So far, all hints point out that "The Dark Knight Rises" will mark the end of Batman film series by Christopher Nolan. In several new interviews, Christian Bale has affirmed the speculation as he states that it will be the last time he portrays the superhero.
"The thing is that this will be, I believe, unless Chris says different, this will be the last time I'm playing Batman," Bale tells E! Online. Moreover, when sitting down with MTV Movie News, the actor claims he is "very excited" about the upcoming Batman movie "because if Chris maintains, this will be the last one." He adds, "We've got to up it."
However, beside what he has said, the depicter of Bruce Wayne claims he does not know a lot about the project, stating "Chris will let me know what I need to know when I need to know it. I probably know a little bit more than some other people out there, but I think most people would be surprised at how little I do know."
"It just hasn't been necessary yet," he explains. "I know he'll give me plenty of time to prepare for whatever I need to, and I'll discover it. He's a pretty damn good filmmaker. I trust that he's going to come up with something wonderful."
Back in October, Nolan talked about his plans to make his third Batman film as the end of the series. "I'm very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we've done with the characters," he told Los Angeles Times. "Unlike the comics, these things don't go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we're telling."
"The Dark Knight Rises" is slated to kick off principal photography in New Orleans in April 2011 for a scheduled July 20, 2012 release in the U.S. Tom Hardy has been widely rumored to be cast as the villain though it is not clear what character that he will portray.