Maybe there will be no end to this until The Dark Knight Rises is officially in theaters, but once again, rumors have surfaced claiming that The Riddler will be showing up in Chris Nolan’s third and final Batman movie.

If you don’t like RUMORS or are put off by posts that indulge in speculation about a big comic book movie like this, then move on, nothing to see here.

As we get into examining this latest Riddler rumor, it should go without saying that everything you read here should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt, and that NONE of it is in any way to be considered verified information.

The alleged scoop comes our way via Hypable, which claims to have a “legitimate source” who described a supposed “official casting document” taken from back in April, in which the cast of the Dark Knight Rises was listed alongside their characters. You can take a look at the breakdown of the sheet, as described by Hypable:

EDWARD NYGMA (LEAD) –

BRUCE WAYNE/BATMAN (LEAD) – Christian Bale

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (LEAD) – Michael Caine

BANE (LEAD) – Tom Hardy

SELINA KYLE (LEAD) – Anne Hathaway

FEMALE LEAD (LEAD) – Marion Cotillard (attached)

Obviously it’s that “Edward Nygma” part of the sheet that is causing these new Riddler rumors – but again, nothing about this sheet, or the person who passed it along, has been confirmed. So for now it’s all highly suspect. There’s also the fact that a so-called leaked casting sheet naming The Riddler was debunked a year ago. This could just as easily be another fake, or the same fake, as rediscovered by the Internet.

So, let’s just get it out of the way and say this rumor is almost certainly FALSE.  However, just for kicks, there are a few unlikely theories we can explore.

First of all, there’s the fact that April 2011 also happens to coincide with the time we first started hearing that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was joining Dark Knight Rises. JGL has long been a fan-favorite pick to play The Riddler, so inevitably some fans are going to jump to the conclusion that this is what Nolan has been keep up his sleeve all along.

We eventually found out that Gordon-Levitt would play “John Blake” a cop working for Commissioner Gordon – but again, there has been an sentiment of purposeful misdirection by Nolan, which has been echoed by many fans. The simultaneous casting of JGL and Marion Cotillard was immediately put under the microscope of scrutiny, by those unwilling to believe that “John Blake” and “Miranda Tate” were all that they initially seemed.

Recent Dark Knight Rises set photos have lent serious credit to the theory that Miranda Tate is in fact a cover for Cotillard’s true role as Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Talia al Ghul. If Nolan is using misdirection to throw us off the scent of one character, who’s to say he isn’t pulling that same act twice with The Riddler?

Back when we were all wondering what Batman 3 would be about, we here at Screen Rant (and a lot of you fans) were keen on the idea of Nolan’s Riddler being some kind of cop or special investigator who becomes obsessed with figuring out who Batman is. So you can see how this latest rumor is going to give some people the false impression that their suspicions are being vindicated.

Of course, there is one big, glaring, problem with this whole theory: Nolan himself has already said that The Riddler won’t be in Dark Knight Rises. So there’s that.

It’s probably for the better if The Riddler is left out. Dark Knight Rises is already a full plate – what with Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, Tom Hardy’s Bane, and of course, a little guy named Batman who we may want to see onscreen now and again. If Cotillard truly is Talia and not just some supporting character,  JGL (or someone else) playing Edward Nygma/Riddler would make this film feel very swollen. Nolan could still streamline all the moving parts into one epic Batman machine, but it would be a tricky task to pull off, for sure.

What do you think: Any truth to these Riddler rumors? Are you expecting to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt revealed as Edward Nygma, or is this just more Internet misinformation?

The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Source: Hypable