Despite a quick and unequivocal denial from the actor’s reps, the rumor that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing Batman in Man of Steel just isn’t going away. Now, coyly adding fuel to the fire is The Dark Knight Rises director and Man of Steel producer Christopher Nolan. While the filmmaker hasn’t confirmed Gordon-Levitt’s involvement in the new picture (he’d know better, even if it were true), he not denying it, either. More after the jump.

The Gordon-Levitt story spread last month when HitFix‘s sources indicated that the actor would star as new Batman in Justice League — and that, moreover, that he could appear in the Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel to help establish the DC cinematic universe. Those who saw The Dark Knight Rises may recall that (spoiler alert!) the ending of that film set Gordon-Levitt’s character John Blake as Bruce Wayne’s Bat-Successor, so the casting made perfect sense.

Movieline caught up with Nolan at a recent event in New York, and asked point-blank whether Gordon-Levitt or anyone else would cameo as Batman in Man of Steel. Nolan’s response was less direct. “I can’t talk about that. You know that,” he said with a smile.

The comment doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but it seems noteworthy that Nolan didn’t simply say no. If the rumor were 100% false, we’d think Nolan would just come out and say that. Especially since Gordon-Levitt and his folk obviously want to squash it.

On the other hand, we’ve learned by now that even official statements can prove false. Remember how Nolan and company shot down all the Dark Knight Rises fan theories, and then half of them turned out to be spot-on? It’s possible that “no comment” really does mean “no comment” in this case. For what it’s worth, Nolan has previously said that the open-ended nature of The Dark Knight Rises was meant to call back to the film’s themes — not necessarily to set up a sequel or continuation.

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