In a move that should surprise exactly nobody who has been paying attention, Christopher Nolan will not be directed Batman III or Dark Knight 2 or whatever next. Just like he did between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight he’s taking a little time to work on another project.

Little is known about what the project is – it’s a sci-fi movie called Inception, and Variety describes it as ‘big sale spec’ that Nolan himself wrote – but it’s looking to be Nolan’s next picture, and it will be at Warner Bros. The current plan is to shoot this summer and have this sucker in theaters in 2010, which means 2011 or 2012 for Batman 3, which was what I always assumed.

Nolan doesn’t want to be the Batman guy forever, and he’s using his juice at WB to get something through that reflects his other interests, just like with The Prestige. And just like with that film, I bet this is a mediocre effort that will excite a certain segment of the fanbase, make decent money and then disappear as everybody waits for The Caped Crusader.