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OTRC: Heath Ledger footage won't be in 'The Dark Knight Rises' says director Christopher Nolan

Heath Ledger appears as the Joker in a scene from the 2008 movie 'The Dark Knight'. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Christopher Nolan was forced to deny the latest round of rumors surrounding the third installment in the "Batman" franchise, titled"The Dark Knight Rises", on Tuesday night.

A report on a website in New Zealand stated that the director was considering utilizing unused footage of the late Heath Leger as the Joker from his "The Dark Knight" performance in the new film.

"I heard the rumor, we're not doing that," Nolan's wife and producing partner Emma Thomas told The Hollywood Reporter during an awards season event for "Inception" on Tuesday night. Nolan denied it at the event as well.

The director also told the industry paper that the script for the third film is not complete.

"Dark Knight, was released in 2008 and made more than $1.1 billion worldwide. The late Heath Ledger earned a posthumous Oscar for his chilling performance.

The villain for the "The Dark Knight Rises" has not been revealed and Nolan has said it will not be the Riddler. Jim Carrey played the character, who sends Batman riddles about his evildoing and dons a green costume with question marks peppered all over it, in the 1995 movie "Batman Forever." The film was directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Val Kilmer as the superhero.

"We'll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we'll be introducing some new ones," Nolan told the Los Angeles Times in October.

Nolan and his brother are penning the screenplay for the third Batman movie, which is set for release on July 20, 2012. Christian Bale and Michael Caine are expected to reprise their roles as Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, and his assistant, Alfred, in "The Dark Knight Rises."

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