The arrival of "The Dark Knight" in 2008 reminded cinema enthusiasts everywhere why filmmaker Christopher Nolan should be taken seriously. Comic book fans and mainstream moviegoers alike have patiently waited for an announcement regarding a third Nolan-helmed "Batman" film ("Batman Begins" was the first) ever since the closing credits on the most recent examination of Gotham City's gritty streets. Thankfully, Nolan himself is beginning to think about his "Dark Knight" follow-up as well.

At a press junket promoting Nolan's latest project, "Inception," the upcoming psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the filmmaker told MTV News that he's already thinking about "Batman 3" — well, sort of. "Yes and no I suppose would be the answer," he said. "We know we're aiming for 2012 [as a release date]. That's been talked about. We're just working on the script, really. My brother [Jonah Nolan] has been hard at work on it for quite some time. It's based on a story that myself and David Goyer have written."

Nolan has previously discussed the third "Batman" film in broad strokes. For example, he's said that the Joker won't appear in the film, effectively ending speculation that the late Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning role would be recast. But beyond speaking about the project in general terms, Nolan isn't ready to discuss "Batman 3" in too much detail — though that fact should change once his work on "Inception" is fully finished in a few weeks.

"I've been very completely in this movie," he said about his work on "Inception," which arrives in theaters on July 16. "In a couple of weeks, I'll surface and figure out what I'm doing next and how I'm going to approach it."

Check out everything we've got on "Inception."

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