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Tom Hardy cast in Batman 3

Tom Hardy cast in Batman 3

Tom Hardy has been cast in Christopher Nolan's as-yet-untitled Dark Knight follow-up.

And now that Hardy's signed up, they might as well call it The Best Film That's Going To Be Released In 2012 because at least that would be honest.

Seriously, we couldn't be more excited by this news if we'd been told that we've been cast as Catwoman.

Hardy's pretty much our favourite British actor at the moment, alongside Andrew Garfield and - go on then - Tom Felton.

Obviously we don't know who Hardy's going to be playing, but we can hazard a major guess. Call us crazier than an Arkham inmate, but we're almost certain that Batman 3 is going to be inspired by a graphic novel called Prey .

And the character from that book that's absolutely perfect for Hardy? Sergeant Max Cort. Allow us to explain.

Prey is Doug Moench's unofficial follow-up to Frank Miller's Batman: Year One , which so influenced Batman Begins and, to a certain extent, The Dark Knight.

The book's so suited to Nolan's sensibilities he could film it shot-for-shot and it'd fit perfectly in the Batman universe he's already established.

Tom Hardy cast in Batman 3

It features Jim Gordon finding his feet as commissioner following the events of Year One , whilst trying to work with a Batman who's as hated by cops as criminals (neatly tying into The Dark Knight 's cliffhanger).

Professor Hugo Strange, a police psychiatrist obsessed with Batman, is the main villain.

When psycho cop Max Cort comes to Strange for treatment for his hatred of costumed vigilantes, Strange hypnotises Cort into becoming a costumed vigilante himself - named Night Scourge - in the hopes of bringing Bats out of hiding.

Gritty, violent, and - despite the hypnotism stuff - ultra-realistic, Prey is so perfect for Nolan, and Cort's such a good fit for Hardy, we'd be willing to bet serious money that all of the above will appear on a screen near you in 2012. Oh, and Prey features Catwoman in a major role. Win-win all round, really.

But we could be massively wrong, and Hardy's just playing The Riddler.