Back in the late 1990s, director Joel Schumacher’s film Batman & Robin left the Batman movie franchise dead in the water, for nearly a decade. Thankfully, there soon arrived a filmmaker worthy of resurrecting the Caped Crusader on film: Christopher Nolan. Then still-rising through the Hollywood ranks – but already known for films like Memento and Insomnia – Nolan eschewed Schumacher’s colorful aesthetic, in favor of grounding both Batman and his home city of Gotham in gritty, brutal realism.
While 2005’s Batman Begins was praised by most, it was still a film with flaws, albeit fairly minor ones. Nolan would arguably perfect his Batman universe with 2008 sequel The Dark Knight, a film that worked nearly as well as a crime drama as it did a superhero movie. Featuring an Oscar-winning performance by the late Heath Ledger as Batman’s arch-nemesis The Joker, The Dark Knight was held up by many as not only the best film of its year, but possibly the best comic-book film of all-time.
Unfortunately, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises sent the Nolan series out on a much more divided note. While Rises was still a hit both critically and commercially, the buzz around it never really came close to equaling its predecessor, and it has garnered a bit of a reputation in the years since as the clear low point of Nolan’s trilogy. However, what if Nolan hadn’t stopped at a trilogy? That’s the question noted Youtube creator StryderHD sets out to answer with his new fan trailer for The Dark Knight: Enigma, a hypothetical fourth film in the franchise. Check it out above.
The most notable elements of the above trailer for a possible Dark Knight 4 are of course the presence of both Nightwing and The Riddler. Following up on the ending of The Dark Knight Rises, the above trailer casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Nightwing, while casting current Oscar-nominee Casey Affleck as The Riddler. Also present as a seeming secondary antagonist is Deathstroke. Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle also pops up, as does an aging Bruce Wayne/Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Alfred Pennyworth.
Considering the majorly divided reaction to last year’s DCEU entry Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, one wonders whether a film similar to what’s presented above would have earned a more uniformly positive response from critics and audiences. Alas, it’ll likely never happen, as all those involved with the Nolan Batman series seem to have put those projects squarely in the rear view mirror. Still, it’s fun to imagine.