The next Batman film has a release date!
The sequel to The Dark Knight and the third installment since the Batman franchise got reinvigorated is now set to release in July 2012, according to a recent announcement from Warner Bros. It’s tentatively titled Batman 3. Since he’s signed to a three-picture deal, it’s probably safe to assume that Christian Bale will reprise his role as the Caped Crusader, but details beyond that are slim. Christopher Nolan is not confirmed to direct, but after finishing his upcoming Inception and thus getting the chance to build a film from scratch a la The Prestige, the Batman itch will likely return and bring him back for the third film. That and the dump trunk of cash that will be waiting in his driveway should he agree to direct.
There are zero plot clues at present, and any rumors out there are merely speculation or fanboy wishful thinking. My own wishful thinking tilts in the direction of Bane as a villain that Nolan could give added depth and turn into something special. Catwoman is also a pretty safe guess, due to the obvious reference in The Dark Knight and the fact that the series is want for a powerful female character. Many fans seem to want the Riddler, but to be honest that character always felt too close to the Joker for me and I would strongly hesitate to plant him in the followup to Heath Ledger’s mesmerizing turn as the greatest comic book villain of all time.
For now, though, all we have is the release date. And two long years of tortured anticipation.