The mega-successful and critically acclaimed Dark Knight had hardly hit theaters last year and already there was high anticipation (at least in the geek/online movie circles) for Batman 3. We have heard rumor after rumor after rumor about the third installment, including everything from Christopher Nolan not returning to Eddie Murphy playing The Riddler (I would have given up on life if that latter one was true), all turning out to have a distinctive lack of truth to them.
One of the biggest desires of Batman fans is that Nolan comes back to direct, since he did such a good job with the last two Bat-films, breathing fresh life into an effectively dead franchise with Batman Begins and knocking just about everyone's socks off with The Dark Knight. But will he come back to direct the third? Well, we're still not sure, but "a solid and longtime source" over at the usually reliable Batman-On-Film says that Warner Bros. will finalize plans for Batman 3 in January of next year.
BOF notes that it's not certain that there will be an actual official announcement, but they don't seen any sense in keeping some key points a secret. The main pusher on this is Nolan's Inception, which hits theaters next July. Next January is about the time the marketing craze will start for Inception (the rumored $200 million budget demands nothing less, I think) and if Nolan is on-board, I don't see why they wouldn't announce him before Inception's marketing starts. He'll be getting asked Batman questions relentlessly during that time, so it makes sense for WB to announce their plans either way ("to direct or not to direct, that is the question..." :P ).
BOF's source also points out the obvious in that WB will be going ahead with Batman 3 with or without Nolan at the helm. They're apparently operating on the assumption that he will return to do another, but aren't setting all their plans on stone to coincide with his return. Basically, they'll have to workout everything they can around Nolan's questionable involvement as director, before moving ahead with or without him when the time comes to make that decision.
I know I'm just one of many fans to say this, but I really, REALLY hope Nolan returns to direct Batman 3. What he did with Batman Begins was nothing short of a miracle, and he did the unthinkable after that and topped Begins with The Dark Knight. I know the performance of Heath Ledger as The Joker is what most people talk about when they discuss TDK, but it flat-out would not have been as good as it was if Nolan hadn't directed it. I personally would like to see him return to direct one more, cap off his input to the franchise/character with a trilogy, and move on after that and let someone else have a crack at it. But that's just me.
Do you expect to see an announcement from Warner Bros. early next year of their plans for Batman 3, including whether Nolan will direct or not? It's probably a silly question with an obvious answer, but would you like to see Nolan return? If by any chance the answer is no, who would you like to see direct instead?
And of course, it's never to early to start wondering: What will Batman 3 be about?
We'll keep you informed on the validity of WB's supposed planned Batman announcement. Stay tuned.
Inception hit theaters on July 16th, 2010.