Warning: The Dark Knight Rises spoilers ahoy! (Seriously, have you really not seen that movie yet?)

The instant news broke that Warner Bros. was launching a The Justice League film, one of the very first questions asked was how the franchise would handle Batman.  Christian Bale then stated he would not return as the character without Christopher Nolan, and Nolan made it clear he was done with the character.  It then became more and more likely that Warner Bros. would simply reboot the entire Batman film franchise, with The Justice League acting as the introduction of the new Batman.  Well, it appears that’s not entirely true.

Viewers of The Dark Knight Rises will recall that Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character, Gotham City police officer John Blake, inherited the Batcave and Batman mantle from Bruce Wayne at the end of the film.  Now it appears that, according to HitFix (via /Film), Gordon-Levitt “will absolutely appear” in The Justice League as Blake/Batman, effectively restarting the Batman franchise, while at the same time keeping it within the same universe/continuity as Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.

Moreover, reports are surfacing that Gordon-Levitt’s Blake will appear in 2013’s Superman film, Man of Steel, which would make sense, given director Zack Snyder’s cryptic remarks yesterday concerning Man of Steel’s connection to The Justice League.

Of course, Warner Bros. has confirmed none of this, so it’s possible that it’s entirely internet-generated silliness.  But the idea does make sense, in a way, even if connecting Nolan’s Bat-films with a series of films about a superhero team-up may go against The Dark Knight trilogy’s more gritty aesthetic.

UPDATE:  Gordon-Levitt’s reps are now denying the actor is in the running for the Batman role.

What do you think—can you see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the new Batman?