: Batman is driven underground or at least into some sort of hiatus - maybe he escapes the city again as he did in the beginning of the saga and searches for himself. Some sort of time period has to go by before the "current" events of the film pick up. So... what has always struck me is that Gordon's son is set up to seek him out (at least I think it's pretty obvious). Too bad, Hardy and Bale are too close in age b/c that would be pretty amazing to see Hardy as the Robin - albeit a pissed bitter street theft Robin (something that Batman can identify with). I really can't think of a young adult actor (JGL is great (excellent in fact) but I really don't see him as Robin) that I would put in that role to begin with so i am pretty hesitant to go down that road. On another note: I always like the idea that was floated on Chud (i forgot by whom) that depicted the Penguin as a Wall Street corporate raider that was breaking apart the Wayne holdings - i always like the idea and the timing is perfect. It's gonna be fun - trying to figure this out!

Alejo on Oct 13, 2010


YOU HEARD IT FROM ME 1st Why is it kept secret, because the Ledger's Joker was unforgettable and fans wont accept it. Accept what I hear? TOM HARDY as the new JOKER. "MAJOR ROLE IN B3". Just look at him, he fits right in. Although in my past comments involving Batman3, I predicted Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the Joker, even though he was not signed in for Batman3. He is Riddler, so it was close. This is going to be BIG!!

Fearl3ss on Oct 13, 2010


I hope it's true. He was simply spellbinding in Bronson.

floppytall on Oct 13, 2010


btw, one more thought: i do like the idea of JGL as the Riddler but I truly think that the Riddler is just too fuckin' similar to Joker. This time around, in my opinion, the villain will have to be almost a reflection of Bruce Wayne to work. This is the last film in Nolan's trilogy and as we all know, Nolan will bring full circle, which means, in the end, it is about Bruce Wayne and his demons.

Alejo on Oct 13, 2010


It's time for Batman to go straight toe-to-toe with a supervillain. I appreciate all the mental and cerebral aspects of the Batman franchise so far... but its about time for a rumble. A Batman doppleganger, if you will. The Riddler would not be the proper way to end a trilogy. As #22 said, he and the Joker are very similar and therefore all too familiar. Everything everyone has said will be blasted to pieces once a plotline is unveiled, so you may as well just sit back and enjoy the guessing games.

Cracky on Oct 13, 2010


maybe he'll play superman

qweqwu on Oct 13, 2010


#20 that's ridiculous

DoomCanoe on Oct 13, 2010


#20 Chris Nolan is not bringing back the Joker. he said so himself.

Linny on Oct 13, 2010


Riddler helps the escape of Joker, with his riddles. Now there's two crazies in town (Gotham City). "Similar, Yet so different" < I like the sound of that.. lol Cops after Batman and so are the villains, he must have the assistance of his apprentice.. . . Along comes Robin (yet to be cast). What you think? I think it will work BIG!

Fearl3ss on Oct 13, 2010


SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love JGL but always thought Tom Hardy would make a more sinister villan. Check out Hardy in Bronson! This is AWESOME news!

Cmurder on Oct 13, 2010


I MUST BE DREAMING!!!!(yes the pun was intended) This is a dream come true first JGL now Tom Hardy, Batman 3 just keeps getting better and better with the more new we get #20 knowing Nolans directing style he wouldn't do that unless the story absolutely no way around it needed the joker and even then nolan said the joker would not be in the 3rd one. #23 totally agree, nolan does not go with the crowd and he will never go with the crowd, it will always be nolan and nolan alone who brings us what we want, because we don't really know what we want til we get it. I think Tom Hardy has more villain like qualities to him that JGL doesn't JGL might be, like some people saying, the new DA Riddle me this, what will soon be the greatest movie of all time

max s. on Oct 13, 2010


By the way....Hardy as Bane???? I could see that....with JGL pulling Bane's strings to use him to fight Batman while he furthers his own sinister plans?

Cmurder on Oct 13, 2010


#4 said: "as for my take…I think Nolan would go the unpredictable route, and not having a orthodox villain…he will either have a detective, hell bent, on trying to uncover batman's identity..or a major business threat to Wayne enterprises. Hardy would be great as anything though, so it doesnt matter!!!" I agree with the business threat to Wayne Enterprises. Since Nolan is slated to develop the Superman reboot next, why not have it be Lex Luthor's company & tie the two franchises together?

jasonmd2020 on Oct 13, 2010


I'll always be reminded that he is the clone of Picard.

Ssuper Kyle on Oct 13, 2010


I just want Guy Pierce involved some how.

Jesus on Oct 13, 2010


@ #31, nolan has said that in his batman franchise or universe, batman is the only superhero in the world, so nolan matching up batman and superman like what marvels doing, wouldnt happen wiith nolan.

Mac306 on Oct 13, 2010


@LINKFX, JGL can pull off the villianous role, he was excellent in Killshot, and in Manic where he played a violent youth, He dosen't need to be a villian in the next Bats film, he could go the DA route or something else, but if Nolan does indeed cast him I'm sure he will surprise you. Is anyone else kinda sad to see Eric Roberts go?

Xerxex on Oct 13, 2010


A lot of us predicted this, especially when Mad Max was delayed. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers of Mad Max knew Nolan was sniffing around and it (among other things) influenced their decision to delay production. A huge hit for Hardy would certainly bring more cred to MM

Well on Oct 13, 2010


lol JGL was HOOOOORRRRIBLE in killshot....he reminded me of Keanu Reeves

talli on Oct 13, 2010


Well, if they can top my idea then I'll be happy. PROMISE THE BELOW DOESN'T SUCK. Main villain= Deathstroke aka Slade who is in the new leader of the League Of Shadows. Talia enlists the help of Bruce whom she knew while training under Ra's to regain control of the league. This takes Batman out of Gotham for a good chunk of the film. Batman doesn't trust her but has to help because Deathstroke in charge of the League makes them more dangerous and less noble than under Ra's control. Also, he still harbors some feelings for Talia. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, the new DA is placed by a prominent crooked politician named Cobblepott to bring the Batman into custody. This DA places detective Bullock close to Commissioner Gordon in hopes of being able to catch him collaborating with the Batman. Before leaving Gotham, Bruce outwardly opposes Cobblepott's ambitions for mayor. To ruin him Cobblepott hires an information broker and master hacker named Edward Nigma to find out what he can about Wayne. This Nigma, also known as the Riddler has other plans for the billionaire, specifically to take his fortune setting up a final climactic battle upon Batman's return to Gotham in Wayne Tower, ala Die Hard. Can the Batman save the Wayne legacy, a legacy he has grown to forsaken, while keeping the enigmatic Riddler from finding out about his secret? Of course he can. : )

Audioout on Oct 13, 2010


Dont think JGL would be in it mainly because LOOPER is shooting at the same time as B3.

Jazz on Oct 13, 2010


#38, for a Nolan film that's something way too simple. No offense it would be a great story but the Nolan way is to do something much harder and technical and makes you follow through the story til the end.

max s. on Oct 13, 2010


@40 Like I said, I expect him to do better. I'm just giving an example of something that could work as a compelling continuation to The Dark Knight. If I can come up with that I expect Nolan to knock us off our feet.

Audioout on Oct 13, 2010


Maybe Tom Hardy will be... HUSH? Well, surely it won't fit the mythos, but I really trust Nolan's writting so who know!

LW on Oct 13, 2010


@39 LOOPER will be shooting from Jan. - April, Batman starts around April/May..... IMO we will be seeing JGL as the The Riddler and Tom as another villain...

tylerdurden on Oct 14, 2010


I agree with 20,I think he would make a great Joker with JGL as the Riddler,wont happen though.Nolan already said no Joker.Probably Hush.Can't wait.Nolan is a great talent.

tir na nog on Oct 14, 2010


KGBeast... he's gonna play Anatoli Knyazev aka:KGBeast the Russian assassin. Coleman Reese spills the beans to Roman Sionis (who will become Black Mask) and Sionis hires Knyazev to kill Batman. He fails, of course, but since Bruce Wayne can be a super-hero, Roman Sionis takes matters into his own hand.

Isaiah on Oct 14, 2010


Yes JGL should be in too! It's Nolan guys, he keeps that secret for a reason...Maybe Hardy is the new Superman lolll! Anyway, he is a hottie, so I don't care!

I am... on Oct 14, 2010



1544K on Oct 14, 2010


Sorry Audioout - As fun as it would be to see Nolan's take on the Penguin, your idea does suck. Having multiple major villains in the finale will muddle the story. Batman Begins ... Scarecrow was a minor villain working for The League of Shadows / Ra's. Dark Knight ... Joker was the sole villain. Harvey Dent was a pawn used to show he duality of human nature and of Batman's ethics. Part 3 ... It truly is unfortunate that Ledger passed, because I loved the line where he hung upside down, saying that he and batman were destined to do battle forever. But Nolan was clear when he said that without Ledger there will be no more Joker. There needs to be a sole villain and story that will bring Bruce Wayne full circle. I just don't see Penguin doing that, mostly because a Batman movie focusing on the business end of Wayne Enterprises doesn't intrigue me. Cobblepot could be more of a minor character, but I think going off on a mayoral tangent is too close to Burton's 2nd Batman film. Nolan will provide us an original story, to be sure. The Riddler would be an interesting villain to end everything with, but how you work him in with the continuation storyline of Batman being hunted down by Gotham PD perplexes me. Perhaps this is where Hardy fits into the cast? I still see Levitt playing the Riddler and Hardy playing a new character (perhaps the new DA) that will come into the story to hunt down Batman, and come close to discovering Bruce Wayne's alter ego through the investigation. Regardless of how this finale story shapes up, I'm more excited about this film than any other franchise out there.

LetterJ13 on Oct 14, 2010


What happened to Depp as the Riddler? I'd much rather see him than JGL. And there have always been two villains. Nolan has adopted this mantra in both of his previous Batman films, with the Scarecrow & Ra's al Ghul in the 1st, and the Joker & Two-Face in the 2nd. Why would he stop that now? I don't think he'd bring the Joker back out of respect for the tole it took on Ledger, as much as I wish he would, I just don't see it happening. I would love to see Bane, but that doesn't seem to fit Nolan's MO, so whoever Hardy is, I'm sure it'll be great. Very excited to hear more about this. If only the Hobbit could get off the ground now.....

quazzimotto on Oct 14, 2010


I'm sure he picked the guy for a reason. I've learned that when it comes to Mr. Nolan, don't worry about his personal picks for movies. He always has something up his sleeve 🙂

judasbarron on Oct 14, 2010


I still say it would be great to have Paul Giamatti as the Penguin! Perhaps Tom Hardy will be Hush, but I am hoping Nolan ends with one of the original, traditional villans(The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman). This bunch was always at the core of the story and I think it would be awesome to end with one of them...just NOT Catwoman! I don't think even Nolan could treat that story right!

Weezy1 on Oct 14, 2010


I hope no Riddler. Never liked that guy. It will be interesting in he can pull off 3 great films in a row.

D on Oct 14, 2010


@48 Actually my idea had only one major villain in Deathstroke. Cobblepott would have been more like Falcone, Riddler would have been more like Scarecrow, Talia wouldn't be a villain at all. Not that it's that important though as it is only an idea that will never see fruition. In the end, the most overlooked villain, Riddler, would have been the most dangerous to Wayne personally. So, in essence, really two major villains. Also, there would be no origin stories for Riddler, Cobblepott, or Deathstroke. They are what they are. In fact, in the first 20 minutes I had Bruce Wayne meeting and immediately realizing that Edward Nigma is the criminal known as the Riddler. Cobblepott would only be called Penguin as a code name by the mob. Talia and Bruce knew each other from when Bruce was training under her father. Deathstroke would be really mostly referred to as Slade. You can have as many characters or villains as you want as long as they serve the story. Obviously, if they are going to be deep character studies, then time isn't on your side, but as cogs to an overall story?? You can have as many as your story needs.

Audioout on Oct 14, 2010


I would think two villains will be used, as both BB and TDK have two villains each. Harley Quinn as a reminder that the Joker is now behind bars would be a cool sub-plot, while the major villain should be either Hush, The Riddler or Black Mask, or even a mixture of all three. Their backgrounds would support a good modern storyline that fits with Nolan's setting. I would like to see Catwoman in another possible sub-plot as Batman's love interest, after all, isn't this suppose to be the third and last film. With Rachel Dawes gone, it leaves the door open for a possible happy ending.....

Steven on Oct 14, 2010


48# says everything, and i guess: Azrael!!!! Probably Azrael!!! Would be a perfect "end" to a serious serie. A way to "Kill" Batman!!! Riddler drives city to madness with Joker´s (no appear) help. A new heroes comes to town to hunt Dent's killer, a great problem to the Dark Night!!! Would be really interesting to see the end of this.

D. on Oct 14, 2010


I hope Hardy and JGL always work together

silver on Oct 15, 2010


😀 can't wait for the next update 😀

DaftPUNKFAN on Oct 15, 2010


So, Mad Max-V-Batman? Oop's, meant MMVBM. Sorry.

Hyper Dweeb III on Oct 16, 2010


Maybe Mr. Freeze...or possibly even Killer Croc or Manbat, that would be sick. Bring to life some of the mainly unknown villians such as Egghead or King Tut haha

Peace Love & GaGa on Oct 17, 2010


It will not be the Riddler. Riddler is one of the worst batman villains. I dunno why fanboys like him so much. Nolan's batman flicks have thus far focused more on the organized crime angle than the goofy villain angle. I'd like to see Penguin step in and launch a turf war, or play up the mafia ties in a story like The Long Halloween. Some of the Batman's rogues' gallery just wouldn't fit into Nolan's film world, but I still see people wanting Clayface or Mr Freeze or Poison Ivy. Those characters just won't work in these flicks. You could make something like Penguin work. You could use a serial killer like Holiday or a 'normal' criminal like Catwoman. Anything supernatural or too unbelievable would be really hard to fit into such a real-world sort of Gotham.

Squiggly_P on Oct 18, 2010


Well, baring the supernatural or super-science villains, it could be one of the following: Black Mask Riddler Penguin Bane - Sweet shit if they do this guy, please don't fuck it up. Hush Deadshot Firefly Mad Hatter - If they can do Scarecrows gas, they can make this guy work Mr. Zsasz Lady Shiva - not likely for obvious reasons (.)(.) Anarchy

Weird-Coma on Oct 21, 2010


@ #61: We already saw Victor Zsasz in BEGINS , played by Tim Booth. A nice nod/cameo on Nolan's part; than again, I've come to expect nothing less but yet not to expect anything at all. You never know what he is going to do which is what makes him so incredibly talented and the ONLY director I would want this franchise in the hands of. Sadly, this being his last installment, I'm left to start being concerned for the future of the franchise (if there even is one after this) before the third film has even begun filming. Hopefully WB has taken notice to his acheivements and will weigh heavily on their next director rather than make an impulsive choice for the sake of making another film ASAP...ala Schumacher after Burton walked. (they would have been better-off putting FOREVER on hold until they found an adequate successor, but alas...). Let's hope that trend doesn't repeat itself after B3 or all of Nolan & Co.'s hard work and efforts will have been in vein, and the cycle will start all over again --- a 3 film reboot every 5 years. Now, let me explain something before I give my two cents and you may take what I post with a grain of salt or however you wish..... I am an APP (Advanced Practice Paramedic) and have done on-set stand-bys for some films in S. Fl. (where I reaide) and while on vacationin the north east. I personally WAS NOT on-set in Chi-Town for BEGINS or TDK, but I do know a couple guys from a set-medic company out there that where. One of which became VERY friendly with someone form the crew --- no one overly exciting, like a lead star. But someone who did have access to certain priviledges and information about the production. That said, certain "rumblings" have made their way to me in conversation with my colleague by way of his "friend". As to how much is legit, or spot-on, I personally don't know. It's all second-hand to me, but I can say my associate is not one to start rumors persay. So with regard to who Hardy will play --- my money is on someone unexpected to fans & untraditional by general expectations (e.g. Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, etc.). My money is on Black Mask or Hush (oops!), as both have been eluded to on here previously already. But both are logical choices considering Nolan's style and where he's taking this storyline to wrap it up. Regardless, I'm psyched about Hardy's addition to the cast! And by the way...for those of you who keep insisting there WON'T be a Robin because Nolan & Bale have both insisted & expressed their own reservations to the character's inclussion...weren't we thrown "misinformation" during the filmings of both BEGINS & TDK? 😉 Not to say Robin will be in the film (let me say that again..."not to say *ROBIN* will be in the film..."), but don't be surprised if *A* Robin is in it. 😉 It would make perfect sense to incorporate Robin *IN SOME FORM* to off-set and balance-out the dark path Bruce is going done since the events of TDK; much like after Jason Todd's death. And how did they bring that back to full circle in the comics (just as you know Nolan will do to end this out)..? Any of you who have BATMAN # 457, read the first boxxed caption on page 21 (the next-to-last page) and bare that in mind. 😉 Remember...they have been pulling influence from various issues and graphic novels.

MedicalMogul333 on Oct 22, 2010


BTW --- pardon typos. I just got home from a 24 hr shift. Sorry.

MedicalMogul333 on Oct 22, 2010


Inception has one the the best casting ever !!!!!!!!!!

Awesomealvin on Dec 22, 2010


before they do this mulitple villan thing they should take a note from spiderman 3 and ironman 2. too much going on in a movie makes the movie suck!! they made it work in the last movie with 2faced and joker, cuz 2 faced didnt really have anything to do with it till the end, and that story line didnt really make sense anyways

Davepua on Jan 19, 2011

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