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Now that Inception is out in theaters and Christopher Nolan is presumably free to work full-time on Batman 3, are you ready for the next round of rumors about the superhero sequel? Too bad, because you're getting them anyway. First Showing has heard from a source who has laid eyes on a "casting grid" that names The Riddler as a character in Batman 3, and has Joseph Gordon-Levitt's name alongside the character as an "interested" actor.

It's important to know that Gordon-Levitt's name on there is in no way confirmation that he'll take the part, and more likely a reflection of the pervasive Internet rumors that said Nolan wanted Gordon-Levitt for the role-- or at least a logical assumption that Gordon-Levitt is on the shortlist. It's also worth noting that the Batman 3 script isn't yet finished and there's been no formal casting process whatsoever, so while the Riddler's involvement in the third film may be assumed by lots of people, don't ever stop expecting the Nolan brothers to switch things up at the last minute.

So what solid news should we take from this, if anything? Not much, unless you want another scrap of evidence that The Riddler could very well show up in Batman 3, and even more vague hope that Gordon-Levitt could be the guy to play him. Nolan has shown a penchant for working with a handful of the same actors over and over again, and Gordon-Levitt as The Riddler would indeed be fantastic, but it's hard to imagine that Nolan will follow up Heath Ledger's landmark performance as The Joker with yet another central villain so well-known in the Batman universe. I'm still expecting a far more obscure villain along the lines of The Scarecrow to take the lead in Batman 3-- and if Gordon-Levitt winds up playing him, all the better.

Hopefully this casting grid news will catch on to the point that someone is inspired to offer an official denial or a telling "no comment," but don't count on it-- Christopher Nolan has never risen to our speculative bait in the past, and there's no reason for him to start now.

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