Rumor: Christian Bale will return as Batman for a Christopher Nolan produced, Zack Snyder directed Justice League

Plausibility: Depressingly High

There are some corollary rumors to this one, the most prominent being that Warner Bros. thinks they have a major, major hit on their hands in Man of Steel. No press or even test-audiences are known to have seen the film (which is supposedly not even fully finished effects and editing-wise yet) but people in executive positions at Warners and some merchandising/licensing partners are said to have seen it and the early buzz is overwhelmingly positive. Granted, these are the reactions of the "money people," so there's no way of telling if this means the movie is actually any good, but at least they seem to think it's going to sell a ton of tickets and move a lot of action figures.

As such, press reports started to hit last week that Warner Brothers (which recently killed the reportedly awful Justice League screenplay and was said to be putting the whole project back into "wait and see" mode) was finally considering an option that had previously been thought prohibitively expensive: Backing dump trucks of money up to the respective front doors of Christopher Nolan (who produced and had story say over Man of Steel) and Christian Bale to get them onto the project - even though both had expressed no real desire to revisit the franchise and Nolan especially having structured his Batman series to be both over after the third installment and deliberately incompatible with a more sci-fi/fantasy oriented DC Universe.

The whole thing makes obvious business sense. It's been established that Christian Bale simply isn't a movie star without his Bat-kevlar (good actor, don't get me wrong), Nolan could use the career invincibility that would come from gritting his teeth and becoming the "godfather" of a DC Movie-verse he clearly has no real interest in (and maybe a little contempt for), and WB would like to not worry about making people accept a new Batman.

Speaking only for myself, though, I wish there was another way. Much as I like the Dark Knight trilogy, I was done with The Nolanverse Batman with an hour still left to go in The Dark Knight Rises and was really hoping that League would be an occasion to finally let go of "gritty realism" and allow Batman etc. some fun again. Plus, it's not like Nolan doesn't have weaknesses of his own - I'm not exactly looking forward to a Justice League whose Wonder Woman exists primarily as a receptacle for expository "mainsplaining."

Rumor: There will be at least one more Indiana Jones

Plausibility: Nonexistant

Here's the thing: George Lucas is effectively retired. As much as damn near everyone would prefer to see the series continue (if it must continue, that is) without his input, that's not going to happen as long as Steven Spielberg (who's way too busy to do this anyway) has the final say. The fact is, while the Indy saga means a lot of things to a lot of fans, to its creators it's a mutual bonding experience above all else.

Spielberg and Lucas were not initially on the friendliest of terms back when they were both acolytes of Francis Ford Coppola's young filmmaker clique in the 70s, but they became close when Spielberg unexpectedly became the big defender of Lucas' risky Star Wars project. According to Hollywood legend, said creative friendship was cemented when the two opted to take a break from a days-long beach-house party to go build a giant sandcastle - during which time they started bouncing ideas off each other for a "gadget-free James Bond movie" that would eventually become Raiders of The Lost Ark.

In other words, making Indy movies for Spielberg is primarily a thing he does for fun with his buddy George. So don't hold your breath.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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