That is exactly what fans of the director and The Dark Knight are doing over on the DC Cinematic subreddit where one fan dared to ask what would happen if “Nolan woke up (post-strike, of course) and decided to revisit his Batman Trilogy with a 4th and final film.” Whilst they admit, there “was a general sense of finality in TDKR,” they feel that the legendary director has since evolved their style and that maybe it’s worth Nolan revisiting his masterpiece trilogy.
“a 4th and final entry in the franchise could truly serve as a capstone to his work there (and Reeves can friggin’ wait). Thoughts?”
So what if he did decide to return to the franchise? Where could Nolan possibly take the story and who would be the villain? Fellow fans joined in on the pipe dream and added their own theories as to what this imaginary film could be about and who the villain could have been.
“I recall WB really wanted Leo DiCaprio as (possibly) the Riddler so Leo as the Riddler is my guess since he and Nolan have a history of working together too.”
Nolan has worked with DiCaprio before on Inception, so it would make sense to have the pair reunite. Leo would make a pretty good Riddler, although it might be too soon after last year’s The Batman, which saw Paul Dano give his take on the iconic villain. Another fan speculated that Hush would be the villain, and stated their belief that there was still demand for a fourth Dark Knight film. The truth is: no matter how much time passes, there will always be demand for another Dark Knight film, sadly it doesn’t make it any more plausible.
“I argue the market demand for a Dark Knight 4 is still there. Villain wise I heard Nolan considered Hush at one point. […] Maybe Hush would be working for Scarecrow in this iteration. I love to see something like Scarecrow from Arkham Knight be adapted into movie form.”
Of course, Matt Reeves used elements of Hush’s story in The Batman as well, so that might rule that villain out too. Others wanted to see more of a focus on Robin, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was teased at the end of The Dark Knight Rises whilst some had hopes for other comic characters we’ve yet to see properly on the big screen.
“I would be less interested in villains and more interested in dick Grayson”
While all this imagining is fine, there were always going to be those who burst the bubble and bring everyone back to reality.
“It’s not possible. Nolan’s Batman barely spent any time as Batman. Why would he come back years later with a broken body?
Origin in Begins. Few months later Joker shows up and he retires afterwards. Comes back and has his back broken instantly by Bane. Returns, beats Bane, fakes death and retires.
What story would there be to tell for a man who spent a few months as Batman? The Nolan arc for the character is complete.”
As much as it hurts to admit it, the story is over. There’s really nowhere left to take the story. Christopher Nolan isn’t really the type of director to return for a sequel either, with this trilogy being the only sequel he’s ever made. It’s unlikely he’d want to return and mess with the perfect ending he gave in The Dark Knight Rises. As nice as it was to daydream about a fourth Dark Knight, it’s time to return to reality, at least we have Matt Reeves’s Batman sequel to look forward to, although we could be waiting some time for that one.