Christopher Nolan has no plans to cast another actor as the Joker in future Batman films.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but Batman Begins and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan has confirmed that the Joker won't be recast in his upcoming third Batman film. He also discussed a couple of other villains that won't be making the cut.
When asked by Empire if the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, would make an appearance in what we'll refer to as Batman 3 for now, Nolan "emphatically and unhesitatingly" said: "No." He understandably added that he doesn't "feel comfortable talking about it."
Nolan didn't reveal which villains Batman will go up against in Batman 3, but he did say that both Mr. Freeze and the Penguin aren't making the cut. The lack of Mr. Freeze is understandable, because despite his tragic back-story of wanting to save the woman he loves, he's still kind of just a dude that freezes stuff. The Penguin could have been a formidable opponent though, if rebooted properly. This leaves a few major known villains like the Riddler and Catwoman for Nolan to tool around with, unless he goes with characters that are less mainstream.
As for where the story of Batman 3 could go, Nolan plans to wrap it up pretty tightly. "We particularly like where we are taking the characters and what the ending is," he said. "[This film will be] the ending of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."
Nolan is simultaneously tackling the next Superman movie, putting quite a lot on his plate. Batman 3 is scheduled to hit theatres on July 20, 2012.