In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, director Christopher Nolan says that he will never bring back The Joker in Batman 3 or other future installments of the franchise for as long as he’s directing and in charge.

“No”, says Nolan emphatically and unhesitatingly. He resists elaborating simply because, quite understandably, he says, “I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it”.

This is definitely a decision I respect. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is without a doubt his own. You can impersonate it, but never replicate it. Besides, Batman is the most robust rogues gallery, why on earth would anyone want to see the Joker return again? How about some love for the female villains, which to this day still hasn’t been done by Nolan.

The tentatively titled “Batman 3” is currently on schedule for a July 20, 2012 release.