I might be able to answer that question. But for now lets just recap this years biggest Hollywood blockbuster, The Dark Knight. The sixth installment of the Batman Series, The Dark Knight has become the second Best-Selling movie of all-time. Grossing over 950 million dollars worldwide, the caped crusader is portrayed by Christian Bale. Batman's archenemy, The Joker, is played by the late Heath Ledger. Joining Ledger as Batman's enemy, Aaron Eckhart plays Harvey Dent. Also known as Two-Face. The film also includes Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Michael Caine as Bruce Wayne's loyal servant, Alfred. Gary Oldman is casted as Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox. These big time actors come together to mezmorize audiences across the country.

Through all The Dark Knight hype this year, the main story has been Heath Ledger's genius performance as The Joker. The Dark Knight premiered on July 18th of this year, just 6 months after Ledger's death. And since then The Dark Knight has grossed over 950 million dollars worldwide. Now that we know how The Dark Knight fared at the box office. Some are now asking whether Ledgers performance is Oscar worthy. Only Peter Finch has won an Oscar after his death for his performance in the 1976 film Network. I personally feel that Heath Ledger should be the second actor to win an Oscar after his death. Let's face it, whether or not you liked The Dark Knight, Ledgers performance was remarkable. It was by far the best single performance I have ever seen in a movie. You can ask anyone who saw it, and they would say that you couldn't even tell Ledger was acting the role. Everything about him was convincing. From the sound of his nightmarish voice to every lick of the lips, Heath Ledger was flawless. As he delivered what perhaps may be some of the greatest dialogue in film history. His horrifying tales of how he received his scars struck fear into the audience from NYC to LA.

Some moviegoers say the sucess of The Dark Knight is due in part to the death of Ledger. I however disagree. The brilliant performances from Bale, Ledger, and Eckhart is the sole reason to why the movie was as successful as it was. Not the mention the brilliant directing from Christopher Nolan. I think that when a viewer gives credit to the death of Ledger for the film's success is just an insult to all of those that put the effort into the movie. Yes, I know that the film wouldn't have done as well if Ledger wasn't casted, but I think it's acenine that someone says that his death made the movie popular. This movie was bound to be as popular as it was. I remember hearing about the film a year ahead of time, and was already stoked to see it. Which is why out of the three months it's been in theaters i have seen it a total of 13 times. The Dark Knight will go down in the books as one of the greatest movies of all-time, along with the stellar performance of Heath Ledger.

With that being said, The Dark Knight Returns (speculated title for the 2011 film) will have big shoes to fill. With The Dark Knight potentially being the highest grossing film of all-time, The Dark Knight Returns will have to meet high standards. So what can we expect to see in the upcoming Batman film? I can answer that....sort of.

First of all, you will not be seeing Harvey "Two Face" Dent in the next film. Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent) sat down with CHUD. "He's dead" Eckhart said before the question was even finished. Eckhart also mentioned that he asked that very same question to director Christopher Nolan while filming The Dark Knight.

"I asked Chris if there was a chance of coming back. 'No way,' he said. 'He's toast.'"

Then who will we see in the next installment of the Batman series?

Michael Caine has seemed to have spilled the beans on The Dark Knight Returns.

In an interview with MTV Michael Caine may have confirmed that the next Batman film will feature two well-known actors playing the roles of The Riddler and the Bumbershoot Bandit, The Penguin. When asked who he would like to see play the opposite of The Caped Crusader. Caine said, "It's Johnny Depp as The Riddler, and The Penguin is Phillip Seymour Hoffman, I read it in the paper".

At first it would appear that Caine is buying into the gossip that most fanboys are, but according to the actor he confirmed the news through the studio itself.

“When Christopher [Nolan] said we were going to do ‘The Dark Knight’ next, I didn’t what that meant in Batman terms,” related Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. “I said, ‘What’s the story?’ and he said The Joker. I said, ‘Oh, shit! How are you going to top Jack [Nicholson]?’ He said, ‘Well, I’ve cast Heath Ledger. And I went ‘Ha! I couldn’t top Jack, but if anyone could, maybe Heath could.’ And he did."

“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make another one?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘Shit, they’ve done it again!’”

So all I have to say is that I will be heart broken if the honorable Mr. Caine is pulling a quick one on us. I mean if your a fan like I am...this is not something to joke about. But let's just say that all of this is speculation. Who would you like to see play the villains in the next Batman installment? And what would you like to see in the movie? Leave some feedback in either the comments or send them to my email.

Speaking Only In Vowels,
Matthew K. Snyder