Eric Roberts teams up with the Joker

Nolan casts Roberts in The Dark Knight

Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight seems to be gaining momentum with the breaking news that Eric Roberts has just signed up to play a criminal kingpin in the sequel, slash prequel, slash re-generation of the iconic Batman franchise.

The Best Of The Best star has seen his career rocket thanks to lucrative roles in TV shows The L Word, and the popular US superhero sitcom, Heroes. Now, it seems, he can add ‘annoying the caped crusader’ to his lengthy CV.

"I don't stop working. I'm a workaholic. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm too overexposed to ever be a superstar, so I'm happy to be a working actor every day," the actor recently mused.

The Dark Knight, which is scheduled for a UK release in July 2008, is the next chapter in Nolan’s popular vision of the brooding bat caper.

It finds the enigmatic Bruce Wayne pairing up with Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent, as they unite to protect Gotham City from a warped killer with a mouth like a bear trap and the wardrobe of Jonathan Ross.