Unless Deadline is fucking with us or a fake press release has worked them over, it seems that Bane and Selina Kyle have been very matter-of-factly revealed as the new characters in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane will be played by Tom Hardy (who’s long been an announced member of the cast) and Anne Hatheway will star as Selina Kyle.

There is absolutely no other info except for some stunningly bland standard-operating-procedure quotes from Chris Nolan about the casting.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.”

“I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”

Frankly, I stared at the press release for several minutes, refreshed the page to make sure it didn’t suddenly disappear, and checked the URL on that page a few times because this doesn’t seem real for some reason. Perhaps I’ve just resisted the idea of Nolan employing standard villains so much at this point that it doesn’t sound right when he finally does.  I do know that Tom Hardy will rock anything given to him, and that Anne Hatheway is one of the stronger female names that have been tossed around for this film. That list bafflingly included names like Keira Knightly and Jessica Biel, who would either never feel right in these films or could barely be considered an actor (respectively).

Still… something just doesn’t feel right. It’s difficult reconciling these particular characters with the understanding of Nolan’s universe that I’ve developed (and crammed stubbornly up my own ass). No mobster penguin though, that’s a fucking relief. This also murder the notion that the supposed “leaked script” was anything other than a pile of bull’s shit.

Considering how many ways a drugged-up strongman like Bane can be interpreted, I don’t think that character’s inclusion will be all that controversial. However, the inclusion of Selina Kyle, which obviously points to Catwoman, is sure to raise some eyebrows. The multiple big female roles and short lists written about ad nauseum over the last few weeks have made the character seem kind of inevitable though… so maybe all of this isn’t as odd as I originally thought. Honestly, I think it’s just the effect of finally nailing down what has been nothing but vague theory for years now. Odd sensation, as far as movie news reporting goes.

Still, I don’t know what to make of this without even the slightest hint at how Nolan plans on integrating them into this particular Gotham, but I have no doubt you guys have opinions for days. What do you think of these character choices? What about the actors chosen for them? Got words and sentences? Shout them out in the comments below, or jump on the the message boards and get into the conversation.

(Thanks for everyone who sent us a notice about this, especially Bill and Shaun who were quick on the draw.)