With Christopher Nolan making it clear that 'The Dark Knight Rises' will be the final movie in his hugely successful Batman franchise, attention is beginning to turn to the acclaimed director's future projects. Despite achieving critical acclaim, Nolan was deemed to have been unlucky to have not scored more silverware for 'Inception', and it wouldn't be a surprise should the Academy ignore 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

Nolan was completely subbed in the directing and movie categories for 'The Dark Knight' at the Oscars in 2009, and the popularity of his movies is yet to translate to gongs at the major award ceremonies. In fairness, comic-book movies have never been successful at the Academy Awards or Golden Globes, and it may be one of his future projects that land Nolan his first Oscar. Here's 5 projects that the director has signed on for, or is reportedly planning, for his post-Batman career.

1. Howard Hughes Biopic
Earlier this year, the New York magazine reported that Nolan planned to return to his Howard Hughes biopic after finishing work on 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Insiders with knowledge of his plans confirmed that the director wants to helm the movie that he abandoned several years ago after it became clear that Martin Scorsese would beat him to the screen with 'The Aviator', in 2004. Whereas Scorsese's Oscar friendly movie was based on Charles Higham's biography 'Howard Hughes: The Secret Life', Nolan's planned movie is understood to be based on Michael Drosnin's Citizen Hughes; The Power, the Money and the Madness, which mainly focuses on the stranger decades of Hughes' secretive life.

2. Superman: Man of Steel
It's been a well-known fact for a while now that Nolan has co-written the script for the latest Superman reboot 'Man of Steel', set for release in summer 2013. The movie stars Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe and Amy Adams and is expected to be one of the biggest movies of next year.

3. Untitled Wally Pfister Movie
We also know that Christopher Nolan is teaming up with Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, to act as an executive-producer on his directorial debut. Though details are sketchy, it's known that the film is a thriller and has been written by newcomer Jack Paglen. Pfister has been Nolan's go-to director of photography for many years, dating back to the director's breakout hit 'Memento' in 2000. The pair worked together on 'The Dark Knight Rises', and we expected the upcoming movie to be a complex film baring hallmarks of both Pfister and Nolan's way of working.

4. Inception 2?
This one is little more than rumor for the moment, though ComicBookMovies.com - a reliable source for information on forthcoming films in the genre - ran a story back in January 2012 about an email they had received from a Warner Bros insider. The message claimed that the studio is desperate for Nolan to begin work on Inception 2 immediately after 'The Dark Knight Rises'. According to the email, the plot of the film would be that "Rumors spread that a group of people managed to pull off Inception, and middle-eastern terrorists soon catch onto the idea and plan to perform Inception on world leaders, forcing them to dissolve law and order". Nolan isn't thought to be too keen on the idea because he wants to pursue original material, though it certainly cannot be discounted just yet.

5. James Bond?
It's no secret that Nolan is interested in making a movie for the James Bond franchise, and his dark retelling of the Batman films has intensified rumours linking him with the new look 007, played by Daniel Craig. Last month, Screen Rant learned that the writer/director still has a Bond movie on his filmmaking wish-list. He had previously told Empire magazine, "It would have to be the right situation and the right time in their cycle of things", and providing Sam Mendes doesn't sign on for another Bond movie, things could start moving pretty soon. Michael Caine set tongues wagging this month when he told the movie magazine, "He's (Nolan) got to go on, he's got some other idea, and I'm in it! I've been in everything he's done since he's been in Hollywood". Could Caine have been talking about Bond?