While Anne Hathaway is set to play Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, opposite Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises," the casting of the second major female role in the film still hasn't been announced.  Early reports listed Keira Knightly, Jessica Biel, Kate Mara, Charlotte Reily and possibly Naomi Watts up for either of the two roles.  Now, a French newspaper is claiming that Marion Cotillard has decided to reunite with her "Inception" director Christopher Nolan for "The Dark Knight Rises."

A translation of Le Figaro's break [via Batman News] reveals the following:

"Marion Cotillard in 'Batman 3' The actress, who is expecting a child in the spring with Guillaume Canet, will be scarce this year. She’ll do a single film and her choice fell on Batman 3. This blockbuster produced by Warner Bros.. enables her to work with the director Christopher Nolan, with whom she had turned very successful sci-fi Inception. Marion Cotillard will join the filming this summer in Los Angeles. She will share the bill with Anne Hathaway."

Considering "Rises" isn't expected to begin shooting until the late summer or fall, the timing seems spot on.  And considering the non-American origins of the character she'd be playing, Talia al Ghul, the French born Oscar winner seems like an excellent fit.  In Batman comics lore, Talia is the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, who was Bruce Wayne and Batman's adversary in "Batman Begins."

HitFix has reached out to Warner Bros. to confirm the story with no response at this time.

Since "Inception," Cotillard has shot "Little White Lies," directed by Canet, which was a massive hit in France, Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" (another Warner Bros. release) and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."  Both "Contagion" and "Paris" will be released later this year.

Besides Hathaway, the only other confirmed cast member of "Rises" is Tom Hardy although rumors have been circulating that Joseph Gordon Levitt will join the cast.  

"The Dark Knight Rises" is currently scheduled for a July 20, 2012 release.