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It's starting to look like Warner Bros may hold Christopher Nolan in the highest possible regard, but that in the end, they own their characters and they will decide what they're going to do with them.
After all, we heard much talk this summer about how the Batman franchise was ending, at least as far as the current version is concerned, and I believe that Nolan was serious when he said that was the last story he had to tell about the character. But Nolan is working with Warner Bros. on the "Man Of Steel" relaunch this summer, and as we reported earlier today, director Zack Snyder is starting to hint at the idea that his film is part of a larger continuity.
Certainly, the ending of "The Dark Knight Rises" hints at a possible future for the franchise, and there has been much speculation about whether or not they'll work to connect the end of that film to the larger world of DC properties that Warner is so desperate to create. Over the last couple of weeks, that speculation seems to have turned into conversation, and that conversation seems to be solidifying into a plan.
According to sources, Joseph Gordon-Levitt absolutely will be appearing in "Justice League" as the new Batman.
Now here's where things get interesting. The more insistent the drumbeat has become, the more poking around I've been doing, and it's looking like we may see Gordon-Levitt in the suit earlier than that. They're a long way from filming anything "Justice League" related, but they appear to be solidifying deals for Gordon-Levitt and, potentially, at least one other actor from the Nolan films to do… something.
So let's take what we know and speculate a little bit. How crazy do you think fans would go if Superman were to take to the skies at the end of "Man Of Steel," finally ready to fully accept his role as mankind's most powerful protector, only to have the closing credits interrupted when something catches his attention and he swoops down out of that sky, landing on a rooftop where Jim Gordon stands next to the Bat-Signal, interrupting just as the new Batman arrives for a chat about Gotham's latest problem?
Pretty crazy, I'd wager.
Keep in mind, I'm not saying that will happen at the end of "Man Of Steel." I'm just saying that Warner Bros. has been studying the way Marvel handled their build-up to "The Avengers," and once they've made the decision they've apparently made, why not start laying the groundwork as soon as possible?
More than ever, I'm curious to lay eyes on "Man Of Steel," and to see just what Warner has in mind for the future. It's going to be fascinating.
UPDATE (11/27) - Hollywood.com contacted Joseph Gordon-Levitt's representatives, who denied the story. This is not surprising, as actors and their representatives routinely deny things that are not ready to be formally announced. We remain confident in our sources and our reporting, and look forward to further developments.
"Justice League" is tentatively scheduled for 2015, and in the meantime, "The Dark Knight Rises" arrives on DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday.
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