There's already talk that Christopher Nolan is considering one more movie in his Batman franchise, and that's got me thinking. We all know that Batman (or at least Batman movies) are defined by his villains. But the first two movies have pretty much used up the Bat's two biggest foes - Ra's al-Ghul and the Joker - and it's safe to say that neither of them are coming back for another. So who else looms large enough in the Caped Crusader's rogues gallery to carry a whole feature-length film?
My first thought was Bane, the villain from the early-'90s comic storyline Knightfall who appears mysteriously in Gotham, wears Batman down by staging a massive jailbreak at Arkham Asylum, confronts Batman, and breaks his back just to prove he can. I think that could make a decent movie, but I'd rather they not just adapt a storyline straight from the comics - The Dark Knight may draw heavily from Alan Moore's The Killing Joke and Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum, but it's still its own story. On top of that, Bane just never appealed to me as a character. He's an important part of Batman's world and rightly so, but he's just not one of the "classic" rogues, and I just like them better.
Catwoman's rights are tied up from the horrible Halle Berry movie and she's not really a villain anyway, so that leaves Two-Face, who survived The Dark Knight and has a personal grudge against the Batman that would give him a reason to set the events of a third film in motion. Plus Aaron Eckhart has said he'd love to return to the role, which is another plus. But Harvey Dent was a supporting character in TDK, Could he handle a whole movie on his own?
What I would like to see is this: Two-Face leading a collection of madmen in a headlong rush against Batman. It would be a great opportunity to mine the Arkham crowd for villains who couldn't hold a film on their own but who would make great supporting characters. Obiously a lot of the more fantastic characters (Mister Freeze, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Man-Bat) would be right out, but it would still give the more human rogues a chance to shine, and it would follow up on the idea in the first two movies that crime in Gotham is getting increasingly stranger due to Batman's influence.
What I'm thinking is this.
Two-Face: Harvey Dent's role in the sequel is a mockery of his role as Gotham's "white knight" in the previous one. His desire for justice has been subverted into a desire for control: If he can't take down the mob, he'll run them, and now that Falcone and Maroni are gone he's in a prime position to grab the reins himself, using both mobsters and his more flamboyant allies to run the city's crime while striking back at Batman.
The Riddler: Eddie Nigma is Dent's idea man and second in command. He's the only one of Two-Face's circle that isn't seriously mentally ill. His riddles aren't a compulsion - they're a performance. It's his way of showing how much smarter he is than anyone he goes up against. The Riddler is a smug little bastard you love to hate. He never gets his own hands dirty. My choice for the actor? Johnny Depp.
The Scarecrow: Cillian Murphy returns one more time, but this time the character will play up the scarecrow theme more than in the first two movies. Instead of the black business suit, he's now wearing something like a ragged Western preacher-man's outfit like in the '90s cartoon. Scarecrow is Two-Face's enforcer, intimidating their enemies not with brute force but with fear gas. To make him scarier, this time around we don't see Jonathan Crane out of the costume at all: He's completely vanished into the Scarecrow persona.
The Mad Hatter: Jervis Tetch is insane to the point of having little to no self-control. I'm not sure if his mind-control gimmick could work in the more serious world of the Nolan movies, but he could still be an expert of some sort - electronics, chemicals, whathaveyou. Aside from Two-Face, the Hatter comes closest to being sympathetic, since he's so far removed from reality that he doesn't understand that what he's doing is wrong, but he's still frightening because of just how nuts he is. As for the actor, I'm thinking Robin Williams, or maybe Martin Short if he could pull off a dramatic role.
That's what I'm thinking, and now that I've thought it up there's no chance of ever seeing it on screen.