In addition to the stories about how The Dark Knight Rises will be Christopher Nolan’s last Batman film (seriously, how many times does Nolan need to say this before it becomes non-news?), a rumor is also making the rounds that Nolan will be using unused footage of Heath Ledger’s Joker in the new film. Nolan debunked that rumor while talking to Thompson on Hollywood, confirmed that Tom Hardy has a role and gave a bit of an update:
Nolan, bearded and affable, explained that hes scrambling to finish the script for The Dark Knight Rises, his third Batman movie, which hes writing in collaboration with his brother Jonathan, mostly from his oceanfront abode in the Paradise Cove trailer park in Malibu..The script is due in January for a July release. But he wouldnt say what the storys about or who the villain is, other than to confirm that Inceptions Tom Hardy will play a key role, not saying good or bad, and to shoot down reports that hell resurrect The Joker by including unused footage of Heath Ledgers performance in the previous chapter. Thats all wrong, said the writer-director, whos also producing the next Superman movie, for Zack Snyder to direct.
Warner Bros. Pictures has scheduled a July 20, 2012 release for The Dark Knight Rises.