For a while there after the release of The Dark Knight there seemed to be no information about the next one – would Nolan be back to direct? When is it getting made and when will it come out? Who will be the villain and who will play them? Questions with no answers abound – but we finally got our first glimpse of what’s going on the other day when Executive Producer Michael Uslan hinted at what year of release they’re shooting for.

And now adding to that we have the surprising and exciting news that the next film in the franchise is a lot further along in the development stage than we’ve all been led to believe: According to a trusted source of IESB.net it seems that the script is being worked on at this very moment! And by none other than brother writers of the last film Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, with David S. Goyer helping develop the story again.

During a recent interview, producer Chuck Roven was obviously tight-lipped about most things, but it’s interesting to try and read between the lines:

IESB: We’ve been told that Jonathan, Chris and David are working on the new Batman script. Do you know the direction they’re going or do you wait for them to formulate something more complete before you get involved?

Chuck Roven: The creative driver of the project at this point is Chris. There’s really nothing more for me to say about that. When he feels that he’s got something to talk about, then we’ll be able to talk about it.

IESB: I know you can’t tell us who the villain or villains are, but do you personally know?

[Big smile and a laugh] CR: I really don’t want to talk about that project right now.

IESB assures us all, “We’ve double checked and we are definitely hearing the script is being written as we speak.” And Batman on Film even says that this is “NOT to be taken with a grain of salt.”

Well this is just fantastic news but a little out of left field, I must say. I mean we haven’t even heard of either Nolan, but particularly Christopher, signing on for another one and yet they’ve secretly (until now) been working away on the frickin’ script? I mean it’s great news, obviously, but a bit jarring.

If this does indeed turn out to be true (and to me it seems legit) I think we’ll hear soon (within the next couple of months) that Nolan will be back to direct this next Batman flick. I think he’ll do one more and then call it quits – he will have made his contribution to the legacy of the character, completed the trilogy (which I’m sure he’ll do in The Dark Knight-like quality fashion) and he can then move on with other projects I’m sure he’s eager to start working on.

So it goes without saying this is fantastic news but are you as surprised by it as I am?

Sources: IESB and BOF