I would hate to be the guy who blows all the big secrets for Christopher Nolan's upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises."  In fact, after some of the ways I've stumbled across giant secrets over the years and blabbed them without knowing full well what the impact would be, I try to err on the side of caution when I can.

Having said that, some news crossed my desk today that is too cool not to share.  However, I want to ask you to respect that not everyone is going to want to know this news, and without knowing context for it, we're still not sure what it means for this third film in Nolan's saga.  If you reprint this news, please try to preserve some sort of a secret for people.  I'm going to run the actual news after the fold, and I'm warning you… it could be a bombshell of a spoiler.

I contacted Warner Bros. to ask them to comment on this story, and they politely refused, saying that's simply not policy when it comes to the Batman films that Nolan and company make.  They know already that they're not going to get him to confirm something, especially not something like this.

We've been hearing word that this film will bring the Nolan trilogy full circle in many ways, and if the word I've been hearing from the set is accurate, then that's not just a thematic promise.  According to sources, none other than Liam Neeson was on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" on Monday, shooting a scene as Ra's al Ghul.

Wait… what?!

Right now, I can't confirm if the scene was meant to be a flashback or if it takes place in the current timeline of the films, but Neeson was there, and he was in front of the cameras.  By Tuesday night, he was already in New York where he showed up for the premiere of the revamped "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark."  I have no idea if he's going to return to London for more "The Dark Knight Rises" shooting or not, but at the very least, we know he's stepped in front of the camera.



What does this mean for the film's storyline?  We've been hearing for a while that Josh Pence had a role in the film as a young Ra's al Ghul, and I think many people assumed that was for a flashback.  It's also widely believed that his daughter Talia, a major part of Bruce Wayne's life in the comics, may show up in the film.  But to actually have Neeson play the role again, especially if he's playing a resurrected Ghul, is exciting news indeed, and suggests that Nolan may be playing around with the strange and the supernatural to some extent.  It's something that fans of the series have been speculating about for a while now, and more and more evidence seems to indicate that at the very least, Nolan's going to play with the idea of resurrection.  Whether it's real or not is something I suspect we'll have to see the film to discover.

For now, take this as what it is:  a single puzzle piece, and we don't have the lid of the box to look at to see how it fits into the larger picture.  Still, it's a very intriguing little bit of information, and I look forward to seeing how it fits in next summer.

"The Dark Knight Rises" will be in theaters July 20, 2012.