In one of the most anticipated announcements in recent memory, Warner Bros. officially set a date this morning for the follow-up to The Dark Knight. Tentatively known as Batman 3, the movie will debut July 20, 2012 in conventional and IMAX theaters, almost exactly four years after The Dark Knight opened to record-breaking numbers.
At this time, there are no details available regarding the plot or the cast, though it is assumed that Christian Bale at least will be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Warner Bros. was also unable to confirm whether or not Batman Begins and Dark Knight writer-director Christopher Nolan would be taking on those responsibilities again for part three.
Thanks to a wealth of factors including the perceived quality of Batman Begins, the promise of The Joker as the villain, the publicity surrounding star Heath Ledger's performance and untimely death and the movie's overwhelmingly positive reviews, The Dark Knight debuted to an astounding $158.4 million, setting an opening weekend record that has yet to be topped. By the end of its run, The Dark Knight banked $533.4 million, making it only the second movie ever to cross the $500 million mark at the time (since then, Avatar has also reached this milestone). Worldwide, The Dark Knight accumulated just over $1 billion, putting it in the top five all-time.
The Spider-Man reboot, set to debut on July 3, 2012, is the only other release currently scheduled for July 2012. Other high-profile movies scheduled for Summer 2012 are The Avengers (May 4), Madagascar 3 (May 18), Battleship (May 25), Disney/Pixar's Brave (June 15) and the Untitled Star Trek Sequel (June 29).-The summer of 2012 could be shaping up to be a big one...thoughts?