UPDATE: Before you get to the full article, know there was a rumor floating around about Heath Ledger being digitally resurrected for a cameo in The Dark Knight Rises, stemming from a New Zealand site’s report. It’s debunked batshit.

I’m no slobbering fanboy for the guy, but I must admit that the enthusiasm with which I click open a new tab with “Nolan” in the title borders on Pavlovian. I take great delight in the fact that the current pre-eminent blockbuster director is much more of an art director and intellectual filmmaker then we could ever reasonably expect to have succeeded in the system. So yes, when there are new things to read about Inception or The Dark Knight Rises, I’m as eager as you to see them. This morning those things are a few small quotes that don’t bear a lot of substantial fruit, but give us an idea what’s in the director’s headspace right now, and what to expect from his various franchises.

First of all, a casual collection of conversations between HitFix, Nolan, and Emma Thomas (his producing partner and wife) net a few interesting quotes, including one from Thomas stating that Nolan is entirely focused on The Dark Knight Rises and that Snyder’s Superman film will be his own. Nolan’s godfather role included pitching the concept that he and Goyer “couldn’t believe wasn’t being explored by Warner Bros,” and “[bringing] it to an appropriate screenplay.” At this point the film is Snyder’s and we should not expect any other obvious influence from Nolan.

Aside from a tidbit in the HitFix piece that confirms Nolan is still tinkering with the script and hasn’t yet worked on casting, most of the Dark Knight Rises info comes from EW, who found that the director feels very emboldened and confident going into the third film, because of the success of TDK and Inception.

“I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about… I must say that I’m glad — I’m very, very glad — to be embarking on the last chapter of our Batman saga without any sense of obligation or duty to the studio. They did very well with Inception. So I’m able to go into finishing our story in a very enthusiastic way.”

He and Bale are also continuing to emphasize the closure they’re going for by approaching this as their final Batman film.

Finally, Inception is about to hit DVD and Blu-ray, so people can melt their minds at home. Naturally the only question asked of him more frequently than if there will be a sequel, is if the top ever stops spinning, to which he responds…

“That’s definitely the question. It keeps coming back to that. What’s funny to me is that people really do expect me to answer it… With this film, though, people really think I’m going to tell. I get a lot of questions like, ‘Okay, did this thing earlier in the film mean that it’s all true, or does this other thing at another point in the film mean that it’s all a dream? …There can’t be anything in the film that tells you one way or another because then the ambiguity at the end of the film would just be a mistake. It would represent a failure of the film to communicate something. But it’s not a mistake. I put that cut there at the end, imposing an ambiguity from outside the film. That always felt the right ending to me — it always felt like the appropriate ‘kick’ to me….The real point of the scene — and this is what I tell people — is that Cobb isn’t looking at the top. He’s looking at his kids. He’s left it behind. That’s the emotional significance of the thing.”

As for that whole sequel thing? He won’t say “no” definitively, which is actually a bit surprising, but he emphasizes that the most likely continuation of the Inception universe is in video game form.

“I always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place. At the moment, the only direction we’re channeling that is by developing a video game set in the world.”

The project isn’t on any kind of specific timeline though, and while it is probably ticking in the background at one video game company or another, don’t expect Nolan to think much about it again while The Dark Knight Rises is happening.

As award season approaches and Inception has kept up a steady roar of buzz, expect to hear that conversation continue. Obviously the news wave will break once The Dark Knight Rises really gets under way, especially once Warner Brothers gets their marketing campaign going, which I have a feeling is going to make Tron: Legacy‘s year-long blitzkrieg seem quaint, considering it was the viral stunts for The Dark Knight that really set the standard for that kind of effort…