Batman News is reporting an intriguing rumor that The Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy will play the main villain in the sequel, Dr. Hugo Strange.

We first reported on Tom Hardy's involvement in the project just over a month ago, although it wasn't said what character he would be playing. We also reported a few weeks ago that Tom Hardy could play Detective Harvey Bullock in The Dark Knight Rises, although this new story would confirm earlier speculation that the actor is instead playing the villain.

Hugo Strange first appeared in a February 1940 issue of Detective Comics and was among the first villains that Batman ever squared off against, having appeared long before iconic villains The Joker and Catwoman came around. Strange is a scientist who possesses a genius IQ level, and he is one of the few who knows of Bruce Wayne's secret identity, which ultimately leads to his obsession with Batman.

Related: Casting The Batman: How Robert Pattinson Won the Role of Bruce Wayne

This news hasn't been confirmed as of yet. We'll be sure to keep you posted with any further developments regarding The Dark Knight Rises as soon as we have that information.