Well, we never figured this was something we'd actually have to report because it seemed pretty obvious and logical to us, but in the latest print edition of Empire which features a cover story on Christopher Nolan and "Inception," they ask him about the possibility of re-casting the Joker for "Batman 3":
“No”, says Nolan emphatically and unhesitatingly. He resists elaborating simply because, quite understandably, he says, “I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it”.Well, duh. Christopher Nolan is obviously a smart guy and anyone who thought he'd replace the Joker -- ie. Heath Ledger -- with another actor after his Oscar winning turn, is frankly being kind of an idiot. Even in the fake casting rumors that have circulated regarding the third film, when people were flat-out making shit up about "Batman 3" and its potential villains, they left the Joker/Ledger out of it. So for the first and last time: the Joker won't be in it.
Nolan has gone on record talking about the potential villain or villains for the third film only to say that it won't be Mr. Freeze. Jonathan Nolan is working on the script that will "finish the story" of Nolan's Batman trilogy rather than expanding it even more (thank God). He has not yet confirmed that he will direct, waiting for a script to be finished first, but will he really give away the last installment of his baby to someone else? We doubt it and we're sure Warner Bros. will do whatever it takes to get him into the director's seat for the film; they've already penciled in a July 20, 2012 release.
So let's move on to "Superman" another major superhero franchise project that Nolan is shepherding for Warner Bros. Speaking to Empire, Nolan cast a little bit of light on the approach screenwriter David Goyer is taking with the project:
"..What it is, while David S. Goyer and myself were putting together the story for another Batman film a few years ago, you know thrashing out where we might move on from the Dark Knight, we got stuck. We were just sitting there idly chatting and he said 'by the way, I think know how you approach Superman'.. and he told me his take on it. I thought it was really tremendous. It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that."There's not much there and it's pretty much a re-wording of what he said to the LA Times back in March. That said, it is interesting to note that it seems like Nolan and company won't be straying too far from the mythology in rebooting (once again) the famed superhero for the big screen. And placing Superman into a modern context seems to fit Nolan's overall approach of trying incorporate superheroes plausibly into a living/breathing contemporary environment.
Update. A few more quotes have surfaced via ComingSoon. In case some are wondering (or hoping) Nolan still has not intentions of directing the "Superman" film. "It's something we were just trying to put together a vision for, and then find the right person to take it forward," he said. He also says he's not officially signed on to direct "Batman 3," but with a release date out there already presumably a deal will come together (and it sounds like it semantics at the moment).
"My brother is working on the screenplay. We came up with a story that we are very excited about. We particularly like where we are taking the characters and what the ending is... There are things for me to be very excited about in addressing the characters again. But ultimately it always comes down to the script, and can we make a great film from this? That's something I will firmly be turning my attention to figuring out fairly soon. [It will be]the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding [it]."
His remarks about the D.C. Universe vs. The Marvel Universe kinda feel like slight digs at Marvel. It sounds like under Nolan's watch there will be no superhero crossovers (thank god). "For me a big part of that is their individuality. They are extraordinary beings in an ordinary world," he said reiterating the need to keep the hero story lines separate.
If Warner Bros. sticks to their timeline, Nolan is going to have a crazy busy couple of years ahead of him as they've slated "Superman" for December 2012 and they need to keep on schedule due to the tricky rights issues surrounding the project.