Since we all know there is going to be (at least) a third Batman in this arc of stories I’d like to offer up some quick suggestions for where I think the film(s) should go. To start off as a nice companion to this section, IGN recently offered up not one, but two articles in a short series outlining Batman’s gallery of rogues and how they would like to see the characters brought to the silver screen. Some of my ideas brush on similar themes, so it may help to read them. It’s up to you. They’re great reads regardless.
So without spoiling anything TDK definitely leaves the trilogy open for expansion. Unlike Begins, though, it doesn’t go ahead and pinpoint a specific villain (and intelligently so) for the next chapter. This means anyone can show up, but I’d like to see a pretty robust new crop of characters show up to mess with Bats.
Knowing Ra’s Al Ghul’s deep connection with Batman in this universe I’d love to see him either rise from the dead (a la the Lazarus pit/chemical) or have his daughter Talia show up in Gotham to woo Bruce Wayne (and kill him, since she would know he is Batman) without him knowing her connection to Ra’s. In an attempt to further her father’s cause she would begin amassing an army/presence in the criminal underworld that has now been rocked by the Joker and which has crumbled in on itself (I’m assuming as much).
Mmmm. Yes, please.
In the wake of this dramatic power shift propelled by the Joker’s actions in TDK, Oswald Cobblepot (everyone’s favorite bowtie wearing gangster, the Penguin) would move into town as Gotham’s new high-priced club/restaurant owner and backroom arms/information dealer. He would be Talia’s connection to guns and supplies for her League of Assassins while also making a splash (sorry) as the owner of Gotham’s new favorite hotspot, the Iceburg Club.
At the same time I’d like to see Selina Kyle make her way into the Gotham limelight as a new debutante on the prowl (har har) for Wayne, too. She’d make appearances at Penguin’s club (while also trying to steal something valuable from him) and cement her status amongst Gotham’s elite. At night she would be moonlighting as the Catwoman and trying to dig her claws into the Batman (okay, I’ll stop). She and Talia would butt heads over Batman without her becoming a truly villainous character. She would exit the movie by actually aiding Batman with taking down Talia and the League, but getting away with her stolen goods.
With Talia and the League excised from the city once and for all, Batman could use the info gathered from Catwoman (and his own deductive powers) to put the Penguin behind bars (on minor charges, no Arkham for him) and leave both Penguin and Catwoman open for return appearances, while closing the Ra’s arc/connection for good.
Needs less fail.
With Catwoman’s burglaries going unsolved (due to Batman’s interest in her and desire to not have her caught) the final act would reveal Gordon and the GCPD bringing in a psychoanalytic expert/forensic scientist, one Edward E. Nigma, to help solve the crimes. This would leave the next film open for the development of the Riddler (and hopefully the return of a recast Joker, with Harley Quinn in tow).
If they don’t manage something along these lines I’d prefer to see Talia make an appearance to take down Batman while Bane shows up as a (supposed) aide to Talia and uses the League’s presence in the city as a distraction to help him get closer to and hunt Batman. During this time, Two-Face would have been sprung from Arkham by the League to help Talia build her criminal army and hunt Batman. The movie would end with Bane double crossing Talia and Two-Face by breaking Batman’s back and leaving him for dead (after an epic rooftop battle) despite the fact Talia was to be the one who killed him. Two-face could then flip a coin to kill Talia and end the Ra’s connections, while letting Bane go and assuming the mantle of the city’s new resident crime lord. I feel as though it would be so ballsy and unexpected that it would leave some people pissed but be a truly brilliant end to a trilogy, allowing a new director to either write up a direct sequel or create their own universe to play in.