Yesterday, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Christopher Nolan was on hand to receive the Modern Master Award for Inception, and talk quickly turned to his upcoming DC Comics projects.

There's been a brewing hype behind the third installment of his Batman series and the press and fans alike were treated to a few gems. During the discussion, moderator Pete Hammond asked where The Dark Knight Rises title came from, and Nolan joked, "I banged my head against the wall." Nolan remained tight-lipped in regards to whether recently announced cast member Anne Hathaway will play Catwoman, but the hardworking magician did let loose information about the sequel's start date. "We've worked on it a long time, David Goyer and myself. We're about 12 weeks away from shooting. We start in May."

The Dark Knight Rises, with returning stars Christian Bale and Michael Caine and franchise newcomer Tom Hardy (Inception) already confirmed, is scheduled to strong-arm box offices nationwide on July 20, 2012.

At the same time, Nolan will produce the new Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot, Superman: Man of Steel, which will star the just-announced Henry Cavill and make its way into theaters December 2012. At this point, DC should just stand for "Don Christopher."