How do you know it's a new day? The sun rises, the cock crows, and someone goes on record saying that The Dark Knight Rises will be the last Batman film that Christopher Nolan directs.
This time, it's Emma Thomas, his longtime production partner and wife, who tells SFX Magazine that there's zero chance we'll see a Batman 4 from Nolan (at least as a director--he's attached to produce and consult on at least one further Batman film in addition to DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers' Man of Steel Superman reboot).
"No, that's truly a never. I cannot imagine a world in which he would ever want to come back," Thomas told the magazine, elaborating that "We've spent almost 10 years of our lives making Batman films. He was very excited about this film, and the story that he'd come up with, but I just cannot imagine that he would get that excited about another version of the same thing."
The added that, as many students of cinema know, part of the reason trilogies are so popular is that your films can function as the classic three-act structure writ large. In this case, Batman Begins is the first act, with The Dark Knight in the middle and The Dark Knight Rises rounding out the third and final act of the story.
While we wholeheartedly believe this to be the case, or at least Nolan's intention, one has to note that things like, "I cannot imagine that he would get that excited about another version" leaves just enough wiggle room to allow Nolan and company to crawl through it, should something go catastrophically wrong with the next Batman film and the franchise needs to be saved or something. Is it likely? No, the odds are pretty near zero. We've all heard things like this come from comic book writers and filmmakers and musicians before, though, and every so often even someone the caliber of Brett Favre doesn't actually know when he's done until after the fact.
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Batman trilogy and will be in theaters July 20.