That is the question on everyone’s lips.

The man behind the second highest grossing film of all time (unadjusted) hasn’t signed on to direct a third installment yet, and The Dark Knight‘s producer Charles Roven has said that nobody has even talked to Nolan yet because he is on vacation.

Roven said:

“There are a lot of us who emotionally would love to do it, but it’s really Chris’ call. Chris is the kind of filmmaker who just doesn’t think about the next movie before he has completely finished the movie he is working on. When he comes back, we will see how he feels.”

You bet a lot of people want to make a third film – especially after the amount of coin that That Dark Knight has taken in ($871 million and counting!).

So how will Chris Nolan feel, and will he want to make another film in the series? And if he doesn’t, what would stop him from making Batman 3?

Well one reason not to return is that some believe that Nolan has made the perfect Batman film, and he might not be able to top that. Third films in a series are very hard to get right. The first film in a series is often an introduction to the characters; the second is where the plot develops and the third film often has the thankless task of sorting out the loose ends. It’s quite easy to bring up examples of disappointing third films in a series:

  • Alien 3
  • Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines
  • The Godfather 3
  • Spider-Man 3
  • X-Men 3
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • and some would even argue The Return of the Jedi (although not me).

Nolan strikes me as a director who likes to get things just right and if he doesn’t feel that he can do that maybe he would just walk away. After all, making a film of that magnitude takes a lot of time and effort, and if you don’t think that it’s going to be good why bother?

Another thing that might stop Nolan returning to Gotham City is salary. Few would argue that the success of The Dark Knight doesn’t rest on Nolan’s shoulders and his paycheck for a third film would have to reflect this. Therefore if the director doesn’t get the quote that he thinks he deserves he might move on to pursue other projects. Negotiations in Hollywood are often very tricky and the money men can often get very argumentative, so anything could happen with regards to that process.

If Christopher Nolan does decide to tackle Batman again it won’t be for another three years – at the very least. Nolan will obviously want to make another non-Batman related film between now and Batman 3, much like he did with The Prestige. Any “in-between” project will dictate the time frame of the next installment in the Batman franchise. Let’s just hope that Warner Brothers doesn’t pull an “X-Men 3” and try to rush the film into production with or without Nolan.

I would like to highlight that Nolan is a fantastic director in his own right, away from the Bat-franchise. Memento is a modern classic; The Prestige is a cracking little magical mystery tour and Insomnia is a good (and slightly under-rated) psychological thriller – so I don’t think that we can begrudge Nolan some time away to develop his directing skills on other films.

I have no doubts in my mind that Nolan will be back – but I have been known to be wrong from time to time. If Nolan doesn’t direct the film I wonder who Warner Brothers will hire to direct the next Batman movie? Surely not Brett Ratner? What about Frank Miller or maybe Zack Snyder?

Who would you like to see direct a Batman film if Nolan decided to leave the franchise behind?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter