It's been almost three years since the release of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, and seemingly almost-three-years-minus-a-day since casting rumours began for the next film, The Dark Knight Rises. Having trouble keeping track of who's been cast as whom? We were too, so we went ahead and put together a list of the cast as we know it so far.

Be warned: we've included suspected alter egos of new characters, as well as surprise returns. We also presume you've seen both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so those are fair game too. Spoilers for all three films in Nolan's trilogy-to-be are below:

The returning players:

  • Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Michael Caine as Alfred
  • Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon
  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
  • Nestor Carbonell (Lost's Richard Alpert) will likely return as the Mayor of Gotham City
  • And, as HitFix reports, Liam Neeson will return as Ra's al Ghul, the mentor-turned-villain of Batman Begins. Neeson's only been on-set for one day (so far), so this looks most likely to be a cameo, probably in flashback.

Not returning? Obviously, the Joker won't be involved (all the better to preserve the late Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance). Don't expect to see Rachel Dawes (as played by Katie Holmes/Maggie Gyllenhaal) or Aaron Eckhart's Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, either. Both characters have been confirmed as dead, though Two-Face's demise was ambiguous enough that Eckhart needed Nolan to confirm it. We don't have word either way, however, on Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow, the primary villain of Begins who was seemingly captured early in Dark Knight.

Now, for the new additions:

  • Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman. Hathaway has confirmed that she'll don the catsuit before the end of the film (meaning we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Halle Berry is unlikely to reprise the role in some sort of cruel twist).
  • Josh Pence as Young Ra's al Ghul. This younger version of Neeson's character will appear in flashbacks taking place 30 years before the main events of the trilogy. You may recognize Pence, kind of: he's best-known for playing a Winklevoss Twin in The Social Network, though his head was digitally replaced by Armie Hammer in the final film.

And a number of cast members join after collaborating with Nolan on Inception:

Finally, in other undefined roles: Josh Stewart, Juno Temple, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Daniel Sunjata, Diego Klattenhoff and Burn Gorman.

How do all these characters fit together? We'll have to wait until The Dark Knight Rises is released on July 20th, 2012 to find out.