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Holy Rumor Mill, Batman!

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 29, 2008 10:45PM

2008_12_29_batman.jpg As Batfans around the world are giving their Christmas present DVDs of The Dark Knight multiple viewings, rumors are beginning to circulate about the next chapter in the franchise, including filming once again in Chicago. Speculation has included pre-production on the next installment beginning in early 2009 and an office for the production opening here in town as early as February. Of course, most of the rumors are circulating around casting.

The most popular rumors: Johnny Depp as The Riddler alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. Now, it'd be tough to imagine such campy characters in Nolan's Batman universe, especially since both are basically pale variations of The Joker. In October, "Dark Knight" co-writer David Goyer told MTV that all the rumors were false.

"Chris and I haven't even talked about it. He quite understandably is taking a long, long vacation and wants to purge himself," said Goyer, who recently directed his horror film "Unborn" in Chicago.

Since then, however, more interesting casting talk has surfaced, that Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") is up for the role of Catwoman, according to E!Online. In story terms, at least, the inclusion of Catwoman would make sense--she's a character comfortable on either side of the law. Given that Batman will be a hunted vigilante without romantic ties in "B3," the formula could work.

Hmm. We're gonna hold our tongue on responding to any of this because it's far too early to worry about any of it. That said, at this point we'll admit we trust Nolan completely so we're willing to see where this goes. We're just happy it appears our beautiful city will likely remain the setting.