Tom Hardy was originally thought to be playing a villain in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. But a new rumor is spreading that the Inception star is actually set to portray Detective Harvey Bullock in the sequel.

This somewhat surprising news dropped when IMDB updated their cast list for The Dark Knight Rises. IMDB is known for getting its news wrong a great deal of the time, but they did confirm the casting of JJ Feild as Montgomery Falsworth (aka Union Jack) in Captain America: The First Avenger before anyone else had the information.

The casting of Tom Hardy as Detective Harvey Bullock is a surprise, and has a lot of speculators calling foul, due to the sheer size of the character. Bullock is a hefty, unshaven, chain-smoking slob who does not match Hardy's current physic. But its quite possible that the actor will be wearing prosthetics, or that Christopher Nolan has completely reimagined the character's attributes.

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There are already two different versions of Bullock in the DC Comic universe. Here is how the character is described prior to 1985, after which his personality changed due to the comic book series Crisis on Infinite Earths:

"Bullock is a crooked police detective under instructions from Gotham City's Mayor Hamilton Hill to sabotage Commissioner Gordon's career. His method of doing so is to pretend to be exceedingly clumsy, thereby spoiling whatever Gordon is trying to do, seemingly accidentally. After inadvertently giving Gordon a heart attack, however, Bullock turns over a new leaf. His character later develops into a well-meaning cop who (probably) is exceedingly clumsy, similar to the later animated version. He also forms a close bond with Robin, based initially on their mutual love of old movies. Subsequent to this, he is a Bishop in the spy organization Checkmate."

IMDB has since removed Tom Hardy and his character Detective Harvey Bullock off their posted cast list. With how secretive Christopher Nolan is being about the project, its hard to make any sort of judgment on whether or not this information is correct or heinously wrong. However you slice it, Tom Hardy makes a much more believable Bullock than he does a Penguin. And Clayface is being considered too cartoonish for Nolan's gritty take on Gotham City's crime underworld. We'll surely know the answer about who Tom Hardy is playing soon enough.

B. Alan Orange