'Dark Knight Rises' Spoilers: Liam Neeson Returns As Ra's Al Ghul, But How Big Is His Role?
Liam Neeson has confirmed that he will return for Christopher Nolan's final Batman film. Speculation continues, however, as to whether his role will be limited to flashbacks or feature a return of the character via the regenerative powers of the Lazarus Pit...and Neeson himself isn't doing much to answer fans' questions. YouTube Still

Liam Neeson has confirmed that he will reprise his role as Batman mentor and nemesis Ra's al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's final Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Ra's al Ghul served as the main villain in Nolan's first installment of the Christian Bale-fronted trilogy, Batman Begins.

At the end of that film, Bale's caped crusader left the leader of the League of Shadows to die on a runaway train headed for a fiery explosion.

Those familiar with al Ghul's character in the original comics, however, know that the anti-criminal mastermind and his warped sense of justice have been roaming the earth for over 600 years, thanks to the regenerative powers of the Lazarus Pit.

News of Neeson's cameo in The Dark Knight Rises first leaked when production notes for Wrath of the Titans, where Neeson plays the god Zeus, indicated that he would be seen in Nolan's hotly anticipated film.

But for those worried that Ra's al Ghul's appearance in The Dark Knight Rises might lead to some unfortunate Gotham villain overcrowding (after all, the film already features Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane), Neeson's remarks to CNN on his role in Dark Knight seems to indicate that he will appear in flashbacks, not in the present-day narrative of the film.

That is, if he makes it to the final cut.

I have no idea what the story is about, he revealed when asked about his appearance in the film. Nothing. Nothing.

Seriously, I'm not sure if I'm still in it, he added. It's a cameo--let's put it that way--if it still survives.

The theory that Neeson's cameo will be limited to flashbacks is supported by the fact that actor Josh Spence is reportedly playing a younger version of the character.

12-year-old actress Joey King has confirmed that she will appear in Dark Knight Rises as a young Talia al Ghul, Ra's al Ghul's daughter.

I can't give too much away because I promised Mr. Christopher Nolan I wouldn't say anything, she told MovieWeb. There are too many secrets about the character and the movie.

Marion Cotillard, meanwhile, despite Warner Bros. confirming that she will be Wayne Enterprises executive Miranda Tate in the film, is still rumored to be playing an older Talia al Ghul, one of Bruce Wayne's love interests, in disguise.