By Kryptonian Detective

Liam Neeson has said countless times that he would not be making a return appearance as Ra’s Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises. Just because the actor isn’t returning, it doesn’t mean the character won’t make a return to the franchise.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, actor Josh Pence has been cast in the role of Batman’s immortal enemy. According to the report, Ra’s more youthful appearance will not be due to a dip in the Lazarus Pit, but rather due to flashbacks set 30 years prior to current events in the film.  I haven’t seen any of the actor’s past performances, but he does look like a more youthful Liam Neeson.  Of course, this development lends itself greatly to the rumor that Ra’s daughter Talia will make an appearance in the film.

More confirmed casting news reports that Joseph Gordon Levitt (Inception) has joined the cast.  What’s interesting is the role that he will play.  Variety had reported that the role was that of Alberto Falcone,  son of crime boss Carmine Falcone, last seen in Batman Begins.  That makes perfect sense as Nolan has said that this film comes “full circle” with his first bat-film.  However, Entertainment Weekly quickly pointed out that Levitt’s role was in fact not Alberto Falcone. Who he will play is unknown, and remains to be seen.  In the meantime, Variety has confirmed that actress Juno Temple has won the role of  a “street smart Gotham girl.”  While no more information was given, it is worth noting that Ms. Temple looks quite like the character of  Holly Robinson, who appeared in the graphic novel Batman: Year One. In the novel Holly was a friend/sidekick of Selina Kyle, who in this film will be played by Anne Hathaway.

I’m sure all will become clear as filming draws ever closer.  The studio is likely to issue a press release with an official synopsis, and cast list of who’s playing who.  If they don’t I suggest we all enjoy the ride, and watch it all unfold when The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. (Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Batman – On – Film)