Christopher Nolan, who was seemingly being setup to become the an almighty overseer in Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s growing superhero movie universe, recently dropped out of his producer role for Superman: Man of Steel to focus his efforts on The Dark Knight Rises, the third Christian Bale-starring Batman film.

With a release date for The Dark Knight Rises already set for the summer of 2012, Tom Hardy signing on to the project, casting rumors spreading and a supposed production start date of May 2011, the all-important script is almost ready to go. Apparently, director Christopher Nolan must hand it in tomorrow… or else.

This report comes from the Twitter account of Variety writer David S. Cohen who tweeted yesterday that Nolan spoke with him about having to hand in the next draft of the script tomorrow.

“Chris Nolan told me his The Dark Knight Rises script is due Monday or he’s in big trouble. Big trouble? What can they do? Fire him?”

Don’t take the “big trouble” part seriously.

Current reports, rumors and speculation point towards Nolan’s third Batman movie basing its story on the graphic novel “Batman: Prey” which means Dr. Hugo Strange could be a primary villain, likely played by fan-favorite Inception actor, Tom Hardy. As for other new characters joining the fray, there are numerous reports of high-profile lead actresses in contention for two female lead parts (Catwoman? Talia al Ghul?) in Nolan’s next project.

What we can say about who will not be playing a part in The Dark Knight Rises, is that Two-Face won’t be returning, nor will there feature any cameo appearances of The Joker from unused archived footage of Heath Ledger. That is, if Aaron Eckhart’s and Nolan’s words hold true.

If the current script treatment is being finalized as we speak, we can hope for more official news in the near future and for the casting rumors to start becoming official cast additions.

As disappointing as it may be to some, The Dark Knight Rises is reportedly the last Batman movie for Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, that is of course, “unless Chris says different.” If the next Batman movie brings in over a billion dollars at the box office again, this can’t be their last, especially with the character acting as the cornerstone as DC launches Green Lantern and re-launches Superman.

The Dark Knight Rises will releases July 20, 2012.

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Header image edited from art by TSUSketch