Pic eyes 2005 release; thesp also inks 'Congeniality'

Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine seems headed to the bat cave.

Deal terms are being finalized, but the veteran British actor has agreed to play the role of Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler Alfred in the new installment of Warner Bros.’ “Batman” series. Christian Bale has been cast in the title role.

Pic, to be helmed by Christopher Nolan and being penned by David Goyer, is expected to start shooting next year for a 2005 release.

Meanwhile, Caine is also expected to star in Castle Rock’s sequel to the Sandra Bullock romantic comedy “Miss Congeniality.”

Bullock committed to the sequel, which she will also produce based on a Marc Lawrence-script, in October. Warners and co-financier Village Roadshow Pictures have set a March start date.

Caine, repped by ICM, most recently starred in Norman Jewison’s “The Statement” from Sony Classics and earlier this year in New Line’s “Secondhand Lions.”

Thesp won supporting actor Oscars for 1999’s “The Cider House Rules” and 1987’s “Hannah and Her Sisters.” He also was Oscar-nommed for his starring role in “The Quiet American.”

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