Christopher Nolan is currently prepping for the final installment in his Batman franchise entitled, The Dark Knight Rises. Thus far the cast includes Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and newcomer Tom Hardy (Inception). The female lead has yet to be chosen but according to THR, five actresses have made the final shortlist and they include a mix of British and American talent as well as an unknown or two. And the ladies are…

Anne Hathaway (whom was mentioned in the past), Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Kate Mara, and Charlotte Riley are all testing for two big female roles in the film. One is a villain, and the other is a potential love interest. One of the characters is suspected to be “Talia, the daughter of villain Ra’s Al Ghul, who was portrayed by Liam Neeson in Nolan’s first Gotham-set crime pic Batman Begins. In the comic books, Talia is both Batman’s lover and antagonist, ultimately siring his alter ego Bruce Wayne’s son.”

Out of this bunch of actresses we don’t see Nolan bringing Biel on board. She was dry as toast in The A-Team, and she has a tendency to come across as cold in scenes. Knightley seems too safe, but Hathaway and Riley are viable candidates.

Other actors who were mentioned in the past include Naomi Watts, Gemma Arterton, Vera Farmiga, and Eva Green, but despite reports, none of those women have been cast.

On an interesting side note, Riley is an amazing British actress who happens to be engaged to Tom Hardy. If she lands a role in the film this will be the third time they’ve worked together following collaborations on Wuthering Heights and the miniseries The Take.

Overall, we’re not sure how accurate this list is. Prior to the casting of Emma Stone in Spider-Man, a shortlist was released for the role of Gwen Stacy, and she wasn’t on it! This could be a diversion to keep us away from the real finalists for the movie.

What do you think of the five actresses mentioned? Who should take the leads?