Tom Hardy is set to star in the new 'Batman' movie.

The actor has been approached by the film's director Chris Nolan for a lead role in the latest instalment about the caped crusader and although insiders are keeping his part a secret, it is thought he will play a villain.

Tom was recently announced as Mel Gibson's replacement in the fourth 'Mad Max' movie and is best-known for his roles as Praetor Shinzon in 'Star Trek: Nemesis' and Eames in 'Inception'.

Rumours about the cast for the third 'Batman' movie have been circulating for months and Sir Michael Caine recently revealed he "assumes" he will be in it.

The 77-year-old actor - who has starred as butler Alfred in 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' - believes the third film will begin shooting in spring 2011.

He said: "There will be a new 'Batman'. It will probably start in May next year. I assume I'm there, but in the movie business you never believe anything, you assume.

"But I've been in the last four Chris Nolan pictures, he's my lucky charm. I did 'Prestige', and recently 'Inception', I'm hoping to do another one. He's written the new one."

Christian will once again take on the role of Batman.