Is The Dark Knight Rises based on Doug Moench's "Prey"?S

Christopher Nolan's third Batman film cranks into production early next year, and the rumors are flying like bats driven mad by a sonar belt. And now one site is claiming they know what Nolan's story will be based on. Spoilers?

For the past few days, the rumor mill has been claiming that Inception's Tom Hardy will be playing Hugo Strange, the crazy psychologist who's obsessed with Batman. And now ScriptFlags.com has gone one step further, claiming that the script, due in January, will be based on "Prey," a Batman storyline from the Legends of the Dark Knight anthology series. (They claim to have been told this by a publicist, which makes it seem less likely to be true.) This also jibes with predictions made by TotalFilm recently.

In "Prey," set soon after Batman: Year One, Hugo Strange hypnotizes a troubled cop to become a vigilante, in an attempt to flush out Batman from hiding. Strange also convinces the mayor to put together a task force to hunt down the Dark Knight, with Jim Gordon in charge. And Strange figures out Batman's identity and torments him by putting mannequins of his parents in Wayne Manor, playing taperecordings designed to mess with Bruce's mind. And Catwoman also turns up. Eventually, Strange kidnaps the mayor's daughter and pins it on Batman. It is, as ScriptFlags says, a "dark psychological thriller."

Two caveats come to mind: First, this is definitely another wild rumor to be taken with multiple grains of salt. Second, even if it's true that Nolan is basing his third film on "Prey," it would probably be a very loose adaptation, just as The Dark Knight was loosely based on "The Long Halloween."

Still, it does make a certain amount of sense — if the next film will be about the cops hunting Batman (which would jibe with the ending of The Dark Knight) then it stands to reason that a criminal psychologist with a vigilante obsession would get involved. And "Prey" is definitely one of the more memorable story arcs from the old Legends of the Dark Knight series, with Bats put under lots of pressure both from the cops and from Strange's machinations. It has the right sort of feel for a third entry in the Nolan trilogy. So for now, I'd call this informed speculation rather than an inside rumor. [Thanks skate.rock.die!]