After Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight Rises’: A ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Movie?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:14 pm,

batman dark knight returns After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

Christopher Nolan is about to make his final trip into Gotham City with The Dark Knight Rises – a film that will bring closure to a trilogy that started with Batman Begins in 2005 and continued with the massively successful The Dark Knight in 2008.

The notoriously tight-lipped filmmaker is keeping the details of his latest Batman movie a secret, but there’s one question even Nolan doesn’t have the answer to — what happens to the Batman franchise after he jumps ship?

The character of Batman means so many different things to so many different people that a definitive celluloid interpretation is impossible. Yet, Nolan seems to have come closer than any of his predecessors and his films will surely cast an intimidating shadow over anyone tasked with succeeding him. For a large number of fans, putting someone else in charge of this series is a nerve-wracking proposition.

There will be more Batman films after The Dark Knight Rises, though — it’s too lucrative a franchise to abandon. And you know the higher-ups at Warner Bros. and DC Comics have had at least a few discussions about a post-Nolan game plan. Which is why a few of us here at Screen Rant think there might be more to the title of this latest film than meets the eye.

dark knight poster2 top After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

Now obviously The Dark Knight Rises isn’t a name that was carelessly picked out of a hat. The Dark Knight didn’t just look cool on a poster — it actually meant something when those three words appeared on screen at the end of that film. So as bland as the new title may sound to me, I’m sure it ties into the story (presumably it references Batman’s redemption in the eyes of Gotham’s citizens).

However, like a lot of you, I was surprised by the repetition of Batman’s nickname. After expecting something as unique and distinctive as The Dark Knight, this strikes me as a very curious move. Now, this is PURELY SPECULATION, but perhaps the studio is eager to brand this franchise and instill name recognition in the large portion of its audience that isn’t familiar with the comic books.

Why would it be so important to hammer the name “Dark Knight” home? Well, it seems to me that this film could just as easily have been called The Dark Knight Returns. Sure, they probably wanted to avoid confusion with Frank Miller’s comic of the same name (or a potential DCU animated adaptation) — but maybe… just maybe… DCE/WB is open to the possibility of a live-action version of Dark Knight Returns somewhere down the road.

the dark knight returns1 After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

The Dark Knight Rises not only leaves the door open for using that other title in the future — it would help make The Dark Knight Returns immediately identifiable as a continuation of the previous films. With Nolan’s departure from the Batman franchise likely on the horizon, this would actually be a logical time to use The Dark Knight Returns as a template of sorts for subsequent Batman sequels.

After The Dark Knight Rises, the studio is left with two choices if they want the franchise to carry on: reboot it again or bring in a new director to work within the guidelines of Nolan’s established universe. Neither approach sounds particularly satisfying to me. Fortunately, bringing The Dark Knight Returns to the big screen solves both problems.

For those of you not familiar with the comic, it tells the story of a 55 year-old Bruce Wayne putting on the cape and cowl after ten years of retirement. He squares off against old enemies, makes some new ones, takes a female Robin under his wing, and discovers that Gotham City is now a very different place for vigilantes.

Although I think Miller’s Year One series is the superior comic, The Dark Knight Returns remains a fan-favorite for good reason: it’s packed with one memorable moment after another and culminates with one of the most iconic fight scenes of all-time: Batman vs. Superman.

darknightreturnsbatssupes After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

Adapting The Dark Knight Returns verbatim would never work as a continuation of Nolan’s films. Harvey Dent plays a prominent role (although some would argue his fate in Nolan’s universe is still unknown), training a new Robin would be a little strange without any predecessors, and of course there’s the previously mentioned red and blue elephant in the room — Superman.

The politics of The Dark Knight Returns are an integral part of its narrative and the idea of Superman being reduced to a pawn of the United States government is powerful stuff. All of the Cold War-era paranoia could be effortlessly updated, but even in a semi-futuristic setting, Supes is just a little too fantastical for this universe. Fortunately, the idea of vigilantes being outlawed would still work without him.

I think the bigger issue is how much of The Dark Knight Rises is devoted to covering similar ground and how much influence The Dark Knight Returns might ultimately have on that film. Luckily, even if they eschew the majority of that subplot there’s still a lot left to work with.

dark knight returns hunt the dark knight After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

For me, the most resonant part of The Dark Knight Returns is the premise itself. Typically, when Batman crosses over into other mediums it’s to detail the beginnings of his war on crime. Quite honestly, I think the character becomes so much more compelling when he’s at the inevitable end of that journey. The qualities that make him so tragic are amplified and I love the idea of this old man forced to make peace with all of his decisions and sacrifices.

The specifics of the story are important, but not essential — at least not for me. What makes The Dark Knight Returns work is watching Bruce Wayne accept who and what he is. Connecting it to Nolan’s films would give it a sense of history and purpose that it wouldn’t carry as a stand-alone effort. I think any adjustments that need to be made to the narrative in order to accomplish that would be well worth it.

And, like I said, the decade-long gap between where established continuity ends and Returns begins would allow a new director to put his stamp on Batman without resorting to a reboot. You could drastically change the look of Gotham and the tone of the film without it feeling incompatible.

How about a Gotham cityscape that’s reminiscent of something out of Blade Runner? It’d actually be a natural evolution, as Nolan was greatly inspired by that film’s visual palette when he made Batman Begins.

blade runner city 01 After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

blade runner city 02 After Nolans Dark Knight Rises: A Dark Knight Returns Movie?

The same goes for the cast — what if Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine aren’t interested in returning if Nolan’s not calling the shots? No problem. Not only does The Dark Knight Returns allow new actors to take over the lead roles, it almost demands it.

Continue to actors who could play Batman in The Dark Knight Returns

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TAGS: batman, the dark knight rises

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  1. Can I say a few things? Some of them will anger people but I’m used to that by now. :)

    I like Nolan’s Batman films, but I certainly do not think they are the best take on the character. I don’t really like Christian Bale in the role, much prefered Michael Keaton.
    Nolan’s films are like thrillers that happen to have Batman in, its as if they are ashamed that they are directing a comic book movie and must make it as realistic as possible.
    They do somethings terribly well, but the Batman/Bruce Wayne in those films has never existed on a comic page. he is a purely cinematic version.

    I know almost everyone thinks otherwise. but I couldnt care less.

    On the subject of Dark Knight Returns, I’d love to see it made into a film at some point. I always thought of Clint Eastwood but he is far too old to do it now.

    I freakin love the idea of Sean Bean in the role, that is excellent. I’d also like to throw in Clive Owen, he would be a great Batman.

    • i actually agree with you on the nolan movies. as for the article, i think this would be a good continuation of the series…but absolutely NO russel crowe.

      • Agree about Crowe, don’t like the guy at all.

        • I agree with you Sam, Nolan’s Batman films are not as great as almost everybody say.

          • Yeah, Christian Bale is not a good Batman. I thought Keaton was tremendous. Batman (1989) remains one of my favourite films of his. (Followed closey by Ken in Toy Story 3).

            Crowe isn’t a good choice. His ego wouldn’t fit the suit for one. Now Clive Owen, yes!

            Nolan’s film always have a “this is real life” kind of feel to me, doesn’t sit right with a comic book movie. Plus, I’m not too keen on the title.

            • Keaton had the whole personality disorder thing going with his Batman and I think he nailed the duality of the part far better than Bale. Keaton also made his Batman seem intelligent.

              I always liked Clive Owen for the part of Batman, he’s tall, comanding, good voice, great actor. Plus by the time this would come around to being made he’d probably be in his fifties, right sort of age.

              • I could never take Keaton seriously as Batman. Bruce Wayne, sure, but not Batman. IMO, Bale is the only actor to nail both personlaties. Kilmer was fit for Batman, but not Wayne. Clooney, well, that was one of the biggest miscastings ever.

                • Well, I thought Keaton nailed both parts, he’s great as Batman.
                  Bale never convinced me as Bruce, and his Batman, well, the voice doesnt work for me.

                • I always thought Crowe would make a solid Batman, but terrible Bruce Wayne. You don’t really have that problem with TDKR though since the suave playboy schtick is essentially non-existant.

                  Clive Owen was another actor I strongly considered including. =-)

                  • What made Keaton’s Batman stand out for me was the fact that he could say nothing and speak volumes.

                    As far as Batman being an urban legend, the boogeyman, Keaton’s Batman is spot on. Bale sounds like he needs Benadryl.

                    • LOL.

                      Keaton was more psychologically intimidating. He conveyed a real sense of fear just with his eyes.

                  • I couldnt take Crowe seriously in the role, he’s too much of an angry individual and Batman is all about containing your rage.

                    But Clive Owen, telling you, he’s the best choice.

                    • you guys are killing me here lol.

          • OH NO YOU DIDN’T. These movies are the greatest piece of cinematic art that has ever been made!! Dark Knight Returns sounds awesome, and than later do Batman Beyond.

    • I agree except for you cant justifiably do DKR without the whole “superheroes” are real angle that Nolan has left out of his universe.

      That and I notice you don’t like the “R” word. Please bear with me… “R” if done with Mr. Grayson is a very good story especially if you mix in a little Jason Todd and Tim Drake (but keeping him Dick Grayson) allowing him to go his separate way (college or some such) at the end of the one movie.

      That does a few things. It gets him out there from the books, is a pivot point for Teen Titans, that could also turn into Nightwing.

      DC needs to look to the future or (if they are done well) Marvel will steamroll them. More interests in the movies creates more interest in the comics.

      • hahahaha I thought R was Robin….. not Reboot… :D

        Robin
        Robin
        Robin

        • You said the R word shame on you

        • No. I’m not against Robin at all. I think the character could work really well.

          • Agreed. Most people against Robin only hate him because nobody’s done in justice on screen yet. Burt Ward and Chris ODonnell both left a bad taste in people’s mouths, but if anybody can make him work it’d be Nolan.

            • The hate for Robin all comes from the Adam West Batman days. Bringing Robin into Nolan’s universe would be sweet, but wait til after The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan’s trilogy focuses on the early years of Batman, and if WB continues Nolan story, then Robin can come in. Just avoid Schumacher’s approach.

            • Burt Ward and Adam West’s Batman are amazing. Obviously nowhere near suitable for a serious batman feature film though hahaha.

    • I agree with your analysis as well.

    • @ DrSamBeckett, coutts81, TastyWithKetchup, & Kique,

      I agree with everyone’s perspective on Nolan’s approach, and Bale’s inability to make Batman’s personalities more pronounced and distinguishable.

    • Bonus points for proper use of “I couldn’t care less.”

      :-)

      Vic

      • :)

  2. You see Drsam,more news lol!

    • Nevermind lol this is just speculation Darn!

    • Yes I see it.

  3. Sylvester Stallone (j/k).

    • LMAO that made me laugh!

    • “Hey yo Robin, help me get into my Batsuit”

      • OMG lmao!

        • All you need now is Dolph Lundgren as The Joker! “I must break you, HA! HA! HA!”

          • Lundgren rules!!!

            • lundgren could be Bane..:D

  4. Brad douriff needs to do the chucky remake lol.

    • Seriously stop using the R word!

      • Ok then when i say that word ill have a capital R instead just for you ;)

        • Ta very much.

          The only reason is keep mentioning it is you know what happens if you keep saying Candyman…Well, it works the same with remakes, the more times you say it, the more they make.

          • I see..

  5. I’m thinkin gofter this, if Marvel’s Avengers does as well as one might expect, they’ll save a new incarnation of Batman for a JLA movie, or at least begin to lead up to it. Not sure where that leaves the new Superman to come, though, unless they’ve already been directed to keep the possibilities open.

  6. Im sorry for this but has JLA been scraped? I only ask this because of these statements:

    “the studio is left with two choices if they want the franchise to carry on: reboot it again or bring in a new director to work within the guidelines of Nolan’s established universe. Neither approach sounds particularly satisfying to me. Fortunately, bringing The Dark Knight Returns to the big screen solves both problems.”

    Why must they work in the “guidelines” of Nolan’s established universe? Just because we haven’t seen an 8ft crocodile man doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    There is no reason why they cant continue the story. We dont need a reboot however we also do not need a firm guideline from Nolans no unbelievable characters.. I mean yeah Joker as a person was believable however the stuff he pulled off was not. Same with Two Face except the stuff he pulled off was believable however that face was not. Same with the Batman himself.

    Your DKR movie would work very well if it were not for Nolan trying to create his own contained universe. This is why the movie/character would be slated for a reboot. However if Nolan had let us believe there was a man from space with powers greater then the mortal man there would be no issue at all.

    No reboot no staying true to Nolans universe. Just slowly introduce other options.

  7. To may Villains left to go in my opinion for a reboot, and aging Batman.
    Lot of story left to go, be ashame to reboot the contemporary feel the current Batman’s have until it has played out imho.

    The should look for someone who would be happy to carry the mantle that Nolan has established and keep him as a producer to keep as many of actors as they can.

    They got a good thing going, and until they have their “Spiderman 3″, “Batman & Robin”, the studio would be foolish to reboot.

    Batman will be redeemed in this film, but Batman’s story is far from over.
    We need so see who is not in the 3rd installment

    The Riddler,
    Hush,
    Black Mask,
    Cat Woman,
    Croc
    etc..

    in the current style, before we jump ship.

    • Dont use the R word!

      • Good! You are learning young one.

      • Robin, Ridder, or Reboot?

        • Reboot or remake. both are evil words.

          • Sam how could you? You said them! Iam officially frustrated right now..

            • Its my rule!!!

              • Yes but you cant say them neither.

                • Can’t say them either. I’ll get your grammar up to scratch if it kills you.

                  • You know what i meant lol

                    DONT SAY THEM!

        • The last word on that list never say it,its forbidden.

          • How about revamp?

            • Hmmm, the definiton is different but it still on the no fly list for me.

    • id Like to see nightwing & crock in a film

  8. How about in 2022, Nolan & Bale return to the Batman franchise and make this movie. But I know WB will not want to wait that long between Batman movies.

    • That’s exactly what I came here to say. How awesome would it be if they let the franchise collect a little bit of dust, and then 15 years or so down the line, Nolan announces that he’ll make a Dark Knight Returns movie, with the original cast back (and, by then, enough time will have gone by for a new Joker to be cast)? Al they would need to do is imply all the things that happened in between Batman 3 and the Dark Knight Returns…Maybe show some stuff that has happened in the opening credits, a la the Watchmen.

  9. I too think that we’re getting to the point where if it’s an established character, like Batman, we don’t need origin stories anymore. I’m not against another director taking up Batman because let’s be honest, Nolan isn’t doing this forever so we need to just accept it now and move on. If and when someone else steps in, we need the story to continue. If the new director wants to go this route then by all means do it. I’d rather this story or a new vision then a rehash of the origin. It’s like Superman. I really really really really don’t want to see another origin story. I’m tired of it. Between Smallville, the new Superman movie, and Superman:Earth One (comic), I just don’t want to hear how Kal-El got here. I get it. Let’s move on. This is my 1 big problem with the Spiderman reboot. Sure go ahead and change it up but does it HAVE to be an origin? I don’t think so.

    • Jess u nailed it lmao sure everyone sick of superman an how he got here now we wanna see wtf he did wen he’s here

  10. “the studio is left with two choices if they want the franchise to carry on: r***** it again or bring in a new director to work within the guidelines of Nolan’s established universe. Neither approach sounds particularly satisfying to me. Fortunately, bringing The Dark Knight Returns to the big screen solves both problems.”

    what about batman beyond? thatd be awesome!

    • Oh a Batman Beyond movie would just be fantastic, it really would be like Blade Runner!

      • I want part 5 to be named batman beyond to tie in with begins :)

        • You have seen Batman Beyond haven’t you?

          • youre seriously asking HIM that DSB?? LOL

            • lol iam honest as always,NO DrSam i havent. I feel like saying YES just because of Anthonys comment but i HAVENT.

              • even had you replied “yes” i wouldnt have believed you anyway :)

                • lmao you guys are old and seen like everything im young so i havent lived long enough to see all that stuff,its not my fault LOL

                  • We’re not that bloody old!

                    • yes you are you guys are over 50.

                    • im thinking of a word here to describe our young friend ricky here DSB :)

                    • umm im not over fifty….

                    • Youre getting there Ants lol

                    • Rickenstein just became an “R” word…Old…OLD???
                      I prefer the term “seasoned”, bubba…

                    • Nowhereman is seasoned lol

                • youtube it rick, it………….is……….awesome!!!!! lol

                  • batman beyond came out in the eraly 2000′s so unless your under ten you shouldve heard of it lol

                    • jmack

                      yes i will you tube it :)

      • Joseph Gordon Levitt as Terry! C’mon,you’ve gotta admit that’s a good idea.

        • Jensen Ackles would be my choice for Terry

          • close

            i say jared padelcki

  11. Awesome article, as for SUPER MAX i have the script & it is wonderful!!
    If that ever saw the light of day it could be epic.

    • I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’s an incredible premise.

      • Kiefer Sutherland for Green Arrow!

        • he’ll always be the bully Ace Merril from The Body, AKA Stand By me

          • Nah, he’s Jack Bauer to me. Always will be. Stand By Me is a great movie though, I’ve got all of Sutherland’s films though.

            • Stand By Me and The Lost Boys are the only 2 i have of his. maybe if he did another Phone Booth movie i’d see that too though.

        • I’m not sure if “Jack Bauer” would be believable as the liberal Oliver Queen. You’d want to get someone like Brad Pitt or Matt Damon to play him. As for Kiefer, I’d cast him in the Jonah Hex reboot. (Yeah, I said the word. If anyone needs one, Jonah does.)

        • I think Leonardo Dicaprio would fit as Green Arrow:)

  12. great article by the way. I dont think im ready for Batman without Nolan thats a scary thought. Took 19 years for a second good Batman film.

    • I still remember leaving the theater during the 4th installment. The 3rd wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad either.

      I couldn’t finish the 4th, I took my date and left.

      • why? its not that bad.

        • ………………………why would you bring your date to a 90′s batman movie??????????? are you senile?

          • lol,

            I wound up marring her.

            guest she felt pity on me, for watching a child hood icon destroyed like that.

            • LOL coderaven, you wound up marring her or marrying her – or both? Sorry, couldn’t resist! :-)

              • <—- Computer Guy.

                Why everyone else was afraid of Calc, and high level math courses.

                I ran in fear of english 101, 102 :)

        • ‘Batman and Robin’ is just an abomination of cinema. Not only is it THE worst superhero film of all time, but it’s also one of the worst films of all time.

        • I felt it was just do silly, the Mr Freeze was to over the top, the ice skates at the start, Bane was pathetically done and lets not get started on the constant one liners.

          I enjoyed both Burton’s films, I enjoyed Kilmer as Batman he wasn’t bad as most have hinted.

          But batman 4 was two over the top for me. it could of been Arnold, or Ivy( who was Hot BTW ) but the magic of batman was gone it was just over the top.

          Similar to how Spider man 3 dance scene felt to me, I can’t tell you why but it was to much.

  13. Sean Bean as Batman – Awesome.

    • THE LITTLE ONES!!!

  14. This article is gonna look pretty silly when they can’t continue the franchise because Nolan kills Batman in his last movie ;)

  15. I think after The Dark Knight Rises, they should keep the tone of the previous films and make a Batman Beyond movie. I´d pay 20 bucks to see that (if it´s a proper adaptation)…

    • they wont do that though, some other director like a Schumacher will come up and destroy everything there is to love about Bats.

    • i was just about to post that but i was thinking do the dark knight returns. and go into a batman beyond that would be crazy

  16. Of what I’ve read here,but didn’t Chris Bale say that if Robin was introduced early in the third film that he wouldn’t resume the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
    However the idea combining traits of characters is fine with me in the Nolan-verse style of film making would work.
    Here’s my take on Robin/Dick Grayson where as Batman and Robin,Batman Forever stayed true to the comic book,but Dick was already a twenty something adult male that came from a circus background,but what we weren’t treated to was the progression from Orphan/Ward to Batman’s Partner in crime-fighting t fit Nolan’s universe Dick Grayson would have to be raised in a orphanage that is one of the charities that Bruce endorses have Jason Todd’s or Tim Drake’s knowledge of computers since he would be home schooled in the technology that exists in Nolan’s universe,but keep in mind he’s orphaned at age 14 after he too witnesses his parents being killed in a circus accident,and that traumatizes young Dick two years ago,and hence being in an orphanage .
    Dick is natural fighter having learned boxing at the orphanage is out one night to go to a movie spots Bruce leaving an event to go to his Lamborghini and since he’s in his civilian guise is confronted along with his date by a robber,and cannot reveal that he’s Batman by taking on the robber.
    Enter Dick Grayson wearing a yellow windbreaker,and red sweater with green denim jeans ,who has a slingshot comes out of the shadows fires the rock to disarm the robber,and saves Bruce by punching the robber out cold.
    Bruce turns to his savior and asks for the young man’s name and Dick tells him,and leaves the scene. without telling him about the orphanage.
    The very next day Bruce is researching orphanages and other records trying to find Dick or Richard Grayson living in Gotham City.The film progress with Bruce eventually finding out,and making Dick his ward,and getting him settled at first a public school,but that fails,and has to have him in a private school in a coed environment,and lives with Bruce at the newly renovated Wayne estate.
    Not until the end of the film does Dick tells Bruce of his tragedy of losing his parents,and living in the orphanage,then pretends to go up to bed,and instead follows Bruce to the library where Bruce does the piano code activates the door leading to lift basket taking him to the Bat cave where he is spotted by Dick suiting up to become Batman.
    Bruce then does a swearing ceremony with Dick to not tell his secret Id,and when he returns from his patrol he’ll set up training.

    How’s that for good plot device.

    Let me know OK.

  17. I know I’ve posted this before but some of you might not have seen it.

    This is my Batman.

    Batman: Knightfall

    Cast.

    Batman/Bruce- Christian Bale…
    Jim Gordon- Gary Oldman…
    Lucius Fox- Morgan Freeman…
    Alfred- Michael Caine…
    Oliver Queen- Kiefer Sutherland…
    The Riddler/Edward Nigma- Jeff Goldblum…
    Victor Freeze- Patrick Stewart…
    Talia- Rhona Mitra…
    Dick Grayson- Jensen Aclkes…

    Gotham police are hunting Batman, they have an opening confrontation on a huge bridge over the river, Batman is there trying to round up a criminal gang and must climb around the bridge to evade capture, he ends up taking a dive into the river. The press claim the Batman perished.
    There is a new lunatic in town, a man obsessed with puzzles and questions, he is a killer who places innocent victims in bizarre torture devices and deadly games from which they must solve his riddles to escape. Few manage to survive.

    Bruce Wayne is facing his own crisis, a business rival Oliver Queen has arrived from Star City and he wants to buy Wayne Enterprises diminishing stock. But he will settle for partnering with Bruce on a new medical project, Queen has brought his scientific advisor Victor Freeze. His research is into cryogenics, trying to put a stop on death to allow doctors more time to save lives. Bruce thinks Freeze’s research is potentially dangerous, but will consider the proposal because the company needs the funding, because he has spent so much money on Batman projects. Queen is there with his girlfriend Talia, they go to dinner with Bruce later that night.

    The press have named the new killer, The Riddler, now he has taken and killed several police officers, one of which was a close friend of Commissioner Gordon.
    Gordon is exhausted, from having to lead a city wide manhunt after his trusted friend Batman, and dealing with normal criminals, as well as the emergence of The Riddler. The corruption element hasn’t exactly gone away either. Gordon has taken to drinking heavily, at the possible cost of his family.

    Bruce had heard rumours about The Riddler and decides to go undercover, he disguises himself and heads to a bar where several victims have disappeared. There is a man in the corner doing magic tricks with illusions and the like, he is charming and unstable, Bruce watches on as this man is attacked by an unhappy viewer of the tricks. The attacker ends up stabbed through the shoulder by a knife with a ticking clock on the handle, if the attacker fails to answer the questions put to him in time the knife will explode. Bruce is about to intervene when a man named Dick Grayson, maybe ten years younger than Bruce, steps in and knocks the man aside, and hurls the knife out the door. It doesn’t explode, but by the time everyone has realised this The Riddler has escaped. Bruce tries to talk to Dick, but Dick wants to leave. He is an aggressive and untamed young man with a violent streak.

    When Bruce returns to his penthouse, as the manor is almost finished construction, he and Alfred investigate both The Riddler and Dick, using video footage Bruce secretly filmed in the bar. They quickly learn the identity of the new villain; Edward Nigma. Bruce is shocked to find he used to employ Nigma, and heads to Lucius Fox for answers, leaving Alfred to investigate the mystery of Dick Grayson.

    Fox explains Nigma was fired for his dangerous ideas concerning mind control and the effects of illusions on the human brain, Nigma was also a genius.
    Fox: Like all great men Nigma towed the line between insanity and genius.
    Bruce: I know something about towing the line.
    Fox: Problem is Nigma crossed the line.

    He shows Bruce footage of Nigma using a riddle to hypnotise a group of people and convince them to start attacking each other. Fox then informs his new vehicle is ready at the hanger, but for testing only.

    We learn about Dick’s troubled past, he ran away after his parents were killed during a circus stunt gone wrong, he has repeatedly been in trouble with the law. Alfred senses the parallels between Bruce and Dick, but wisely says nothing.

    Batman shadows Dick, believing his interrupting Nigma makes him a valid target. Dick realises he is being followed and confronts Batman, they have a brief scuffle. Batman eventually convinces Dick to help him by allowing Nigma to take him. This doesn’t quite go to plan, Nigma manages to inject Batman with a freezing compound that completely immobilises and almost kills the caped crusader.
    The Riddler: By the way, I may have told the fine Gotham PD where you are, you can just chill out and wait for them.

    The police arrive, and Gordon barely manages to get Batman back to safety.
    Bruce realises this compound can only have come from Victor Freeze, he finds Queen at the hospital. A few hours earlier, The Riddler broke into Queen’s temporary lab at Wayne Enterprises, stealing all of the research, as well as killing a female assistant who happened to be Freeze’s wife. Freeze has been mortally wounded, exposed to all of his own experiments. His body is now incapable of creating its own body heat, his skin is a pale white blue colour, his retinas are damaged so he must wear red goggles over his eyes for protection. Bruce blames Queen, who should have protected him instead of being out partying.

    Batman and Gordon must find Dick before his time runs out, however this becomes more complicated when they discover Fox has also gone missing. Nigma wants revenge on the person he believes ruined his life, he send Bruce a clue that leads back to the under re construction Wayne Manor.

    Batman enters the site, discovering The Riddler has been busy laying traps and games, he manages to survive relatively unscathed but finds neither Fox or The Riddler. He does find Dick inside a machine, they manage to work out how to escape together. Dick wants to help, and reluctantly Batman sends him off with Gordon to help evacuate Wayne Tower, where Nigma and Foz are located. Nigma plans on using a fuel cell from Freeze’s research to destroy the building.
    Batman takes his new Batwing, and flies to the top of the Tower.

    Alfred: Do you actually know how to fly that contraption Mr Wayne.
    Bruce: You know what they say Alfred, life is a learning curve.

    The Batwing hovers by the roof, Batman tries to talk The Riddler down, but it doesn’t work. He throws Fox off the side but Batman saves him. Fox gets away in the Batwing, Batman is now face to face with The Riddler and his bomb. They fight briefly and Dick arrives just in time to get in the way, Batman obviously defeats him but learns of a greater threat, The Riddler was helped by Talia, Queens girlfriend who is in fact Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter. Batman takes Nigma to Arkham, avoiding the cell on his right that echoes in maniacal laughter, he rushes to find the woman. Talia has knocked Queen out and has disappeared.

    Bruce takes Dick into his family, and they return to the Wayne Manor when it is completed. Batman is no longer an enemy of the city after stopping The Riddler, but Bruce learns from Queen that Victor Freeze has vanished from hospital. Fox retires, and Gordon is determined to kick the drink. There is just the tiniest bit of hope in Gotham for all.
    And Talia returns to her secret hideout, revealing her father, while hideously injured is still alive.
    End.

  18. On my site, Fourth-day Universe, I’ve been writing outlines for potential superhero movies, such as a Question movie and a Superman trilogy. I’m currently working on editions for Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter, but I assure you, we will get to Batman down the line.

    Here are a few of my ideas for him, though:

    One, it will be outside the Christopher Nolan continuity. I’m not even going to attempt to follow his work; not only because he’s smarter than I am, but because many elements of his trilogy can’t be continued in the story I’m writing.

    Two, it won’t be an origin story; at least, not Batman’s. There are many characters, both heroes and villains, in Batman’s world that need their stories told; characters that Nolan has discounted or discarded for whatever reason. Batman himself doesn’t need to be rehashed (though I’m not ruling out a flashback or two), but it wouldn’t hurt to explore the other characters somewhat.

    Three, it will certainly include the other superheroes in the DC Universe. While I may not be ready to create a Justice League movie (we need to see how the Green Lantern and Flash movies turn out, first), I can certainly envision a World’s Finest or even a Trinity movie (and I will).

    As for who I’d get to play Batman/Bruce Wayne? NO BRITS! No Aussies, Scots, Irish, or Welshies, either. He’s an American superhero, and dammit, he’s getting an American actor.

    Though I’ve no idea who, yet.

    • Yeah, maybe one of the reasons they get British actors is because they are better than american actors. It’s called ACTING for a reason, if everyone was only allowed to play parts according to their nationality, films would be pretty dam rubbish. And American films would be nearly unwatchable!

      • I don’t agree with his opinion of other countries actors no more than I agree with yours that Americans suck.

        • I never gave an opinion on other countries’ actors one way or another. But, after Christian Bale and the very long list of British and Aussie actors suggested here, it’s time to remind people that American actors ARE just as good as the rest of the world; and not just in comedies.

        • I wasnt actually being serious about that. I was trying to make a point about his point being ridiculous.

  19. Clive Owen as Bruce Wayne? hmm naww, John Hamm seems more like Bruce in the comics. Daniel Day Lewis as the Joker!? That would be filthy! (awesome.) But come on, Kiefer Sutherland, Patrick Stewart, Rhona Mitra and Jeff Goldblum!? Kiefer Sutherlands bada$$ but could u see him dress up as Green Arrow? Rhona Mitra’s not a big enough star, sexy but i dunno, Liam Neeson should return with Olga Kurylenko as Thalia. Patric Stewart as Mr. Freeze wouldnt be menacing or threatening enough. And Jeff Goldblum? Terrible, just Terrible. I’d prefer a kid actor as Dick Grayson, the kid from Weeds would be perfect for Dick or better yet Tim Drake. Save Jensen Ackles for Batman Beyond.

    • I think we have very different opinions on what a Batman film should be. Let’s just leave it at that.

  20. A bald Mark Strong as Mr. Freeze.
    Bob Hoskins as Oswald Cobblepot.
    Joaquin Phoenix as Hush.
    I could see Kiefer Sutherland as Green Arrow, not in costume tho.
    Olga Kurylenko, Marion Cotillard or Kate Beckinsale as Catwoman.
    Rachel Weisz as Thalia Al Ghul.

  21. 99 responses in just a couple of hours, that’s a new record?

    • You just made it 100

    • I think the Bats Title thread broke any type of record with responses..and its still growing.

      • as far as time frame responses go :)

  22. batman beyond

  23. This is why I’m glad I visit this site. Batman Beyond would be intense. Perfect. Give the guy who came up with that idea an Oscar. I’m a child of the 80s Rickenstein! no where near 50. I’m just wise. Ha!

    • LOL but youre still old HA!

      • You sound like my students!

  24. Zack Snyder please.

  25. I really don’t care what they call the movie, I just want to see:

    (1) Nolan’s version of the Batcave.
    (2) Another Batmobile (Tank).
    (3) Batman doing intellectual ‘detective’ work.
    (4) Batman using the grappling hook and swinging.

    • Batman Begins did show they batcave, and while you may not call it exactly “swinging,” there has been a fair share of using the grappling hook for transport as well.

  26. I wouldn’t mind a “The Dark Knight Returns”-inspired film, taking place ten years later, and I think it COULD easily work without the hated-superheroes angle. After all, the socio-political aspects of the story are paramount, NOT the individuals involved (EXCEPT, of course, Batman and the Joker)…YES, I’M INCLUDING SUPERMAN IN THAT STATEMENT. Yes, the conflict and fight were great, but the story works just as well without any superpowered elements.

    “Batman Beyond” would, indeed, be another excellent film franchise continuation. A number of those actors mentioned would work quite well for it.

    I also happen to believe firmly that the Batman mythology is so rich and adaptable that OTHER stories could be used just as effectively and wonderfully. Either, we could see a totally new story, created wholly in film, OR we could see previously written stories adapted to film (live-action and/or animated). The “Elseworlds” stories open up literally infinite possibilities for, at the very least, animated films, and the “Batman: Black and White” stories would give us various genres and styles for some extremely COOL takes on Batman’s legend.

    • The reason the country is in the state it is in is due to the superhero community being “forced into retirement”.

      Harvey Dent returns to crime (he is dead here).

      We get a female Robin.

      The Joker returns.

      The Government calls in Superman becasue the way Batman is undermining them.

      etc and so forth.

      Try to explain all of that in a 2 hour movie… without using the superhero angle since it was the doing away with superheros that was the catalyst for Batman to go underground (along with a first Robins death) then only to reappear.

      Maybe if you planted it in BB however Batman is the lone vigilante in the Country. There are no other superheroes. Exactly how hard would it be to stop him if the Government really wanted?

      • I could say names like D.B Cooper, Osama bin Laden, etc. (people who manage, at least in mythic or legendary terms, to avoid being found), but even more than them, Bruce has trained for a very long time, with many experts and associates, in stealth and shadow ops. Now, would he be comfortable? Possibly no, BUT I can see him managing to stay “off the grid” quite handily…even MORE easily if the film did not include other superheroes, ones with x-ray vision or tracking-capable alien rings or super speed. I think, with some careful consideration and forethought, “The Dark Knight Returns” could be an excellent film, keeping the spirit and basic concept of the graphic novel without the need for superheroes (I had already stated above that Joker WOULD be necessary to the story; Robin, not being powered, would function in much the same way). As for any summarizing, “Watchmen” and many other films have done so brilliantly in five- or ten-minute intros.

        In short, I don’t see the problem…

        • Oh, and as for “the state of the country”: so many real-world AND comic book situations have arisen or could arise to bring about that dystopia. Harvey Dent might be dead, but there are plenty of other villains to take up the cause (not to mention copycats). The new Robin can STILL be an over-eager girl…that has nothing to do with OTHER heroes.

          See? No problem :)

          • Actually there are a few problems.

            You cant have a threat that isn’t there. Granted you can parlay it from real things but Gotham is not real.

            The real threat in the book at that time was superheroes getting out of control, and the Governments knee jerk reaction to that. That is why there are no heroes or the ones that operate are now operating under the Government and or in the shadows.

            Currently in the movie world you have Batman as we know him (Nolans) and that so called universe.

            If Batman retires Gotham goes down the tubes very quickly. Batman stems the tide of complete anarchy in that city. It has been going down hill. The police force (except a solid few) are still corrupt.

            So put it 10 years in the future you would then need to have a very good reason for him to bale… (see what I did there.. :D ) What would the catalyst be? A dead Robin? Ok but then (this is based on DKR being the 4th or in Nolans universe) Where did this Robin come from etc. However 1 death and he is giving up his lifes work? After Harvey and Rachel died?

            He quits because Gotham doesn’t need him? Unlikely.
            He quits becasue the GPD goes after him? Unlikely.

            I just cant see a catalyst big enough in this universe to have him take a sabbatical. Lets say he does. I just don’t see any of the “good cops” being around when he gets back. So being in Nolans universe he would have to much to clean up.

            Im trying to distance myself from what I know and also look at this from someones perspective that has no idea what the DKR is/was. I just dont see it working. Spiderman quitting? Sure he lived in NY I mean they really didnt need him. It was bright and there was no seedy underbelly. Batman quitting on Gotham? I dont think the general populace (IMO) would understand this.

            As for being found and being stopped that is two different things. Bin Laden does not patrol the streets of the Middle East looking for bad guys. Batman is “active” in his community.

            Yes there is a problem with Robin… no Robin in Nolans Universe. If you are going to bend/break that rule then why not Supes?

            • I think this could potentially be a very different argument depending on how Nolan’s next film ends. He’s really stressed the idea that Bruce does not want to continue being Batman perpetually. He’s also hinted that this next film will be an end to this story. I don’t think that means Batman is going to die. But it could mean Gotham reaching a point where Batman is no longer needed or at least being on its way to reaching that point.

              Depictions of Batman vary greatly, as I’m sure you realize. In a lot of the comics Batman is shown to carry on with his mission because he believes he’s the only one capable of doing it. In Nolan’s films, it’s suggested that Batman exists as a call to arms for the decent people of Gotham to take back their city.

              This version of Bruce does not want to do this forever. So I don’t think it would be impossible to work out an event that lead to his retirement. For all we know, this next film could be it. We don’t know yet.

              • Which is why Im really against people like Nolan attempting to make characters with history into something they are not.

                While in the books there has been a few times he had to go on sabbatical there was never a hard line push or indication he was ever going to be gone for good.

                However this version of Bruce now has to. With the police after him there is now a push on the criminal side. You know how can they deal with the criminals and Batman at the same time?

                If he retires next film after Gotham becomes safe it would be fairly laughable and dare I say cheap if Nolan thinks he can take a character who has been around as long as he has and complete his story in 3 movies.

                And the depictions do not vary that greatly nor are they that far apart. Except for Nolans.

                • Aknot…

                  I don’t think Batman needs to retire at the end of this third film to set up a storyline that can take (and does in the comic continuity, at least according to Miller) ten years to develop and occur. Just have Bruce be redeemed and needed by the end of “Rises”. Then, say (in an introduction, prologue, whatever) that FIFTEEN years have passed. Bruce inspired the people and law in Gotham City to clean up the streets and began to appear less and less, becoming, once more, an urban legend until one day, six or seven years later, he was no longer REALLY seen. The intro. then informs us that eight or nine years have passed with Gotham City experiencing a relative Golden Age…until now. The movie, now, is up-to-date and ready to go.

                  As for the Police dealing with Batman AND the criminal elements in town simultaneously, most of Gotham thinks they are one and the same, anyway…Batman is simply a more extreme and quirky mob enforcer or secret weapon.

                  The “real” issue that calls Batman back into action IS the Joker…and copycats…and possible “super-smart” weapons on the streets (there are a great many logical possibilities).

                  All of this WOULD fit in quite well, not only with Nolan’s world, but with the Batman of the comics.

                  I’m STILL not seeing any major hurdles…?

                  Oh, and Robin? In that prologue/flashback, a young, acrobatic hero began to help Bruce as more people began to trust in the Dark Knight. Some people called him the “Squire”; some ridiculously called him “Protege’” or “Batman, Jr.”, but after about a year, people began to know him as Robin, because of his brighter outfit and the fact that he seemed to be the harbinger of the new Gotham City dawning under Batman’s protection. Character established, now, you can have someone new take up the Robin mantle when Batman reappears.

                  Really, this is no problem to carry out…

  27. Oh, and since others have discussed this already, I’ll throw in my two cents…I happen to think BOTH Michael Keaton AND Christian Bale capture Bruce’s pain and inner turmoil (and resulting obsessive dedication and determination) beautifully. I, further, enjoy how each portrays the created personality of Batman…Keaton shows a more seasoned hero, confident in his reason for existence but still a bit uncertain about his sacrifice. Bale, who plays a Batman just starting out (i.e. newer than Keaton’s) conveys a desperate desire to sacrifice with a just-as-desperate need to complete the mission he’s begun, not knowing just how long he will have to don the armor.
    BOTH play Bruce as the “mask”.

    • These aspects of the mythos, among others, are why Batman is my favorite comic-film hero.

  28. if anyone should be cast as batman for dkr it should be bruce willis stick with me here firstly he is the right age so we wouldnt ave to wait second he looks like batman from the comic imo thirdly we all no he can do action at his age (in r.e.d he is ment to be good not seen it though. am sure a few people will shoot me down but i would like to see this.if this has been said already sorry but i just spent most of the night reading the comments on the batman 3 title thread and my brain cant take anymore lol

    • I have said this time and time again,give me Bruce Willis as Old man Logan.Tell me he doesnt look the part.Look at him in Surrogates and he is Logan in the old years.I would sit in the theater and wait for the film to made so I can see it first hand and say I told you so.lol

  29. Batman should join Coon and Friends, he would make an excellent addition ;).

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