He’s the hero that Gotham deserves but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.
There are two aspects that I think we need to think about that should give us a better picture of what to expect from the third movie.
- The Main Theme
- The Villains that relates to that theme.
Batman Begins was about Fear. It ties with the origin of Batman as we see Bruce Wayne overcome his fear of bats and eventually adopt the identity of Batman. The villains are related to this theme with Scarecrow using the fear toxin as his weapon of choice and Ra’s Al Ghul as the man who helped Bruce overcome his fears in the first place.
The Dark Knight was about Escalation or as Gordon puts it at end of the first movie, “We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor-piercing rounds.” Batman’s crusade against the mobs becomes a double edged sword as it only creates more trouble. The epitome of this escalation is the Joker, the agent of chaos, who wants to bring Gotham’s citizens to their breaking point. Corresponding with the escalation theme is the rise of the idealistic Harvey Dent and his fall/transformation to Two Face.
Now comes the third movie and I have an idea for the possible theme of this one. Like how the theme of escalation was first hinted at the end of the first movie, the theme for Batman 3 was hinted during the final moments of The Dark Knight: The theme is Isolation. By the end of the second movie, Batman has finally become the Batman that we all know from the comics and the cartoons: a true outsider, a loner, the Dark Knight. He lost Rachel and Harvey Dent which means he lost his hope for a normal life. The police are chasing him thus he can’t work openly with Gordon anymore.
I expect a darker and grumpier Bruce Wayne as he starts getting a more pessimistic outlook on life yet can’t help to bring himself to stop fighting crime due to his hero complex (set this movie like 2-4 years after TDK to make it believable). And expect more detective work by the Dark Knight since he can’t rely on the GCPD now. Meanwhile, the cops are still hopeless in finding out the identity of the Batman (remember that scene early in TDK where the cop had Elvis as one of their suspected candidates for Batman). Just like how the mobs turned to the Joker in their desperate times, the cops also turned to “a man they don’t fully understand” for help.
Enter Edward Nigma aka The Riddler, a private detective/specialist hired by both the cops and the mobs (with both not knowing he works with them at the same time) to track down and find the identity of the Batman. He’s smart, a child prodigy, anti-social and highly obsessed with Batman especially with the dark knight’s detective skills. He finally find someone who can challenge him and is willing to do anything to achieve his goal, including creating an elaborate crime scene for Batman to solve.
Not only that, Batman has to face the idea that his privacy is being invaded as the Riddler slowly gets to know a lot of things about Batman (eg. Lucius Fox, batcave, identity). Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne starts dating Selina Kyle who leads a double life as the notorious thief, Catwoman. In the end Batman and Catwoman have to work together to stop the Riddler.
So how do all of this relates to the theme of isolation? In a way, the Riddler and Catwoman are the cure to Batman’s feeling of isolation. Following my idea that Riddler is a crazy Batman fanatic, I think he would probably leave clues/riddles that he knows ONLY Batman can solve and no one else. Therefore, Riddler would be the only one, aside from Alfred, who really understand Batman’s mindset. Unlike the Joker who just wants to mess with Batman’s head, the Riddler, or at least a version of him that I want to see in the next movie, wants to play games with him. In that way, Batman doesn’t feel isolated anymore.
As for Catwoman, well, that’s really obvious. Bruce Wayne is mysteriously drawn to Selina Kyle; she’s not Rachel Dawes yet she’s not like any of those other super models he flirts with. And Catwoman operates outside the law and enjoying it which is a perfect foil for Batman’s more serious attitude.
So yeah, I want the next movie to revolve around Batman’s growing isolation and how both the Riddler and Catwoman proves to be the answer to that problem (Batman is lonely and finds a new friend to play with & a new girlfriend). As for the casting of the two characters, I want Michael Emerson (Lost) as the Riddler and Carla Gugino (Sin City) for Catwoman. Meow!
The main reason why I think they should get Catwoman for the third one, aside from filling up the female character void left by Rachel Dawes, is that to the average folks she is one of the most instantly recognizable character from the Batman universe. One of the reason why Dark Knight is doing so well is because you have the most famous Batman villain, The Joker. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t put villains that haven’t been adapted to the big screen (eg. Clayface, Mad Hatter, Man Bat, etc) but if they want to draw a lot of people, Catwoman is their best chance. It’s also a chance to redeem the awful Halle Berry movie!!
So that’s what I want to see for the third movie. What do you think?