Sorry, folks, those are the rules – Batman sequel news, no matter how small or unconfirmed, means I have to drop everything and cover it. The word out of Comic Con (from various sites) is that a not-at-all-joking-sounding Gary Oldman said that the next Batman begins shooting next year, “but you didn’t hear it from me.” …And that’s pretty much the whole story. Meanwhile, no one has said anything about director Chris Nolan coming back, and with him busy shooting Inception, it’s hard to say whether he’d have time to shoot a Batman sequel, if what Oldman says is even true. So does that mean they’re hiring a new director? Yes. Yes they are. Brett Ratner will come aboard to direct, Christian Bale will be replaced by Will Smith’s son, Cher plays his love interest, and Shia LaBeouf will play the villain, a midget prostitute that murders.