Besides a solid villain, The Dark Knight Rises is missing one crucial element, a female lead. We’ve heard rumors of Tom Hardy possibly playing Clayface in the sequel, and the idea of The Riddler has been ruled out by director Christopher Nolan himself. But we haven’t heard anything about bringing on a woman to replace Rachel Dawes — until now.

According to ComicBookMovie, three actresses are rumored to be in the running to play love interests in the film. Here’s the twist, Bruce Wayne/Batman isn’t the only one getting some action, one of the parts is for James Gordon (Gary Oldman). Oscar winner Charlize Theron, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga, and Kacie Thomas are the candidates.

There are two female characters up for grabs: Julie Madison and Sarah Essen. Do you know who either one of them are? Essen was the former partner of Gordon. The duo had an affair (he’s a married man) and she ended up getting murdered by The Joker. There’s also a hint that she might be Barbara Gordon’s real mother. Theron is up for the role.

Next there’s Madison, who’s a love interest for Bruce Wayne. Like most, if not all of the women in his life, Madison had no idea who Wayne really was when she got involved with him. But she’s been linked to the villain Clayface, which would only make the Tom Hardy rumor sound even more legit. Farmiga and Thomas are up for the role.

The idea of bringing on Essen is an interesting choice because it sounds like they’re trying to flush out the Gordon character and add more dimension to him, which works in a comic series but will they have enough time to fit it into one movie? Perhaps if they started with hints of it in The Dark Knight and finished it up in The Dark Knight Rises, there wouldn’t be a problem. What do you think?

What do you think of the possible female characters appearing in The Dark Knight Rises?