We’ve never heard one way or the other whether Christopher Nolan would return for the next Batman movie (which isn’t likely to have “Batman” in the title if I understand correctly, Gotham Knight or Knights has been bandied about but who knows!).

We’ve heard that Nolan was “on vacation” and had yet to return to discuss a new project. We’ve hear whispers that he wouldn’t come back , and that alternate directions for the franchise were being considered. We’ve heard there’s been little-to-no talk of another Batman movie at all. Last week, AICN received a few e-mails indicating that a Batman film was gearing up to start production early next year in the Chicago area, but Nolan’s name was nowhere to be found on the project’s preliminary information. AND, in a recent interview I can’t seem to locate at the moment, one interviewee from Warners revealed that (I’m paraphrasing) Nolan’s return was clearly desirable, but was in no way assured (if anyone knows of a link to said interview, please post in Talkbacks below).

Well, the usually reliable Production Weekly, which (according to its front page) provides the entertainment industry with a comprehensive breakdown of projects in pre-production, preparation, and active development for film and television., has now listed a Batman 3 as going into pre-production early next year – with Nolan directing Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman.

It’s…uncommon…to hear this kind of news without first hearing noisier allusions from other channels, so it’s probably prudent to take this with a grain of salt until further & officialer details come down the pipeline. However, Production Weekly isn’t known for going off half-cocked, and we’ve previously gleaned information like this from far funkier sources. One example: before Len Wiseman was officially announced for Live Free Or Die Hard, some guys on a plane were discussing his attachment to the project…they were overheard by a passenger who then wrote in to tell us the news. So, it may not be wise to completely dismiss this new Nolan information either.

Can’t wait to see how this shakes out. More news as more comes in…

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