It seems that I have been wanting to talk about the current goings on of the mainstream over the past few days. This post will be the third on DC properties. I promise, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programing in the near future. But I must speak on the third Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

The title alone is less than stellar in my opinion. It was fun from the first movie’s title to be Batman Begins and then transition to The Dark Knight. It just feels like a re-tread already and that’s just the title. It would’ve been fun to see that continue into the third movie. The one problem is that the other titles are a little less menacing or poetic. The Caped Crusader? Detective Comics? Gotham Knights? All possible, but lack the power evoked by The Dark Knight. That movie is already hard to follow and this doesn’t feel like a step in the right direction.

Now, I have no idea what the plot is going to be. The current rumor is Hugo Strange, played by new Christopher Nolan favorite, Tom Hardy. Follow the link to find out about the storyline “Prey” and you’ll see what the possible movie plot would be with Strange as the villain. This is going to get extremely nerdy, so I apologize in advance. But I don’t think that is a strong enough plot to carry a film. As many have been and will be doing in the coming months, I would like offer my suggestions to what the third Batman movie should be about.

First of all, everyone is going to be expecting a mention of the Joker. Heath Ledger entered the history books with his performance, so for him to be ignored would be a mistake. But Nolan has said that he will not recast the role, so I suggest doing  that in the opening villain scene, the scene, in Dark Knight, Cillian Murphy appeared as the Scarecrow again. But this time, feature the Jokerz, a gang featured in Batman Beyond, and have them be led by a Harrliquinn dressed dynamo named Harley Quinn, who claims to be the lover of the now dead Joker (I’m imagining he staged a theatrical suicide during his trial, keeping in line with the post 9-11 vibe of the Nolan films). It would also continue the theme of escalation that was featured in Dark Knight. Batman had a gang of worshipers, Joker should have the same.

And that brings us to the theme. Nolan has been very on point with his “one word themes.” Begins was about fear. What does fear cause us to do? Dark Knight was about escalation. Where do we draw the line in fighting for justice? How do we stop escalation? And for the third one, I think the natural theme would be temptation. Dark Knight ends with Batman on the run and Gordan having to hunt him down. Where does Batman go when the world hates him? What is to stop him from killing someone if everyone already believes he’s a murderer? Batman needs to be tempted. And who better to do that than Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. While not the main villain, Catwoman could serve as the seductress. The forbidden fruit, Catwoman has always been the back and forth character in the Batman universe. And for Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle would be a natural rebound following the death of Rachel Dawson in Dark Knight.

And this could include Hugo Strange, as he could some how con the Batman identity off of Bruce Wayne and takes over as Batman. A bit of a stretch in the Nolan films, but it would lead to the nail-biting large set piece finale, as two Batmen fight each other, with the fate of Gotham in the balance. Catwoman can’t sustain the film herself, and having two villains almost derailed Dark Knight, but this finale would serve as the perfect excuse to have two foes for Batman to overcome. And with the appearance of Catwoman, it would finally bring in the last remaining remnant of Batman: Year One, the Frank Miller comic in which both previous films incorporated pieces of.

The Nolan films are almost like Smallville. Nolan has made if clear that this is the beginning of Batman and we shouldn’t really expect the Batman that everyone knows. This is the origin. And if that’s so, with this being the final Christian Bale/Nolan Batman film, Dark Knight Rises needs to end with the future of Batman secured and Gotham City at peace with its true protector. Robin, the Boy Wonder is still to come. All those wonderful adventures still left to be had. Maybe even Superman could finally come by. And this film needs to give the audience the feeling that something like that is just ahead. Unlike the final scenes in Dark Knight, which ended shrouded in darkness. It wasn’t happy. But there should more hope at the end of this. Nolan and Bale have a positive outlook on Batman. They see that he is a good man and I hope that they would end their last film with that message being apparent.

But most importantly, this film has to offer us something the tops Dark Knight. It doesn’t need to be better than Dark Knight. The Empire Strikes Back taught us that a trilogy can still be great even if the second one is the peak. But Return of the Jedi gave us something to love about it. The best lightsaber fight of the series, Jabba the Hutt, the Ewoks, the Emperor; something that was fantastic and not in the previous movies. It could even be something as small as a new vehicle.

This could be the completion of the first complete and worthwhile trilogy in a long time, as well as the end of what could be called the first superhero film epic, something Spider-Man, Superman and the X-Men have all failed to deliver. And so, we only have to wait roughly a year and a half before we can see what Nolan has up his sleeve on last time. July 20, 2012.

Posters found on Google Image Search a while back for an abandoned post. I didn’t make them and credit goes to the unknown creators. And The Riddler has been confirmed as not being a part of the next movie. Doesn’t stop the posters from looking good though.