What to Expect From a Dark Knight Rises Sequel

Photo by Cristiano Betta via Wikimedia Commons

By Joe Buda

Las Vegas Informer

“The Dark Knight Rises,” the final film in the Christopher Nolan Batman / Dark Knight trilogy, has grossed over $900 million worldwide as of this article being posted.

The movie is a sequel to 2008’s “The Dark Knight” which grosses over $1 billion worldwide.

With numbers like these, it is impossible to believe there will not be a sequel.

Warner Brothers, the studio behind the Batman movies, no longer has the Harry Potter cash machine to depend on to generate box office gold.

So it is more of a when, not if another Batman movie gets made.  The question is: what route will Warner Brothers take?

Remake / Reboot?

A remake seems highly unlikely.  The Bruce Wayne / Gotham City / Batman story was told almost to perfection in the Nolan trilogy.  By showing the audience, once again, how Bruce Wayne became Batman would almost assuredly be a letdown.

Even if the whole origin part of the story is skipped over, seeing Bruce Wayne don the cape and cowl, driving the standard Batmobile just would not work effectively after audiences invested so much time, and money, into the latest trilogy.


This part of the article contains SPOILERS.  Massive, massive SPOILERS.  Do not continue to read unless you’ve seen “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“The Dark Night Rises” did leave room for a sequel, which makes this the more attractive option.

Bruce Wayne, who faked his own death, is now living with Selina Kyle.  Wayne lost his vast fortune in the movie and no longer controls Wayne Enterprises.

Robin John Blake has been given access to the Batcave, implying that he will don the cape and cowl and become the new Batman.

If the sequel occurs in the Nolanverse, which it most assuredly will due to its popularity with the fans, we will see the ramifications of the actions of “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Night Rises.”

I highly expect a sequel will have Blake become Batman.  One of the aspects of “The Dark Knight Rises” which I thought as foreshadowing was the flying Batmobile, referred to as “the Bat.”  Once I saw that, the first thing that came to my mind was, “will the next movie be “Batman Beyond”? The cartoon Batman Beyond featured a retired Bruce Wayne taking on a new Batman.  It also featured a flying Batmobile.

Even though the movie ended on a high note, there is a lot of work needed for Gotham City.  Gotham was left a mess by Bane, with its infrastructure almost totally destroyed.  The citizens also found out about the lie perpetrated in the end of “The Dark Knight” which allowed the Dent Anti-Crime Act to be passed.  This act is nearly fascist in many regards.

So Gotham will probably have to repeal the Dent Act and show its ramifications.  The Dent Act may have limited certain freedoms, but it also made Gotham a safer place for eight years.

I would expect a Gotham without this would be a breeding ground for crime as it reasserts itself into the rebuilding city.

Gotham would be a great breeding ground for a new generation of super villain as well. If the new movie is to stay within the rules of the Nolanverse, it will need villains who are plausible (within reason).  No Mr. Freeze, no Poison Ivy.

A few names come to mind include Harley Quinn and the Riddler.

Harley Quinn has a PhD in psychiatry, so she is well versed in the human mind. She went insane treating the Joker (and fell madly in love with him).  So she is both smart and psychotic.  Shown in a darker light than usual, she would make a formidable foe.

The Riddler is also rich ground to mine for a villain.  He would be a natural to show up as word spreads of a new Batman.  The Riddler’s purpose would be to test the new Dark Knight, to find his weaknesses and to try to break him.

Both Quinn and Riddler have obsessive personality types and either or together would make a good matchup for Batman. Obsessive personality types are dangerous.

Blake as Batman would have a different dynamic with the police force.  I think he would be more distrusting of them than they are of him this time around.  Why?  Because of Commissioner Gordon’s deception for all of those years regarding the occurrences of Harvey Dent’s death. By the way, we will need to see the ramifications of that decision as well.

Another icon of Gotham that has been left in shambles is Wayne Enterprises.  After Bruce Wayne lost his fortune, the company was taken over by Miranda Tate (aka Talia Al Ghul).  With Tate out of the picture what does the future look like for Wayne Enterprises.  Lucius Fox is still running the company, but I imagine it would be a tempting takeover target.

This for me is where the possible sequel gets fuzzy.  The producers could hit the reset switch so to speak and have Bruce Wayne get his money and company back.  His money was taken under fraudulent pretenses by a madman holding the Gotham Stock Exchange hostage.  With all of the SEC rules, checks and balances in place, getting his fortune back could be easy to pull off (on screen).

But that defeats the purpose of Bruce Wayne pretending to be dead.  Instead, I would imagine, if he had a role, Wayne would be more of a mentor, someone to guide the new Batman from afar, much like Alfred assisted Wayne for all of these years.  Making useful comments to Blake over Skype when needed.

Keeping the next movie in the Nolanverse has a lot of upside; however, there are risks to this sequel as well. Having a non-Bruce Wayne Batman is an interesting idea, but has not been tried on the big screen yet.

One thing is for sure:  by generating over $2 billion worldwide, more Batman / Dark Knight films are sure to follow sooner rather than later.

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16 Responses to What to Expect From a Dark Knight Rises Sequel

  1. Dark Knight Return or Batman Beyond

  2. Joe,
    Have you never heard of Batman and Robin. The name “Robin” was dropped very clearly near the end of the film and I say “ah-ha!”, this is how the movie will be continued with a second trilogy – this time with a duo.
    The fact that Bruce Wayne is “faking” his death is now known to all movie viewers. Trust me, he’ll be back as the Batman; this time with Robin, his comic book companion in crime-fighting.

  3. Yeah, I don’t know why the Author got the idea that when “ROBIN” discovered the batcave he figures that he will be the new Batman?.. -_-

    You know that Bale will be back to play Batman again but with his companion “Robin” lmao.

    Way to make “Robin” the new Batman…

  4. Cleary Joe has never heard of Batman and Robin.

  5. It has been stated by Warner Bros. that the next Batman film will be a reboot. Thank you that is all.

  6. I don’t think that a batman beyond movie would be a good idea. I cant picture Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a leading role? I think hes a good actor by as a leading man I just don’t see it? I think he would be a perfect nightwing! I was a little mad that his name was Blake in the movie and not Dick. But I did enjoy them keeping me guessing throughout the movie weather or not he was going to be Robin? I don’t want to see him as Robin because I always picture Robin as a kid. Nightwing comes off like a man that has been pushed too far. Now including the fact that Blake doesn’t trust the police and wants to take matter into his own hands. I think it would be perfect to make him Nightwing. I do understand that their is a risk in Nightwing b/c other than the comic book fans, not a lot of people would have much knowledge about him. I also think that Christian Bale is just to good as Batman and would have a hard time seeing someone else as Batman. If you do a batman beyond would they kill of catwomen? In batman beyond Bruce Wayne is all alone and has pushed away all of the people in his life. Also if you do a batman beyond I think that Bruce Wayne should be a lot older than Blake.

  7. Great article about a great movie.

  8. Bale would have to return, otherwise who would teach the new batman how to be the batman (fighting, detective work…) and where would he get all the gadgets? He would have to get wayne enterprises back also these things made batman you can’t take them away.

  9. Keep in mind that Robin did take over as Batman in the comics, when Bruce Wayne took a leave of absence. Totally plausible.

  10. WeirdChristian911

    I don’t get why everybody is so desperate to find any reason to believe that there will be “The Dark Knight 4”. There just won’t. Nolan said he’s done and that means he ‘s done. He won’t be making anymore Batman movies and he certainly won’t make a Robin movie. Nolan is classy and has integrity. He wouldn’t adamantly say that he’s finished and then come back in three to four years and make another one. And we all know that continuing the series without Nolan is a recipe for disaster. We all remember what happened last time a studio tried to cash-in on the success of another director’s Batman movies by hiring another director (Joel Schumacher, anyone?). I would rather have three unbelievably great Batman movies that form a complete story arc, than have three unbelievably great Batman movies that form a complete story arc with an extra tacked-on, insufficient, crappy “sequel” that does nothing for the story of the first three except ruin it.

    On the subject of reboots, however, I think a Batman Beyond movie would be a great idea. It’s fresh, (relatively) new, and it’s an attention-grabber. It would need a skilled director, though, so it would not turn into a “Batman meets Star Wars” mash-up. I don’t think that director should be (or even could be) Nolan. Batman Beyond is just to unrealistic to fit into his realistic “Nolanverse” of Batman. I do think that maybe a cameo of Christian Bale as an elderly Bruce Wayne would be pretty awesome though…

  11. Well, duh. There is going to be a sequel, it’s kind of obvious. Nolan said he’s done, but he did leave the door open for other directors, and I have a feeling a lot of them have ideas for the movie, just like you guys do. So yes, keep an open mind for a sequel because I’m very positive there is going to be one, and Bruce won’t be so old because if he is, Robin would be too.(;

  12. Oh, and plus, they could get advice from Nolan, since he is a kind, and humble person. ^_^

  13. If there’s a Justice league movie. Will Bale play Batman?

  14. You guys may think this is dumb, but I was thinking since WB really wants to have the Justice League movie, and I’m sure most of us fans don’t want anyone besides Christian Bale playing Batman for awhile, my idea of having Bale play Batman in Justice League would work this way: Have JGL be Batman in Gotham, but have Bruce be Batman on a global scale in working with the JUstice League, so it could be a blending of Batman Inc, and Batman Beyond. Meaning Bruce could mentor the new Batman, but still be active with the Justice League on the global scale. It would never happen but I would rather have that than have the Nolan series be scrapped just to have a team up movie. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

  15. Indeed, Bruce faked his own death and he has sex with catwoman in Italy, which is very romantic.
    When you follow the storyline from the comics, the Robin guy takes over the Batman suit and becomes the temporary batman. After many years Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham city. Bruce becomes Batman again and the Robin guy gets his own suit, ’cause he doesn’t like the cowl and the cape, believing they’re to heavy and making him move too slowly. The two join forces to fight crime. After a while they separate from each other. In Nightwing’s opinion Batman acts to rough and Nightwing and Batman begin to argue. Nightwing leaves Batman, but Dick Grayson, John Blake or whoever, still thinks Bruce Wayne is a great dude.

  16. What is you dream cast for a Justice League movie? Bale as Batman. Gordon-Levitt as Robin are a must. Who should play Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman & Aquaman?

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