Sure, we all had a good laugh at the expense of the U.K.-based tabloid The Sun after they announced that Eddie Murphy and Shia LaBeouf would portray The Riddler and Robin, respectively, in "Gotham" (what The Sun claimed to be the title of the follow-up to this summer's "The Dark Knight"). After all -- as we've made perfectly clear -- Warner Bros., director Christopher Nolan and various high-level execs attached to the franchise have all gone on record saying that there's been absolutely no movement on the film, let alone a script or preliminary casting.
However, the source of the speculation -- Sun reporter Gordon Smart -- has come forward in the face of the fanboy firing squad to defend his reporting, saying that he stands by his story based on "a reliable contact" close to the film. And while it's still safe to shrug and smirk this rumor off, it might be worth noting that Smart claims that the same anonymous source who kick-started the recent "Batman 3” casting rumors was responsible for another rumor back in 2005 that proved true in a big way: the casting of Daniel Craig as the new (at the time) James Bond.
In a recent post on The Guardian's Film Blog -- in reference to the "Craig as Bond" rumor that came true -- Smart is quoted as saying, "Everyone had a crack at us when we published that one. I was almost laughed out of conference that day, but it turned out to be spot on. I wish I had had a bet on it."
The Guardian follows that up with a report that, off the record, Smart revealed his unnamed source, and points out that -- if credible -- it appears to be very reliable.
So while we here at Splash Page still have our doubts about this rumor, it appears as though this story isn't going away anytime soon.
Does it worry you that Murphy and LaBeouf actually might be gearing up for "Batman 3?" Or are you sure Nolan and Warner Bros will do the right thing with the follow-up? Sound off below.