'Dark Knight Rises' Director Is A 'Genuine Artist,' Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says

Actor may team up with his 'Inception' director Christopher Nolan for next installment of the Batman franchise.

We don't know what role Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play in "The Dark Knight Rises" — or even if he will in fact officially join the cast — but it's safe to say the 29-year-old would step into any part (big, small, heroic, villainous) if director Christopher Nolan asked him to.

From the way Gordon-Levitt has spoken about Nolan before and after their work together on "Inception," he'd likely walk across hot coals if the director thought it'd be a swell idea.

The first time we talked with Gordon-Levitt about Nolan — back in June 2009, before "Inception" began production — the actor spoke effusively about the chance to work with one of his favorite directors. "I love his movies and I'm so honored and grateful to be working with him," he told us.

He almost didn't get the chance. The role of Arthur, Leonardo DiCaprio's right-hand man in the world of dream thievery, was originally given to James Franco. But after scheduling conflicts left Franco unavailable for the lengthy "Inception" shoot, Gordon-Levitt stepped in and found himself in the midst of a seriously challenging production.

One scene, a zero-gravity fight set within the dream world, required him to train for two weeks with the stunt department to learn how to negotiate massive, rotating sets that Nolan built instead of relying on CGI trickery. "The mode, the fashion in Hollywood nowadays, is to do it all with computers later," Gordon-Levitt told us on the "Inception" red carpet last year. "But Christopher Nolan likes things to feel real."

The result, the actor said in an earlier interview, is "a genuine work of art from a master."

"He did 'The Dark Knight' and it was so successful that he got to do whatever the hell he wanted," Gordon-Levitt added. "And that's fantastic, to see a genuine artist do something on the grandest scale that Hollywood can muster."

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