Christian Bale was on hand at ShoWest to promote some footage from The Dark Knight, and gave a revealing interview to Entertainment Weekly. The magazine immediately pumped him for Batman information, and Bale was forthcoming -- but noncommittal.

When asked if there would be a third installment, Bale wouldn't confirm or deny. "Um, look, let's wait and see." When the magazine "mistakenly" referred to it as a sixth installment, Bale was quick to correct them, and elaborate on the possibilities of a trilogy. "No, no, no, no, no. Part 3 is what I'd consider it, yeah, I don't say part 6. Batman Begins - that was the beginning there, with all due respect to the others. We are re-creating this. You know, obviously the decision is out of my hands. I would, knowing the Dark Knight story, I would like very much to complete a trilogy. And I think that knowing the story of The Dark Knight, it leaves you anticipating something that really can get very, very interesting for a third. Now, the question would be: Is Chris going to be doing it? Because to me I find it tricky to imagine working on it without it being a collaboration with Chris."

So, can we safely assume that Heath Ledger's premature death does not affect the trilogy's storyline? That has been the biggest question on everyone's mind. If you combine this interview with Aaron Eckhart's latest, I am still of the belief that Joker ends up in Arkham, and Two-Face could be the main villain in a third film. I can't imagine they didn't leave Joker's fate open ended, considering the villain's place in Batman's world, but no one from the film seems to feel the storyline cannot continue. Perhaps a bigger question is why Nolan isn't confirmed to continue the series.
That is not to say that no one on The Dark Knight has felt the impact of Ledger's death. Bale gave his first statement (I believe) on his co-star's tragic demise. "Yeah, I'm absolutely fine talking about him. You know, I don't like kind of trivializing the tragedy in conjunction with an interview to do with the movie, which is clearly far less important. But Heath was a joy. He really was like that, because he was a very unique man. I enjoyed watching him work, working with him - you know, we had a lot of the old gang from the first one together, and then there were new members, Heath obviously included. What was so great to see with Heath is just how seriously he took it. And we don't mean in any way to sound sort of pretentious with that, but just in the fact that if we don't take it seriously, then how can any audience ever take it seriously? And he did one hell of a job." ShoWest was the first time Bale had seen any of the finished clips and his reaction only adds to the anticipation of seeing Ledger's Joker. "It's wonderful, it's fantastic, and, you know, it gave me goose bumps throughout, looking at Heath up there. And I just hope that this can celebrate him, celebrate his work."

Bale also has plenty to say on what drew him to The Dark Knight in the first place, and where the Terminator reboot stands now. Pop on over to EW to read the whole thing. The next chapter in the Batman saga opens on July 18th, 2008.