The highly anticipated 'Batman: Arkham City' video game trailer has hit (check it out after the jump), which just might prove to be a hint for Christopher Nolan's final forays into the city -- or a nice bit of gossip to keep us guessing in anticipatory glee.

For over a year now, we've been wondering what Nolan would do for his third and final Batman installment, now titled 'The Dark Knight Rises.' The rumor mill has been jumping with speculation that spans much of the comic hero's history. We know there won't be the Joker -- Nolan's leaving that character to the late Heath Ledger, and Harvey Dent won't be returning. To fill the spaces left by the last villains, we've heard murmurs that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was gearing up for The Riddler, Charlize Theron and Vera Farmiga were rumored to be love interests, and reports claimed the slimy Killer Croc would be the new Big Bad.

But the one thing we do know is leading to a new possibility. In October came the inspiring news that Tom Hardy was reuniting with the director to enter the Batfold, and though most readers want to see him as the Riddler, Nolan has stated that the main villain in 'Dark Knight Rises' "won't be the Riddler."

Perhaps the Croc rumors are right, but could the highly charismatic Hardy take a cue from Peter Sarsgaard's misshapen Hammond ('Green Lantern') and play the villainous Hugo Strange instead?

The 'Arkham City' game trailer above certainly makes the possibility seem interesting, and lends more weight to last month's rumors suggesting this very thing. Plus its previous installment, 'Arkham Asylum' featured The Joker as its main villain, mirroring 'The Dark Knight.'

Hugo Strange is a creepy, psycho psychologist who knows Batman's identity and wants to take it on himself. (Something that'd work quite well if Strange fakes being Batman while he's on the run following the events of 'The Dark Knight.') Obsessed with bringing Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego down, Strange has a talent for chemicals and whips up any number of evil schemes to become the new Batman.

Perhaps it sounds a bit copycat-like, considering the use of Hammond in 'Green Lantern,' but this would provide Hardy the chance to break out of the leading man role. Right now, the actor is at a crossroads between becoming a George Clooney charisma stud, or deciding to balance that with more physically morphing, Gary Oldman-esque characters. Really -- how great would it be to see a popular actor who can bring on the charisma, but also morph it into any number of physical guises?

Having seen the game trailer, and knowing that the Riddler is a no-go, what do you think about Tom Hardy playing Hugo Strange? Is this the villain Batman should square off against in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?
The Dark Knight Rises
PG-13 2012
Based on 45 critics

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