While conducting interviews with the cast of The Dark Knight this afternoon, I got a chance to chat with director Christopher Nolan and Gary Oldman about the proposed third segment of their supposed Batman trilogy. While none of us in attendance really wanted to dwell on the death of Heath Ledger, Oldman offered his thoughts on the actor's portrayal of the Joker, calling it the scariest on-screen performance he's ever seen.

He even went on to compare it to his own work as Sirius Black, saying, "Sirius Black might scare six year olds, but he doesn't scare nine year olds. It's hard to scare kids these days. Heath does. He scares everybody. This is one of the most frightening performances I have ever seen put on film." When asked if he thought they should recast Ledger for the third film, or just not include the character, Gary thought it was a good idea, "I don't see why not. I mean, they did it with Katie Holmes' character. I understand that this is a different circumstance, but I think another actor could do the job. I think Heath would want another actor to do the job."

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Oldman then took a moment to think about it some more, "Maybe we don't need the Joker. Because we'll have The Riddler." Yes, Oldman alluded to the fact that The Riddler may in fact be the next on-screen Batman villain.

When I asked if he, himself, wanted to come back for a third segment, he smiled coyly, "We don't really know if Nolan is coming back." He then shook his head. "I guess I have to come back." He then put his hand to the side of his mouth as if to hide the next line from everybody, "Nolan will come back for a third one. I think we all have to." It is well known that Oldman tried to get out of appearing in The Dark Knight, but his contract wouldn't allow it.

Next, I asked Christopher Nolan if he wanted to come back for a third Batman film, and he said that he wasn't sure that he wanted to come back, "I don't know. I take my projects one at a time, and I am not thinking about that right now. I don't know if I want to come back." After that, I asked, "If you do choose to make a third Batman film, do you think that you would recast for the Joker? Or will he not appear in the film?"

Nolan's replay, "I don't know. I honestly have not taken a moment away from what is going on with the film now to even think about that. I don't know. I simply don't know."

The Dark Knight opens July 18th, 2008.