Just when you though they were out, they pull you back in. For the past several years both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have more or less said that The Dark Knight Rises was their final Batman film and that it completed a trilogy. Done. End of story.

Or is it? In the new Empire, which has a lot of great stuff in it, Bale has very carefully worded a statement that says he’d be open to the challenge of a fourth movie if Christopher Nolan came to him with the right story. We all know that’s a big, big “if.”

After the jump, read that quote and check out a brand new TV spot for The Dark Knight Rises, which features a heavy dose of Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and the reveal of The Bat.

First, up, lots of brand new footage in this latest TV spot for The Dark Knight Rises. Thanks to Superhero Hype.

Next up, the quote from Christian Bale where he acknowledges a fourth Batman movie. Thanks to Empire Online:

My understanding is that this is the last one. I think it’s appropriate, I think it’s going out at the right time. But…if Chris came to me with a script and said, ‘You know what? There is another story’ then I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work.

He might “love the challenge” but he’s not the person who has to conceive it. That’s Christopher Nolan (and Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer) and there’s very little chance that will happen. Bale will likely do whatever Nolan says but even if Warner Bros. rolls up to Nolan’s house with the clichéd dump truck full of money, the director would likely see a fourth film as a stain on his reputation. He’s made his trilogy, time to move on.

Do you think Nolan would ever come up with a fourth story worth telling? And does this quote confirm that Batman doesn’t die in The Dark Knight Rises? Or would that speculated death be the reason Bale calls any fourth film a challenge?

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