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.