It’s been a while since we’ve really heard any news on the Batman front. We know Christopher Nolan has signed to direct The Prestige with his own Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale, and as of yet nobody’s quite sure how that will affect a sequel to Batman Begins, but that doesn’t stop the rumors from flying.

The latest rumor is that Bale will be taking on former Batman Michael Keaton, who will flip sides for the film and take on the role of the Joker. That’s actually a pretty cool idea, although he’s not the only name being passed around. Other names include Paul Bettany, who we’ve mentioned before, as well as Ryan Reynolds and Johnny Depp. Personally, I wouldn’t expect to see Depp take on something like this. The role of the Joker doesn’t seem to have his style, actually the whole Batman franchise seems inappropriate for Depp’s style, but I could be wrong.

Also mentioned in the latest set of rumors by Dark Horizons is the inclusion of Harvey Dent in the next film, who would eventually go on to become Two-Face in the third movie. Liev Schrieber (The Manchurian Candidate) appears to be the leading name up for the role which could be tons better then 1995’s Batman Forever take on the character. Unlike Tommy Lee Jones, who can be hit or miss, Schrieber never seems to leave me disappointed. Even in strange small roles like the Scream movies or Sphere, Schrieber has left me impressed. I’d be very interested in seeing him get a juicy role like Dent, especially with Nolan behind the scenes.

Other rumors include the Penguin making a background appearance (like Falcone in the first movie) and that Katie Holmes will be back, at least for part of the sequel. I’ve already announced my disgust for Batman revealing his identity to a new chick for every movie, so I’m pleased to hear Holmes may be returning in some capacity.

For those who can’t wait for the sequel, Batman Begins, possibly the best of the Batman movies on film, hits DVD next week (October 18th)

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