For a year and a half now the Internet has been devoid of actual news about the next Batman film, and no, we're not above making our own stories up-- see the rumor that Dane Cook would play the Riddler or the classic Megan Fox as Catwoman story.

But as we draw closer to the two-year anniversary of The Dark Knight and its phenomenal success, and Christopher Nolan's next project Inception prepares to open in July, it's clear there must be some work happening on a third Batman film, even if no one is admitting it. Today at Deadline Hollywood, Nikki Finke takes that assumption and runs with it, speculating that when David Goyer cited commitments to "feature projects" as his reason for leaving TV show Flash Forward, he must have meant Batman 3.

Now normally one blogger's speculation about someone else's business decision wouldn't be news-- we do that kind of stuff all the time. But Nikki Finke is uncommonly connected in Hollywood, and probably would know if the Batman 3 script was in progress, so her comment that Goyer and Jonah Nolan are "now writing the third Batman installment" could very well be based in fact.

It would make perfect sense for Goyer and Jonah Nolan to get started on the screenplay right now, but I wouldn't count on anything getting finalized until Christopher Nolan's Inception is out there, setting him free from the publicity tour and allowing him to get his own input on the script before sending it out to actors. Gary Oldman promised last year at Comic Con that shooting on Batman 3 would happen this year, and if the Nolans and Goyer move swiftly, that just may turn out to be true.

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