Controverting an earlier report by Variety, Warner Bros. Pictures confirmed this week via press release that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will not portray Alberto Falcone in The Dark Knight Rises, the new film based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The truth is that Gordon-Levitt will play the role of John Blake, a Gotham City police officer working on a special detail under Commissioner Gordon, and an invention of director/writer Christopher Nolan.

Additionally, WB has announced that Marion Cotillard, long rumored to star as Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Batman Begins villain Ra's al Ghul, will in fact appear in The Dark Knight Rises as Miranda Tate, another new character, and a member of the Wayne Enterprises board.Much was assumed about the plot of The Dark Knight Rises based on the belief that Gordon-Levitt would play Alberto Falcone. We previously speculated that the third and final film in Nolan's Batman cycle would borrow heavily from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's classic Batman graphic novel, The Long Halloween, in which Falcone played a crucial role. Rumors that Cotillard would take on the role of Talia -- rumors fueled by the casting of Josh Pence as a young Ra's al Ghul -- inspired belief that the daughter of the villain would also have a major part to play in the film.

Nothing is known about Gordon-Levitt's John Blake character beyond the fact that he is a Gotham City beat cop working under Commissioner Gordon. But the Warner Bros. press release indicates that Cotillard's Miranda Tate character is a Wayne Enterprises board member who's concerned with aiding Bruce Wayne in reestablishing the philanthropic endeavors of his late father.

As is the case with The Dark Knight Rises co-stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Tom Hardy, Cotillard and Gordon-Levitt have worked with Christopher Nolan before. Along with Hardy and Caine, both performers starred in the director's hugely successful science fiction film, Inception.

The director stated, "When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience. I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again."

Nolan's cast also includes Juno Temple as a "street-smart Gotham girl" some have speculated might be Catwoman associate Holly Robinson or Joker sidekick Harley Quinn.

Also starring Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, The Dark Knight Rises is set to open July 20, 2012.

[Via Deadline]