We’ve got a release date, but no other concrete information on Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight. While rumors fly, I’d like to introduce the makings of my perfect Bat-sequel.
Before I start, I’d like to give a fair spoiler warning – if you’re the one person who hasn’t seen Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, I’d suggest not reading any further.
Seriously. I’m spilling beans.
We good? Good.
When we last left Nolan’s Guardian of Gotham, Batman had taken the rap for murders perpetrated by Harvey Dent’s crazed Two-Face persona and declared a public enemy by Lt. James Gordon, who actually knows the truth of what happened. Further, by the Joker turning Dent into a murderer, Wayne’s taken a bit of a blow to his morale in losing what was to be a shining beacon of hope for Gotham City. Oh. And the woman he loved, Rachel Dawes, not only chose Dent over him but got blown to smithereens. So a pretty crappy week overall.
Based on the arc these films have taken, the third entry should be where Gotham becomes the Gotham we’re most familiar with. That means Playboy Philanthropist Bruce Wayne, the return of the Bat-Signal, and Commissioner James Gordon.
So we’ll start with an embattled and weary Batman not only fighting the criminal element of the city but also constantly on the run from the police. This presents Bats with a great dual opportunity – by taking down the corrupt officers and politicians rotting the city from within, he’ll be able to prove he’s on the side of the law and Gordon gets his well earned promotion.
Gordon of course will be investigating dirty cops with his own hush-hush team, a recently transferred Detective Harvey Bullock and newly minted Officer Renee Montoya. As newbies to the force, they’re the perfect candidates as they haven’t been around long enough to be turned and new folks asking a bunch of questions is always less suspicious.
Now what does this mean for the villains? There can always be a cameo in the beginning and end of the film but instead of the more traditional Riddler, Penguin, or Mr. Freeze, the primary big bad should be Black Mask. The crime lord could easily be the guy pulling the strings behind the scenes. His insistence of both himself and his subordinates wearing featureless masks will be an obstacle to discovering the identities of the syndicate plus it’ll be hella creepy. The Black Mask will also be a thorn in Bruce Wayne side since he’s…traveled in the same circles. Mask’s presence should push Bruce, already working in Harvey Dent’s memory, to really understand how much good he can do in his civilian guise and remind him of everything he doesn’t want to be.
Another important element that must be addressed is the glaring lack of women in the films. It’s a straight sausage fest. Rachel was the only chick in either film but, as I never particularly cared for the character, frankly I was glad to see her die. Now this clears up some space for one of the real women in Bats’ life – Catwoman. Batman will already be aware of her presence thanks to crimes in other cities but they would have to join forces when she accidentally steals some important info from one of the Black Mask’s inner circle. Of course she’ll also flirt with Bruce in their civilian guises as she works some high society functions to cherry pick targets. She and Renee would definitely add some much needed girl power to the proceedings.
I’d considered Talia al Ghul but their relationship is very complicated and since her presence means the return of the League of Assassins and most likely her father Ra’s al Ghul, she’s probably best saved for the Batman 4 (where we might also introduce Poison Ivy, a fellow eco-terrorist possibly mutated by the Lazarus Pit).
P.S. Easy on the gravelly Bat-voice please.