'The Dark Knight Rises': Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are in. But who are they REALLY playing?


Image Credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As EW reported earlier today, we now know for sure that Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have been cast in The Dark Knight Rises, next year’s cosmically anticipated Batman film. Warner Bros. reported that Cotillard was playing Miranda Tate, “a Wayne Industries board member,” while Levitt is onboard as John Blake, “a Gotham City beat cop.” But given director Christopher Nolan’s history of misdirection with the franchise — remember how he scrambled two separate villains together for the big twist in Batman Begins? — it’s worth asking just who, exactly, the two actors are really going to play in the film.

I might be wrong, but based on my memory (and a couple hours of digging through Batman lore), there don’t seem to be any original comic book characters specifically sharing a name with Cotillard’s or Gordon-Levitt’s characters. Still, Nolan has cherry-picked aspects of the Batman mythos before, and I’m particularly intrigued to see if the John Blake character will have a comparable role to the workaday beat cops of Gotham Central, the great mid-00’s series that read a bit like The Wire with insane supervillains. Gordon-Levitt has already been rumored to be playing practically every villain from Batman’s history (including Alberto Falcone), but Warner intriguingly teases that the character is apparently “assigned to special duty under Commissioner Gordon.” (There’s a madcap part of me that secretly wants to see Gordon-Levitt turn into a stealth version of Robin, but everything about Robin —  bright colors, implied silliness — seems utterly foreign to the Nolan-verse.)

Cotillard’s Miranda Tate also comes with an interesting tease — she’s “eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.” It’s possible that Cotillard will be a new romantic interest for Wayne, which leads to the tantalizing possibility of a romantic triangle with Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle. But it seems weird to cast Cotillard in a role that doesn’t have at least some kind of dark secret. Maybe Miranda Tate has a special interest in the pharmaceuticals corner of Wayne Enterprises, which is currently working on a new wonder drug. Tate is a little bit less than ethical, so she starts testing on unsuspecting humans…and maybe she has a pretty extensive garden to boot. My ridiculous bet: Could “Miranda Tate” turn out to be Poison Ivy?

It’s entirely possible that both of these characters are entirely brand-new; the first two films created plenty of original characters, like Rachel Dawes or pretty much everybody from the Hong Kong adventure in The Dark Knight. But that shouldn’t stop us from speculating. Readers, do you think Nolan is moving a fast one with either of these characters? Be honest: Did anyone quickly try to decode if the names were some sort of secret hint at the presence of the Riddler?

Follow Darren on Twitter @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ officially adds Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt to cast
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ may add Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the cast. Start speculating: Hugo Strange? Riddler? Robin?
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Burning Questions: Where’s Talia? Will Catwoman show up? And will Bane break Batman’s back?

Comments (39 total) Add your comment
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  • Michael Sacal

    Miranda Tate could be Thalia Al Ghul, who has infiltrated Wayne Industries to destroy it from within.

    What better place to start than by posing as a member of the board who could replace Wayne as CEO at a moment’s notice if he became unavailable?

    • Bruce Wayne

      agree and JGL is JOhn BlaKE who is secretly the JOKER. it’s true.

      • arow

        how could jgl possibly play a secret joker? when he has those scars on his face, to noticeable, and i dont think nolan would bring back the joker just yet out of respect to heath ledger, my opinion is that the poison ivy idea could be huge but for jgl hes either gunna be a darker version of robin or has to some sort of mad scientist to create baine

  • Anne

    “Miranda Tate” is going to turn out to be Talia Al Ghul in disguise. As I said in the previous newstory about this, the fact that they cast Josh Pence to play a “Young Ra’s Al Ghul” in a “flashback” sequence is a major clue that Miranda will actually be Talia, in my opinion. And it would nicely bring the trilogy full circle, too.

  • Shaun

    I am 100% certain “Tate” will turn out to be Talia Al-Ghul, the role most people speculated Cotillard would be playing when it was first announced, weeks ago, that she was joining the cast.

    I’d suspect that there will be more than meets the eye with JG-L’s character. In other words, this is all really a non-story.

    I wish we didn’t have wait another year for this one though!

  • jeffrey bryan

    How about these two not being part of the mythology… but instead being victims to the villian?

  • Jeffrey C

    If they want to play the mob angle, why not the Venquilotrist?

  • Felix

    Everybody expects Talia…if Nolan’s smart, he’ll let people keep thinking that, then uncork something we weren’t expecting. I like the idea of a Nolanverse version of Poison Ivy…maybe she’s gradually immunized herself to the toxins she uses to kill. She and Bane could be working together.

    • Le HIROSHI

      “Everybody expects Talia…if Nolan’s smart, he’ll let people keep thinking that, then uncork something we weren’t expecting. I like the idea of a Nolanverse version of Poison Ivy…maybe she’s gradually immunized herself to the toxins she uses to kill.”

      – –

      Ditto, Felix!

    • Ross Leonard

      Poison Ivy and Bane worked together in god-awful Batman and Robin, so I wouldn’t expect that.

    • Le HIROSHI

      @Ross Leonard:

      – –

      I’m not a comic fan. But in the HOLLYWOOD world, Poison Ivy – – bling bling Mrs. Kill Bill – – and Mr. Freeze – bling bling Mr. Terminator – had already “worked” together.

      – –

      My wild guess is that in the comic version, Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy never collaborated.

      – –

      I’d say anything happens in HOLLYWOOD. : )

  • Emily

    Wow. Once again, the extraordinary talents of Oscar-winner Cotillard are wasted in a blockbuster film in which she plays a glorified “girlfriend” role. Hollywood, please…re-watch La Vie En Rose. This woman is a phenomenal actress. You actually seem to think so, since you bestowed an Academy Award on her. Please, give her a role of substance. She deserves it way more than the glut of air-headed bimbos you constantly hire for your films.

    • RyanK

      Forget re-watching La Vie En Rose. I think you should re-watch (or perhaps more likely watch for the first time) Inception, Emily. “Glorified girlfriend role”?!? Her character was wonderfully tortured and downright creepy as hell. I’m not saying it was the equivalent of her breakout performance in La Vie En Rose, but you seem to be disregarding her roles just because they’re in big-budget Hollywood-style movies.

    • Nick

      I agree with Ryan. La Vie en Rose is excellent, but so have been Nolan’s movies regardless of being mainstream or not. Just b/c she is in a blockbuster doesn’t mean her talent is being wasted. That’s just a narrow-minded generalization that blockbusters don’t require good performances, which is not true (see Heath Ledger as the Joker)

    • therealeverton

      Well you have no idea if she’ll be playing anyone’s girlfriend, glorified or not, so your rant is ill informed and more the a lottle asinine. Let’s not forget that her inception role, where she played a highly intelligent, genius level perhaps, woman who happened to be married to DiCaprio’s character. Not a glorified girlfriend. Perhaps you are truly the ignorant snob you paint yourself as and as such haven’t bothered to watch either Inception, or the critically acclaimed films that this director has made. Popular does not = trash, anymore than “foreign language or “low budget” = quality. Apparently the lady herself has no problem with the roles she has been offered as she is taking a fair amount off money to perform them.

      • therealeverton

        of……….. bah

      • blip

        Highly intelligent, genius-level…? Really? Okay, so she wasn’t the glorified girlfriend. She was the glorified standard-issue psychotic shrew. Dip her in chocolate and call her a Thin Mint: Mal was just as flat as any other character in “Inception.” Nolan may have a knack for big, bloated, bombastic ideas, but people really aren’t his strong suit.

      • Skip182

        Decaprio specificlly states in the movie that she’s only a shadow of his wife and that he could never imagine her in all her complexities, so yes, she wasn’t a full fledged character. It was intentional or else he would have stayed with her.

    • ha

      Emily, you do realize Marion gets to pick her roles right?

      • Woot


  • Jose

    Maybe, just maybe, they really are playing those roles and there’s nothing else.


    I’m not a comic fan. But I’m just thinking out loud: Be careful of what you (think) wish for. If TOO MANY people turn out to be right, Miranda Tate (your Talia Al Ghul) might ironically turn out to be someone else so that, still, it will be a twist. : )

    – –

    @Darren Franich: Your Poison Ivy conspiracy theory is interesting – there’s nothing ridiculous at all, IMO.

  • Kevin

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Cotillard is Talia al-Ghul to take the trilogy back to its genesis. I figured that was what they were going to do with the Holiday Killer but then they decided against it. Still, it’s possible these are indeed completely new characters…but I still think they’re far more than these descriptions betray.

  • seattle maggie

    Now that she’s landed in Hollywood, Marion Cotillard will never get a role as interesting as Edith Piaf again!

  • therealeverton

    Whilst there are aleays ways to ditch the fantasy, immortal Ras is not literally immortal, I still find Poison Ivy in Nolan’s Batman about as likely as Aquaman, The Martian Manhunter & Batmite turing up tp celebrate Bruce Wayne’s birthday. Presenting him his new “Adam West” style Batman costume and singing “Holy, Happy Birthday Batman!”

    But I guess that Nolan just always pulls somrthing out of the bag!

  • Ross Leonard

    I don’t see why everyone is hating on a Robin plot. The kid’s parents tragically fell to their death leaving him orphaned. Is that not dark enough for Christopher Nolan to work with?

  • JL

    Best thing would be if Selina Kyle (Hathaway) turns out to just be Selina Kyle and it’s this Miranda Tate (Cotillard) who’s Catwoman.

    • jada

      LOVE this idea. Fingers crossed.

  • maj

    JGL, it’s a waste of your talent

    • Tom Strong

      You are a waste of oxygen.

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