After years of idle speculation and stupid rumors (Eddie Murphy as The Riddler? Really?), Christopher Nolan is finally talking about a follow-up to his mega-hit The Dark Knight. With a July 2012 release date already penciled in for the third film in the director's Batman reboot, Nolan and his brother are already hard at work on a new story for Gotham's caped crusader.

The filmmaker tells Empire (via Coming Soon) "My brother is working on the screenplay. We came up with a story that we are very excited about. We particularly like where we are taking the characters and what the ending is ..." He goes on to add the new film will be "the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."

Nolan stresses that he hasn't signed on to direct the new film yet, telling the magazine, "No I haven't," when asked. He adds, "there is a point where you're just being precious about it and people get annoyed, but the God's honest truth is I work on one movie at a time. I'm only capable of doing that, so my head will continue to be firmly in [Inception] for another few months."

However, he does answer one question: Will The Joker return for the third film? Head after the jump to find out ...