The Dark Knight Rises has been handed a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, but not for gory scenes or extreme violence. The hugely anticipated Christopher Nolan movie, which will see Christian Bale's Caped Crusader do battle with Tom Hardy's mysterious Bane has been declared unsuitable for children under thirteen because of its 'sensuality'.

In truth, the MPAA also handed down the rating for "intense sequences of violence and action" as well as "language". The PG-13 does not mean the movie is 100 per cent complete - the MPAA will often screen a film before technical elements such as visual effects, sound design and colour timing have been set, though it does give an indication of the type of script that comes with the movie, reports Entertainment Weekly. In comparison, 2008's 'The Dark Knight' received the same PG-13 rating for "Intense sequences of violence and some menace", while Nolan's first movie in the franchise 'Batman Begins' got its PG-13 due to "intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements". Therefore, it appears the third movie is branching out into new territory, most notably sensuality and perhaps romance.

The rating has already led fans to discern that Bale's Bruce Wayne could spark up a romance with Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway. However, French actress Marion Cotillard also stars in the movie, which hits cinemas on July 20, 2012.