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The Dark KnightChristopher Nolan gave Batman fans quite a bit to chew on this morning, when he revealed that the movie we've heretofore known as "Batman 3" a) will not feature the Riddler as its villain and b) will bear the not-so-different-from-its-predecessor title "The Dark Knight Rises."

OK, take a moment to shed a tear for the Riddler (and for Jim Carrey, who no doubt would have loved to play him again). Got that out of your system? Good -- now let's talk about that title, "The Dark Knight Rises." "The Dark Knight" was a brilliant title for the 2008 sequel to "Batman Begins" because, in addition to referencing one of Batman's moniker's from the comics, it foretold of the Caped Crusader's descent into loneliness, self doubt and exile in that film. In naming the follow-up "The Dark Knight Rises," Nolan seems to be hinting that a little something called redemption lurks ahead for our tortured hero.

"The Dark Knight Rises" also calls to mind the great sequel title "Return of the Jedi": Both titles suggest a return to glory for our down-and-out heroes. Just as Luke and co. were left Solo-less, emotionally scarred (Vader was Luke's father!) and on the lam at the end of "The Empire Strikes Back," so too was Batman left friendless, girlfriendless and a fugitive from the law at the end of "The Dark Knight." These were the dark middle chapters our protagonists had to go through to emerge the stronger, better heroes we always knew they could be in the third chapter. Of course, while most franchises of this sort play best in trilogy form, I welcome Nolan to keep making Batman movies as long as he wants.

All of that said, what do you think of "The Dark Knight Rises" as a title and how does it stack up to some of the other all-time great sequel titles? Hit the jump to vote for the best and worst sequel titles ever in our poll. Read More...

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Batman 3 Title to Be The Dark Knight RisesFROM SPLASH PAGE: Well, we can stop calling it "Batman 3," as director Christopher Nolan has announced that the title of his third "Batman" film will be "The Dark Knight Rises."

Nolan revealed the title in an interview with Hero Complex, a title that both honors the highly successful comic book adaptation while offering a glimmer of hope with the added word "rises." But even as he elevates optimism in the third "Batman" movie's title, Nolan's shooting down the hopes of fans of the Riddler — according to the director, the puzzling villain will not be featured in "The Dark Knight Rises."

"It won't be the Riddler," said Nolan, effectively pulling the leading villain candidate completely out of the pool.

So, who will be the next "Batman" villain, and what do you think of the title? Tell us your in the comments, and read more about the new 'Batman 3' title on Splash Page!

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Tom HardyIs there any young actor more in demand than Tom Hardy right now? Maybe, but it sure doesn't feel like it. He got the lead role in "Mad Max: Fury Road" before he became the surprise star of "Inception," and now that that project has been delayed, he's had plenty of free time to start piling on the roles. And boy he has.

His latest potential starring vehicle is the hot new action-adventure flick "Snow White and the Huntsman," with Hardy circling to play the Huntsman while Angelina Jolie is being eyed for the role of the evil queen Ravenna. The Playlist got the scoop that Hardy is looking to fit filming of this in early next year after he wraps McG's "This Means War" and before he starts on "Batman 3," in which he's expected to play a villain. Read More...

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Tom HardyFROM SPLASH PAGE: If Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine's recent comments on the third "Batman" film weren't enough to excite you about the upcoming sequel, then perhaps some casting news will sufficiently whet your appetite.

Deadline reports that Nolan has recruited his "Inception" collaborator Tom Hardy for a lead role in "Batman 3," which is expected to begin filming this spring at least partially in New Orleans. There's currently no word on who Hardy is playing, though speculation suggests that he could be up for one of the film's villain roles. Read more...

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I'm going to level with you: "Inception" can't hit theaters soon enough. Chris Nolan is one of the most inventive filmmakers working today and the July 16 release is his first original effort since "Memento" in 2000 ("The Prestige" and "Insomnia" are both adaptations). That said, he's done great work with the Batman character and many are looking forward to seeing how he follows up 2008 hit, "The Dark Knight." In the below video, MTV's Josh Horowitz gets Nolan to set the record straight on where things are at and where they're heading. Head over to MTV Splash Page for more on this story.

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Johnny DeppFROM SPLASH PAGE: In last week’s poll, I asked readers to vote on the “Batman 3″ rumors they wished were true. From Cher playing Catwoman and Christopher Nolan exiting the franchise to Philip Seymour Hoffman playing The Penguin and Christian Bale taking his growl elsewhere, there’s been no shortage of rumors surrounding the next installment of the Batman film franchise. And no rumor has been without its share of fans, either.

When all the votes were tallied, however, the margin of votes between the most popular rumor and the next wish-it-was-true option was one of the largest in any of our polls thus far. And while the winner isn’t much of a surprise, the support for some of the other might raise a few eyebrows (and cause some heart palpitations) among the Batman faithful.

Continue reading ‘Johnny Depp Playing The Riddler’ Voted Favorite ‘Batman 3’ Rumor

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Sam WorthingtonFROM SPLASH PAGE: It's been a couple of months (translation: "far too long") since we've heard any crazy casting rumors regarding "Batman 3" -- ever since the blogosphere erupted over since-denied reports that Eddie Murphy and Shia LeBeouf were joining the cast back in December. And while most of the recent attention regarding the follow-up to "The Dark Knight" has been focused on whether Christopher Nolan will settle back into the director's chair, the latest online scuttlebutt now questions if Batman himself, Christian Bale, will don the cape and cowl once more.

In a report coming out of Australia's Herald Sun newspaper this morning, unnamed sources claim that Bale's "Terminator Salvation" co-star, Sam Worthington, may indeed be taking on the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the next installment of the award-winning Batman franchise. As usual, it's important to remember that when it comes to "Batman 3" casting rumors, nothing is confirmed until Warner Bros. says so, but given Bale's recent Internet infamy, could this speculation have some credibility?

For more on the "Batman 3" casting rumor regarding Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, head over to

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FROM SPLASH PAGE: While there's been no shortage of attention given to Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker in "The Dark Knight," the record-breaking sequel to "Batman Begins" might've never come to be if it wasn't for the success of director Christopher Nolan's first cape-and-cowl tale -- and the portrayal of its villain, Ra's Al Ghul, by Liam Neeson.

MTV News caught up with Neeson during the Sundance Film Festival, and got his thoughts on both "The Dark Knight" and a potential return for his "immortal" character from the first film.

For more on Liam Neeson and potential "Batman 3" villains, head over to

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'Eddie Murphy'FROM SPLASH PAGE: Sure, we all had a good laugh at the expense of the U.K.-based tabloid The Sun after they announced that Eddie Murphy and Shia LaBeouf would portray The Riddler and Robin, respectively, in "Gotham" (what The Sun claimed to be the title of the follow-up to this summer's "The Dark Knight"). After all -- as we've made perfectly clear -- Warner Bros., director Christopher Nolan and various high-level execs attached to the franchise have all gone on record saying that there's been absolutely no movement on the film, let alone a script or preliminary casting.

However, the source of the speculation -- Sun reporter Gordon Smart -- has come forward in the face of the fanboy firing squad to defend his reporting, saying that he stands by his story based on "a reliable contact" close to the film. And while it's still safe to shrug and smirk this rumor off, it might be worth noting that Smart claims that the same anonymous source who kick-started the recent "Batman 3” casting rumors was responsible for another rumor back in 2005 that proved true in a big way: the casting of Daniel Craig as the new (at the time) James Bond.

Read more about the response to the "Batman 3” casting rumors at

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Christopher Nolan on the set of 'The Dark Knight'FROM SPLASH PAGE: Back from a big showing at Spike TV's Scream Awards, "The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan recently shared some thoughts about the film with LA Times geek-beat blogger, Geoff Boucher. While Nolan didn't let slip any big news about future Batman films, he did offer up some thoughts on making a third movie -- and the dilemma of the third-film curse.

"Is there a story that’s going to keep me emotionally invested for the couple of years that it will take to make another one? That’s the overriding question," said Nolan. "On a more superficial level, I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?"

Read more about Christopher Nolan's comments on "The Dark Knight" and "Batman 3" at MTV Splash Page.

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