If you've spent any time in the last few months reading articles about Christopher Nolan's planned third Batman film, you probably felt confident that the villain in the new film would be the Riddler.

After all, site after site after site reported breathlessly that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had been offered the role of the Riddler on the "Inception" set.  And then when word came down recently that Tom Hardy was cast in the film, people began reporting how Hardy had beaten Levitt out for the role.  It was reported so confidently and so often that it would seem to be accepted fact... right?

Thing is, no one ever verified that notion, and one of the reasons I try not to run links to every little bit of info during the early days on some of these high-profile sequels is because so much speculation gets mixed into what little original reporting is out there, and eventually, you're playing an Internet-wide game of telephone, and the loser is accuracy.

This morning, Christopher Nolan had a short talk with Geoff Boucher at the LA Times, and two concrete facts were reported as a result of that conversation.  First, the film's got a title:  "The Dark Knight Rises."  Since that came from Nolan, I'd take that as official. 

He also said he's managed to persuade Warner and Legendary that shooting IMAX sequences would be more interesting than shooting the film in 3D.  More importantly, Nolan said that the Riddler is not the villain in the movie.  And again... you can't really do better as a source than Nolan.

Of course, he didn't even hint at who the villain or villains in the movie will be, but once we know, we'll have a pretty good idea of the theme of this film.  Nolan's been careful so far to build his movies so that the choices he makes for villain directly feed back into the theme of each film, and I'm sure that will be the case here as well.

The most entertaining thing about this morning's news has been watching fan forums already go ballistic.  "WHAT? NO RIDDLER! BUT HE PROMISED!"  This is why inaccuracy in reporting is a bad things, folks.  Now you've got fans who genuinely think that Nolan decided to dump the Riddler from the movie, as if it was ever true that he was in it.  That's amazing to me.  And the knee-jerk reaction to the title has been equally hilarious.  So many fans had already set their hearts on other titles that now the entire film is "ruined" for them.

I hope Nolan is able to keep a lockdown on information on this one, and I hope the details we do learn are just broad strokes type things.  If we've only got one more film in this series from this director, why would we want to know everything right now?  For now, a title is fine, and if he wants to tell us who isn't in the film, that's fun.  I just hope fans keep some perspective here.  The only reason you're this interested in a third film in this series is because he's done such a good job on the first two, and that should buy him some serious benefit of the doubt, don't you think?

 

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