Well, that didn't take long to debunk, so anyone holding their breath for the return of a certain Clown Prince of Crime, you'd better stop now.
Just a day or so ago, rumors were spilling in the web that The Joker would return in a cameo sequence somewhere in "The Dark Knight Rises", Christopher Nolan's next and FINAL Batman movie due in July 2012. The rumor stated that Nolan and his crew would incorporate unused footage of Batman's archenemesis, portrayed by the late Heath Ledger, and combine it with CG sequences to make a short scene where the clown would show up again, albeit in a smaller and brief capacity.
Well, as it turns out, that rumor is FALSE. According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter which was also posted in Newsarama, Chris Nolan and his wife have denied the rumor, stating that Ledger's performance will remain in "The Dark Knight", and the script for Rises hasn't even been finished yet. So there you go, and I feel it is better this way. Even with a cameo incorporated to the next film, it will remain nothing more than a cameo, and it won't do justice to the act Heath gave to the world as The Joker the first time around.
The Dark Knight Rises launches itself into theaters on July 20, 2012.