The Christopher Nolan-directed film would reportedly include a flashback scene featuring a young Ra's al Ghul who is Batman's mentor-turned-nemesis.
"The Social Network" star Josh Pence lands pivotal role in "The Dark Knight Rises". Pence may not be recognizable in the Facebook movie for his face was superimposed by Armie Hammer who portrays the Winklevoss twins.
In the new Batman movie, Pence is to play a young Ra's al Ghul which was Liam Neeson's starring vehicle in "Batman Begins". The 2005 film saw the villain approaching death when the train he board crashed. The casting of Pence has led to speculation that the supposedly dead character escaped the crash somehow.
In addition, Marion Cotillard's role is not yet announced but rumor has it, she would be Thalia al Ghul aka Ra's daughter. THR's sources said Pence will appear in scenes that take place 30 years prior to the present story.
Writer David S. Goyer previously claimed that Ra's is the most complex of all the Batman villains, saying "He's not crazy in the way that all the other Batman villains are. He's not bent on revenge; he's actually trying to heal the world. He's just doing it by very draconian means."
The film is scheduled for U.S. theatrical release on July 20, 2012, featuring Christian Bale as the superhero again.