One of the first posters for Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ promised that ‘The Legend Ends.’ And now, as we inch closer to Nolan’s third and reported final installment in his Batman franchise, the director and his star suggest it might be the true end … or it might not.

While speaking with Empire magazine, Christian Bale had this to say about possibly doing a fourth movie somewhere own the line:

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.

Never say never again, right Mr. Bale? You know Warner doesn’t want to kill this cash cow. But franchises are so much better when they understand the proper time to pull the plug. Nolan should bring this story arc to a close with ‘Rises,’ and it sounds as if that’s the director’s plan:

What drew me to Batman in the first place was Bruce Wayne's story, and that he's a real character whose story begins in childhood. He's not a fully formed character like James Bond, so what we're doing is following the journey of this guy from a child who goes through this horrible experience of becoming this extraordinary character. That, for me, became a three-part story. And obviously the third part becomes the ending of the guy's story.

And as Christopher’s brother and co-screenwriter, Jonah, promises, “It's the right way to end it - to blow the whole thing up!"

So the Nolans are talking an ending. And Bale, of all people, is keeping the door to this Bat Cave slightly ajar. Should it end here? Let’s reserve our judgment until we’ve seen how ‘Rises’ plays out, but I think three is a nice round number, and this version of the Batman should conclude here. Let us know your thoughts.

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