Since 'The Dark Knight Rises' began filming, we've seen photos and footage of every single outdoor shoot. We've seen Tom Hardy in costume as Bane, we've seen him fight Batman, we've seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Batmobile.

More than one fan has wondered about the shocking lack of security on the set, especially since director Christopher Nolan is famous for cloaking every aspect of his films in a shroud of secrecy.

If he's really intent on keeping his plots under lock and key, why on Earth is he filming outdoors, knowing full well those scenes will be on the Internet within seconds? Could it be a huge campaign of misdirection? Is it possible that none of those scenes will even be in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

Four Persuasive Arguments for the Conspiracy Theory:

1. Nolan's level of secrecy makes those 'Lost' guys look like blabbermouths. No one gets into Nolan's locked production office without an escort. "It's very, very tight security," Gary Oldman explained to Absolute Radio. Scripts don't leave his office, and the movie's ending exists only in Nolan's mind, Tom Hardy told Dazed and Confused magazine. He personally tells the ending to each actor, Oldman said, to avoid any Internet leaks.

2. But he also keeps his actors in the dark: "Chris Nolan doesn't tell you anything," Hardy said in a recent interview. "So I don't know what I'm doing or who I'm playing until the morning that I'm working." Obviously, he knows that he's playing Bane because he had to get ridiculously pumped-up to play the villain, but other than that, "everything is subject to change," the actor says.

3. Nolan and his team are famous for spreading misinformation and they've really stepped it up for the third Batman film. A source in Nolan's camp confirmed to Variety that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be playing Alberto Falcone (aka "the Holiday Killer") and the magazine ran with the story. The truth (well, as we know it today), is that Gordon-Levitt will be playing a cop named John Blake. A Nolan source also reportedly leaked a fake script as an April Fool's joke.


4. In commenting on the numerous photos from the set, Anne Hathaway expressed some disappointment and frustration, but then she added, "I also think that [Nolan]'s having fun with it, kind of like spooning out secrets. He has a lot more control than you think."

Two Very Solid Arguments Against the Conspiracy Theory:
1. These exact same kind of leaks were all over the place for 'The Dark Knight''s Chicago shoot in 2007. Footage of Heath Ledger as the Joker, the Lamborghini chase and a whole lot more were posted on YouTube as they were filmed. Watching those amateur videos today, we can see how very little they convey of the impact, scope and artistry -- or the plot, for that matter -- of the movie itself.

2. Sure, Nolan has made Warner Bros. a lot of money but no studio or director would go to the extreme of filming fake scenes at what would be an enormous expense. Sure, maybe one here or there but not an entire film shoot. Our money's on (at least most of) these scenes being legit. And that Nolan still has enough tricks up his sleeve to entertain us thoroughly.


Tom Hardy image: Getty Images, Anne Hathaway image courtesy of Warner Bros.