Well, I saw Dark Knight Rises, and I didn’t like it. Dull, convoluted, numerous plot holes, and a very uninteresting villain. After Dark Knight came out, I spent a lot of time thinking about what the third Batman movie should be like, and honestly, all the ideas I had would have made better movies than what we were given:
1. Mad Hatter. The first idea I had was the Mad Hatter, always one of my favourite Batman villains (as long as they make his obsession Lewis Carroll instead of hats). In the comics, he’s a master of mind-control computer technology, but my Mad Hatter is a former chemist who became homeless after he got fired, becoming a mad vagrant in a battered top-hat talking to his invisible friends. He gets his hands on some of the Scarecrow’s fear gas and reverse engineers it, modifying it so it creates hallucinations of happiness and joy instead of fear. The Mad Hatter decides to improve everyone’s life by turning Gotham into a lovely wonderland, filling the city with his chemicals so that everyone becomes trapped in the same euphoric dream world that has become the Mad Hatter’s existence. Batman must separate fact from fiction as he fights his way through this mad wonderland.
2. Batman R.I.P. Grant Morrison is my favourite comic writer and he had a brilliant run on Batman that includes “Batman R.I.P.”, in which our dark knight confronted perhaps the greatest Batman villain created in the last two decades. Dr. Hurt knows Batman’s secret identity, he knows most of Batman’s secrets, and he decides to take Batman’s soul apart piece by piece. He makes people believe that Bruce Wayne’s parents and Alfred participated in demonic rituals invoking a demon-bat, then takes on Thomas Wayne’s identity. He tries to make Batman believe that his father faked his death and is now the leader of a criminal Satanic cult which has been manipulating Batman over his entire career. He shatters Bruce’s reputation and faith in himself, seeking to crush his spirit before he crushes Batman’s body. It’s a brilliant piece, and would fit so perfectly into Nolan’s “Bat-Verse.” Bruce’s involvement with a shadow cult, the increased importance of Thomas Wayne to Gotham, Bruce’s phobia of bats, and the fact that the Waynes were murdered after watching a an opera featuring people dressed as bat-demons makes this story be the perfect climax of Nolan’s series. Besides which, “Batman R.I.P.” is a far better name for the movie concluding the franchise than “Dark Knight Rises” is.
3. Bane. I’m not a fan of Bane. I find him to be overrated, annoying, and uninteresting. But if I had to use him, if someone told me “make me a Batman movie with Bane,” then I’d up the crazy and the venom, and move him away from the whole “I’ll break the Bat” shtick, because we’ve really seen it before. I’d focus on use of “Venom,” an addictive drug that gives people superhuman strength, and have Bane selling it on the black market. Numerous gang-members and other criminals start shooting-up with Venom in order to try and take down Batman. Gotham explodes with drug-addicted costumed supervillains, a bunch of weirdos high on Venom, wearing whatever bizarre costumes match their own obsession. Pandemonium ensues.
In all humbleness, any of these would make a really sweet movie.