As widely rumored, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard will join the cast of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," Warner Bros. announced Tuesday.
But their parts are a surprise:
Gordon-Levitt will play John Blake, a Gotham City cop who is given a special assignment under the command of Commissioner Gordon.
Oscar-winner Cotillard will play Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member who wants to help Bruce Wayne, who's still grieving, resume his father's philanthropic endeavors in the city.
Early talk had Gordon-Levitt playing an established villain. Reports had him playing Alberto Falcone and Cotillard playing Talia al Ghul.
Christian Bale returns in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Tom Hardy plays Bane.
In the comics, the villainous Bane breaks Batman's back.
Nolan recently directed Gordon-Levitt and Cotillard in "Inception."
"When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience," Nolan said in a written statement. "I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again."
The director also is producing the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and with Charles Roven. He wrote the screenplay with Jonathan Nolan from a story he wrote with David S. Goyer.
"The Dark Knight Rises" has a release date of July 20, 2012.