Christopher Nolan has revealed the title of his third Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, and that the villains will not be either The Riddler or Mr. Freeze (the latter coming as a great relief to all, I’m sure). The Dark Knight Rises is due for a 2012 release and—even more exciting than any news about villains—it will not be in 3D.
Early response from Batman fandom regarding the title has ranged from ambivalent to “well, I don’t hate it,” but whatever else one can say about it, it is a smart bit of branding considering that The Dark Knight grossed a billion dollars worldwide. It also works in terms of where the narrative left off at the end of the last movie: Batman an outlaw, on the run. This sets up the inevitable “Oh no! A new menace has befallen our fair Gotham! Where oh where is our Dark Knight in shining armor?” first act climax in the new movie.
Since we have a couple years and an internet on which to discuss such things, let us now speculate on just which menace will befall fair Gotham. Nolan has definitively, unambiguously stated that it will not be The Riddler. My own two cents (of violently devalued internet dollars) is that we are most likely looking at an extremely dark, deeply nuanced re-imagining of Harley Quinn. Or a reclamation of Catwoman, with similar darkness and nuance, from the regrettable Halle Berry misadventure.
Who do you think it’ll be? (“I don’t care” is an acceptable response, as is “I’m willing to wait and see.”)