Heath Ledger's Joker Rumored For 'The Dark Knight Rises' Cameo [UPDATED]

Heath LedgerAs the production date of "The Dark Knight Rises" draws ever nearer, fans are scratching their heads wondering who the film's bad guy is going to be. Is it someone played by Tom Hardy? Does Catwoman have it in the bag?

Perhaps it's a villain that we've seen before, at least in a cameo capacity. According to the new rumor, not only is Christopher Nolan planning on bringing Joker back for his "The Dark Knight" sequel, but he also plans on resurrecting the late Heath Ledger's performance.

[UPDATE: Christopher Nolan and his wife/producing partner Emma Thomas have officially denied this rumor to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, "I heard the rumor. We’re not doing that."]

“The idea is to use these fragments of cut scenes and use CGI to have The Joker appear one last time,” a supposed insider informs Showbiz Spy. "Chris wants some continuity between movies and for the franchise to pay tribute to Heath and his portrayal of the Joker."

The insider added that the Joker's return "would only be a fleeting moment in the movie," so don't expect the Clown Prince of Crime to be the main rogue terrorizing Gotham — if, indeed, there's even any truth to the rumor.

There are some obvious strikes against the rumor, including the fact that Nolan has said in the past that he has no plans to return to the Joker, an apparently sensitive subject for the filmmaker. But beyond that, even this latest report notes that the recut footage of Ledger's performance "would only be included with the full consent of Heath's family," which immediately casts some doubt on the likelihood that this is a definite plan.

Regardless of whether the rumor turns out to be true, it's worth wondering — is this an acceptable way to bring back the Joker? Or should Nolan honor Ledger's performance and keep it preserved as is?

Give us your opinion in the comments section and on Twitter!