September 18, 2015
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Batman speculation “Rises” as Nolan reveals sequel details

By Sean O’Connell Internet speculation ran rampant once Christopher Nolan announced that his third Batman film would be titled “The Dark Knight Rises,” and that The Riddler would not be the main villain.

“We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones,” Nolan told Hero Complex, finally opening up about the sequel that’s scheduled to begin shooting in April.

The phrase “same characters” immediately prompted fans to wonder if Nolan meant that Aaron Eckhart’s tragic hero, Harvey Dent, could be resurrected despite the fact he clearly fell to his death at the end of “The Dark Knight.” The director always said the phrase “Dark Knight” referred to Dent’s Two-Face as well as Christian Bale’s Batman, so the “Rises” certainly fits.

It couldn’t possibly mean The Joker would be recast … could it? Probably not. Nolan said a while ago he wouldn’t try and fill Heath Ledger’s shoes, so he likely just means Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman’s characters – regulars of the franchise — will return.

As for villains, MTV started running through other villains from Batman’s catalog that could be considered by Nolan and co-screenwriter David Goyer. Catwoman was mentioned. Because “Inception” star Tom Hardy has been announced and Louisiana is a location, some fans are clinging to the idea that Nolan might try Killer Croc.

And then there was reaction to the title. Few loved it. Most just shrugged it off. Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere hated it the most, saying it “really sucks eggs.”

We are balancing on the tip of the Bat-iceburg, people. Expect plenty more in the weeks and months to come.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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