Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley in the running for ‘Batman’ role

Auditions for 'The Dark Knight Rises' begin

Director Christopher Nolan has reportedly started his search for his female stars in his forthcoming third Batman film, The Dark Night Rises.

Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Kate Mara and Charlotte Riley are all screen-testing for a role, with a villain and a love interest looking to be cast, reports Hollywoodreporter.com.

It’s also being reported by Collider.com that the character Talia al Ghul, with Eva Green attached to the part, will be the female villain in the film, while a new Batmobile named The Tumbler will be debuted.

Nolan‘s last Batman film, The Dark Knight, took over $1billion (£640million) in revenue worldwide and is the seventh highest-grossing film of all time. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, winning Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger‘s performance as The Joker.

Nolan is reported as wanting The Dark Knight Rises to be finished by November this year, with a release to follow in 2012.