Sir Michael Caine On ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Villain Tom Hardy: ‘This Is The Toughest Guy In British Movies’

Get ready world… Batman is ready to rise again.

Access Hollywood caught up with Sir Michael Caine at the 2011 Toy Fair in NYC, where he said that it wouldn’t be much longer before he re-teams with director Christopher Nolan, as well as his “Inception” co-star Tom Hardy, on the set of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“‘The Dark Knight Rises’ starts at the end of May,” Caine said. “But he hasn’t finished his script yet,” Caine revealed about director Nolan’s creative process. “I talked to him last week… he’s still working on the script.”

“It’ll be the last one, but we’re like a family, all of us. Not just ‘Batman,’ but we’ve done ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Inception,’ he said regarding Nolan’s penchant for working with the same circle of actors in his mind-bending films.

“We’re all in everything all the time with Chris. So, we are all one family and we love to see each other,” said the two-time Academy Award winning actor who plays Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred.

Caine was in NYC at the 2011 Toy Fair to talk up his upcoming role in “Cars 2,” and expressed nothing but praise for Tom Hardy, who will take on the Caped Crusader as the villain Bane in the film.

“Tom Hardy is one of my favorite British actors. I saw him maybe four years ago in a show on British television, and I was stunned at this guy,” he admitted.

“This is the toughest guy in British movies. He’s obviously playing a tough character because he is,” he said.

Hardy recently appeared on the British TV show “Alan Carr: Chatty Man” and addressed the concern of whether or not this new version of Bane would wear a leather mask, as seen in 1997’s campy “Batman & Robin” starring George Clooney as Batman.

“Only if I feel like it,” he laughed. “Christopher Nolan will revisit that territory entirely. I wouldn’t go by that at all,” he assured fans of the more serious take on the character. Hardy also expects to add an additional 30 pounds of muscle to his 170-pound frame for the role.

Depending on which online rumor bin you keep tabs on, Robin Williams once again recently saw his name pop up for a villain role in “The Dark Knight Rises.” This time for Hugo Strange, a character that has yet to be confirmed for the film.

Could Robin be re-teaming with Christopher Nolan (whom he previously worked with on “Insomnia,” co-staring Al Pacino and Hilary Swank)?

“I love working with him. I’d do anything with him. I don’t know,” Williams recently told Access in an interview for his new Broadway show, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

Williams has been circling the casting carousel to play a big screen Batman villain for decades now.

“They offered years ago, then they gave it to Jack Nicholson. Then they offered it to me again, and they gave it to Jim Carrey,” referring to The Joker in 1989’s “Batman” and The Riddler in 1995’s “Batman Forever.”

“It’s a bit like ‘Yeah right!!’ Are you gonna offer me a part? Yeah right,” he joked.

Williams is currently prepping for his March 31 Broadway debut and tells Access he would still welcome to opportunity to work with Nolan again.

“I’d love to with Chris. He’s the best,” he concluded.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is set for a July 20, 2012 release.

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