67 tomHardy 0122 225x300 Tom Hardy Cast in Batman 3It’s been widely speculated that one or several of the stars from Christopher Nolan’s Inception would carry over into the latest Batman movie, to the point that Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Tom Hardy were all vying for the role of The Riddler. Now, Deadline is reporting that Hardy has been cast in a lead role for the film, but it is still unclear as to what role that may be.

Hardy is a fan-favorite to play a variety of roles, from Hush to Bane and could very easily pull off just about anything he sets his mind to. While he is not my first choice to play The Riddler, who is expected to be the villain of the final film, he would own the role and bring something a bit different to the character. Looking at the picture to the right, he’d be a dead ringer for either Black Mask or Hush, both of which would still fall into the more “grounded” feel of Nolan’s films. However, if you wanted a more physical threat, check out Hardy in the film Smokin’ Aces and you’ll see he’s very capable of bulking up and playing the physical role.

Hardy can be see in several upcoming films, most notably Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed  adaptation of the John Le Carre novel as well as starring with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine in This Means War.

The yet-to-be-titled Batman film is set to begin filming in the Spring of 2011, with a release the summer of 2012. This is speculated to be the final film in Nolan’s Batman series, with Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine all set to return.