So you're one of the handful of people who hasn't seen "The Dark Knight" yet? If the coming months look pretty tight to fit into you're schedule, just wait until January.
TDK will be re-released in IMAX theaters in time to "remind" the powerful people in Hollywood that Oscar nominations are coming soon.
While we're talking about TDK, why not speculate on its sequel?
Johnny Depp recently said being The Riddler would be a "fun gig," while Philip Seymour Hoffman has said "no one has talked to me about it (being cast as The Penguin) ever." (While I'd love to see either actor knock it out of the park with those juicy roles, I'm sure those are rumors someone started to what, if anything, might stick.)
Here's what yours truly would like to see in the TDK sequel that's an open book of possibilities. Where do director Christopher Nolan and Co. go from here!? It's hard to imagine, isn't it? But let's try:
First of all, the Tumbler: With the first one out of commission, I fully expect to see a new Batmobile with lots of neat gadgets in the TDK sequel. This is a great chance for Nolan's crew to blow us away (sorry, bad pun) with a new take on the sweetest wheels in fiction. Who knows — maybe I'll even get to see those Bat-fins I begged Mr. Nolan for since waaaaay back in a September 2006 online op/ed I wrote. I wouldn't be surprised if we also see a new Bat-vehicle, like a new version of the Batjet or Batwing.
The late Rachel Dawes: For the record, I didn't see a need for her in TDK and I completely disagree with anyone who says Bruce needs a new love interest. It gets old after a while. (See Julie Madison in B&R.)
On the other hand, Maggie Gyllenhaal made Rachel even more appealing than Katie Holmes. On top of that, the punch to the gut I felt when Rachel gets blown to smithereens goes to show how powerful a storyteller Nolan is. Honestly, wouldn’t it be great to see a Batman film without a love interest?
The Catwoman factor: That being said, Catwoman would be a great possibility for the TDK sequel. Batman might find himself attracted to a woman who walks a fine line between doing the “right” thing and being a thief. The character would fit perfectly with Batman being on the run from the GCPD at the end of TDK.
The seductive Selina Kyle also would be great for a “rebound relationship” for Bruce. The Selina-Bruce dynamic wouldn't be too different than from the Batman no doubt continuing to have a “dangerous” working relationship with Gordon.
Expect to see multiple villains in the TDK sequel (although I'd rather see just one for a change). We've seen two major members of the Rogues Gallery of Villains in "Batman Begins" (Ra's al Ghul, The Scarecrow) and TDK (The Joker, Two-Face). There also have been antagonists who have played significant roles in the Batman comics mythology in each film (Joe Chill, Carmine Falcone, Sal Maroni).
What other villains could we see next? The Riddler and Penguin could be possible; they could commit crimes based on their respective motifs in reaction to the chaos The Joker has created in Gotham's criminal element. For instance, The Riddler might consider Batman solving his riddles as a way to impose order.
Harley Quinn (still wanted): I still wouldn't mind see Harley Quinn in the mix. Of course, I've been touting her since this April 2007 column. Honestly, since Nolan doesn't usually bring back villains for another film and Heath Ledger is dead, including Mr. J's girlfriend is unlikely, especially under the circumstances I suggested. Oh well …
The Harvey Dent as Two-Face dilemma: Batman was assertive in saying Gotham citizens need to remember Dent as the city's "White Knight," not Two-Face. Obviously there could be a cover-up about what happened to Dent in his final days. How exactly will Gordon and the mayor put a spin on Dent's demise? Will the mayor even be in on what actually happened? And how exactly will Gotham citizens and the GCPD remember its most aggressive DA, who once declared he was Batman in order to have The Joker arrested?
Another Batman film, another D.A.: Besides, Gotham needs to elect ANOTHER district attorney — the third in three films, if you're keeping track at home. What kind of person will that be? What kind of agenda will he or she have? Would that D.A. force the GCPD to form a Batman Task Force and hunt down the Dark Knight? How will that person work with Gordon?
Commissioner Gordon: Gordon, at the end of TDK, never comes out and says he'll tell the public Batman was responsible for the deaths of five people.
Maybe the commissioner instead will strengthen his position on the Dark Knight being a dangerous vigilante who needs to be arrested on-sight, all the while having secret meetings with the Batman at his office and home about Gotham's latest crime wave.
Don't forget the traitor Detective Ramirez is still around. What has happened to her?
What about the relationship between Gordon and his wife? What effect would seeing Gotham's D.A. hold your son hostage have on the Gordons? Would the strain be so much that Barbara might leave Jim? That could lead into the possibility of introducing Sarah Essen into the GCPD, who had definite anti-Batman feelings when first in the comics.
What about Bruce?: Last, but not least, let's focus on Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's no doubt mourning Rachel, the one person he could trust besides Alfred and Lucius Fox. How might this change Batman's approach to fighting crime? It might make him more careless or more obsessed with bringing down the criminal element.
This grimness could set up the chance to introduce Robin into the Nolan Batman mythos. Honestly, I don't see that happening until at least a fourth film, which I'd hate to see be without Nolan, but he's set up his story as a trilogy. (For a well thought-out op/ed on how to use Robin, read batman-on-film UK editor Paul J. Wares' column by clicking here.)
How about a title? I suggested "Shadow of the Bat" — a title I mentioned off-handedly in this September 2007 column — which would elaborate on the theme of the power of Batman's presence in Gotham. I'm also partial to "Gotham Guardian," "Caped Crusader" and even "Batman Triumphant," the working title for what would have been the B & R sequel.
Overall I doubt it will have "Batman" in the title and like "The Dark Knight," the title will be something fitting that nobody has suggested until we hear Nolan announce it. Whatever happens in the TDK sequel, I'm sure Nolan and Co. will take me completely by surprise.
Now let's have some fun: What do you think should happen? Do you agree or disagree with me? C'mon! Don't be shy. Tell me what you think by posting a comment at the end of this blog.