Brokeback Mountain actress Anne Hathaway has landed the coveted female lead in the third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.
It has been confirmed that the beautiful brunette has been cast as Selina Kyle, the original Catwoman.
Anne, 28, reportedly beat competition from stars including Jessica Biel, Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz to take the role.
She will appear opposite Christian Bale, who is reprising his turn as the Caped Crusader, and newcomer Tom Hardy, who will play the villain, Bane.
"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," director Christopher Nolan said in a press release.
Inception star Tom, he added, would "bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman's most formidable enemies".
By taking on the role of Catwoman, Oscar-nominated Anne – co-hosting the Academy Awards with James Franco on February 27 – follows in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry.
The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for release in the US in July 2012.
Photo: ę Rex