I kind of promised myself I wouldn't talk about Batman 3 anymore until we had a little bit of concrete and officially released information to mull over but when Batman on Film run an "industry scuttlebutt" it's usually as good as anything you will read about The Caped Crusader anywhere. Usually, the site is more trustworthy than official sources themselves. After a long bit of downtime in this film's development (mainly because Nolan has put his attention to Inception right now), Jett received an email from a trusted industry source late last night who told him a couple of news tidbits which should carry a health warning to any die hard Batman fan who may be suffering from a dodgy heart. FIRST: That the death of Heath Ledger rocked Chris Nolan so much to the core that he was convinced in the months leading up to the release of The Dark Knight that he was done with this series and wouldn't return for a third movie. The original plan was to include The Joker in the third movie, but the source doesn't indicate whether this was before Heath Ledger's death.TWO: The earliest of all estimates have Batman 3 scheduled for the summer of 2013, which is four years away. It could easily be longer than that. THREE: There is no story currently outlined for Batman 3. They are truly at square one at this point in time. In Jett's rather somber piece, he predicts the gloomy outlook that it's becoming increasingly unlikely from everything that he has heard that Christopher Nolan wants to direct the next movie and that Warner Bros. are coming up with a list of names right now of who could replace him. This is despite Warner Bros. giving Nolan somewhere between $150 and $200 million to make his sci-fi movie Inception with the silent wager he would be back for a third movie and as long as he stayed with Batman, he would never have trouble financing a film ever again. It's widely expected that Zack Snyder is at the top of the WB contingency list to direct the next movie, although Watchmen didn't quite perform the way it was supposed to and he seems only interested in adapting Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and not picking up where Nolan left off. Of course this was always going to happen at some point. Chris Nolan has never seen this series as the next James Bond franchise but that's precisely what Warner Bros. believe they have on their hands and they won't be completely happy unless there is a new movie every three years. At some point this was always going to prove to be the ending of the relationship between Nolan and Batman and even though Nolan just delivered them a billion dollars, I can imagine their patience running a little thin. So Nolan's gonna have to make a decision sooner rather than later on what he wants to do. Screenwriters Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer who never get enough credit for the work they did in getting the two previous Batman movies onto the big screen had to lobby hard to convince Chris to make The Dark Knight and they will do the same for a third, but maybe it's a bridge too far right now. And if that's the case what an incredible legacy Nolan has left behind, resurrecting the Batman character who was dead in the water at WB at the turn of the millennium. I hope it's not true and by the sounds of things, I don't think Nolan has fully decided yet what he wants to do but the franchise will go on without him, that I can guarantee.