Get ready, Gotham. Despite the actor’s protests a few months ago that such stories were not correct, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now rumored to be the next Batman. According to Drew McWeeny at HitFix—or, rather, his anonymous source—Gordon-Levitt will “absolutely” take on the role in the upcoming 2015 Justice League movie.
Spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises below.
The Justice League rumor mill is a fertile one—as befits a film featuring Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash—and the success of the much-hyped The Avengers (Avengers:Marvel::Justice League:DC) raises expectations that the movie’s promotion will start early and start strong. For example, we already know courtesy of The New York Post that Zack Snyder’s June 2013 Man of Steel may be the first movie to introduce the Justice League universe to filmgoers. The most recent HitFix news also suggests that, given the precedent for superheroes popping up in other heroes’ movies, the super-early casting of JGL, before Justice League even has a director, may be due to the possibility of a Batman appearance in the Superman movie. (At the moment, Gordon-Levitt doesn’t appear on the Man of Steel cast list, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.)
The news is not that shocking. Even though the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight franchise is officially kaput, hints of Gordon-Levitt’s future were easy to see in this past summer’s The Dark Knight Rises. No, Gordon-Levitt didn’t play Bruce Wayne, but his character got a big reveal—his real first name is Robin, and he discovers the Batcave at the end of the film. The extent of Justice League’s connection to the Dark Knight universe is still unclear; a non-Wayne Batman might confuse some viewers, but it could be even more confusing to have one franchise’s Robin show up as another’s Batman.
UPDATE: According to Entertainment Weekly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s people have denied the rumor.