Anyway, this will probably be the first of a series of an undetermined number of blogs, as I realize going into this that there's no way I'm going to want to sit here and write about every single idea that comes to me.
Considering that The Dark Knight is making money like gangbusters, it's a pretty safe bet that they're going to make another one. From what I understand, the director Christopher Nolan has only been signing on for one movie at a time, but Christian Bale initially signed up for three. It's pretty safe to say that the next one will follow the same continuity as the last two, but that leads to the inevitable question - what's next?
Here's the problem. In this particular series of movies, a very specific mood has been created, and the rules of this world are fairly well established. For the most part, Christopher Nolan has steered away from any of the fantasy or science fiction elements from the Batman comics. While I consider those elements to be integral to the overall mythology of the character, I don't think that this particular series has room for them. Perhaps when they reboot the franchise again in another fifteen years, then they can go with all of that stuff. Until then, they should definitely keep it "realistic."
So, with that in mind, what characters could be in the next movie(s) and how good would those choices be? In no particular order:
The Riddler - Of course, this is the one that's on everybody's mind, and there are even rumors about Johnny Depp playing the part, although he himself has confirmed that it's only a rumor as of this point, and nobody has seriously talked to him about doing it yet. I suppose that could work, but is The Riddler a good choice in the first place?
Personally, I love the character. While he hasn't had his equivalent to The Killilng Joke (which was the ultimate Batman/Joker face-off in the comics), there was a great origin story told in a Detective Comics annual several years ago. Basically, the concept was that Edward Nigma was clever, but he was a cheater - he'd do anything to get ahead and make himself look good. Also, it's an interesting idea that he's so insecure that he basically gives himself away by leaving riddles so Batman can know how smart he is.
Could he carry an entire movie though? Personally, I think that they should do the same with him that they did with The Joker. Don't necessarily worry about a character arc for him, just make him the guy who makes stuff happen. Unlike the Joker, they could go into his origin a bit, but ultimately, he doesn't have enough going on like Harvey Dent/Two Face did.
Catwoman - Okay, get those images of Halle Berry (and every other version we've had of her) out of your heads. This is the chance to finally get it right. Selina Kyle definitely has the potential to carry the next Batman film. Not only could she have an interesting character arc in her own right (probably involving her conflicted feelings over being a hero or a thief), but her arc could directly impact Bruce Wayne/Batman because she could also serve as a love interest.
Hush - What? You've never heard of this guy? Adam West never fought him and you don't remember him from the old Superfriends cartoon? Well, most people hadn't heard of Ra's al Ghul before Batman Begins, so why not try one who's only been in the comics? (Although Ra's had appeared in the animated series - unlike Hush, who's too new.)
Personally, I think that they could make a GREAT film with this guy. Thomas Elliot is what would happen if Bruce Wayne wasn't a decent person to begin with. He was born into a wealthy family just like Bruce. He also faced a great tragedy involving his parents when he was a child - but the catch is that he was the one responsible for it! (He cut the brakes on their car.) He was a childhood friend of Bruce's, and he went on to discover that his old friend was Batman. He already was jealous of Wayne, but when he found that out, he hated him even more.
There's definitely a lot of potential for drama with Hush. I wonder if they're even considering him.
Okay, that's all for today. To be continued.