It wasn't very tough to decide which film we're looking forward to the most in 2012 -- how could it be anything other than Christopher Nolan's final installment in the Batman franchise 'The Dark Kinght Rises.'

#1. 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway

Despite our early concerns about the villain selection for the final Batman film to be helmed by Christopher Nolan (Catwoman. Really?), everything we've seen from the film looks incredible. If Nolan had been able to go through with his plan to feature The Joker as the main villain would we be more excited? Yeah, but we respect Nolan for not wanting to recast the role after the late Heath Ledger's iconic performance (although Daniel Day Lewis would've made a great older Joker, that dude can play anybody).

'The Dark Knight Rises' reportedly picks up eight years after the events of it's predecessor and will feature Bane (Tom Hardy) -- a much more realistic version than we saw in the atrociously nipple-suited 'Batman & Robin' -- as the main villain. Selina Kyle aka Catwoman will be played by Anne Hathaway, a character that -- in the preview at least -- seems much less hokey than previous incarnations. Anybody remember Halle Berry's laughable turn as the leather-clad feline lover? Yeah, it could be worse is all we're saying.

Possible Spoiler Alert: Early reports also said that there would be some flashbacks to Ra's Al Ghul's (Josh Pence playing the younger version of Liam Neeson's 'Batman Begins' villain) early days, and perhaps an appearance by his daughter, Talia Al Ghul (possibly the secret identity of Marion Cottlliard's character), as a mini-villain. Regardless of what villains and old characters actually show up, the film has an incredible cast which also features the previously un-mentioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt and returning veteran actors Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman.

Batman will apparently return to Gotham City to fight the muffle-voiced terrorist leader Bane, after taking the fall for the crimes of the deceased Harvey Dent aka Two-Face and years of inactivity. Bane's claim to fame in the comics as "The Man Who Broke the Bat" -- he snapped Batman's back over his knee, leaving the Dark Knight a paraplegic -- may actually take place in the film as well. It would be a solid, and sensible ending to the trilogy and has been teased in one of the film's promotional posters (see above).

If this film is indeed then end of Bruce Wayne's crime fighting days, which ever director takes over the franchise could start with another character donning the bat-suit instead of a reboot -- sounds cool to us. All those questions will be answered when 'The Dark Knight Rises' hits theaters in IMAX (an NOT 3D thankfully) on July 20th, 2012.