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    Ready, Summer 2012? Here Comes Batman 3!

    The Dark Knight, Christian Bale Warner Bros. Pictures

    Same bat channel, new bat time.

    Warner Bros. isn't about to let little detals like no title, no production start date and no locked-down plot stop it from setting up a tentpole, as the studio today announced a July 20, 2012, release date for the third installment of the rebooted Batman franchise.

    Christian Bale will be back in the cowl under the direction of Christopher Nolan.

    With the release date now set, Nolan is currently hashing out a story for the Dark Knight followup, which already faces some steep competition. Also headed to the big screen in 2012: The Avengers (May 4), Battleship (May 25), Star Trek 2 (June 29), and what will likely be the Bat's biggest competition: the Spider-Man reboot's reboot (July 3).

    Comic geeks, get ready.

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    Did Christian make the cut in our Hunkiest Heroes gallery? See for yourself...

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