It's interesting how the narrative changes. After the monumental success of "The Dark Knight," Christopher Nolan clearly needed a break and a palette cleanser that became "Inception," as per his blockbuster rule (the director also shot "The Prestige" in between the first two Batman films). At the time, when asked about a third Batman film, Nolan said he and David S. Goyer would take a break and would only make a third picture if and when they came across a good story to tell. But recent interviews between Goyer, Nolan and co-screenwriter Jonah Nolan suggest that this trio always knew how Bruce Wayne's story would end.
And sure, maybe they still had to figure out the main narrative would function at the time of the second film's opening, but some elements had been mapped out as far as day one. “The final scene of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is exactly the scene we talked about [when Christopher Nolan and I started the trilogy with 'Batman Begins']," Goyer said in a recent interview. Christopher Nolan also recently spoke about his early concerns of including the Catwoman in "The Dark Knight Rises" story. "Catwoman is a very iconic figure in the Batman pantheon. I was nervous about how she would fit into our world," he said. Meaning: how do you include a potentially campy, unbelievable character in a grounded and very realistic film universe without suspending this series sacred disbelief.
Clearly, Nolan figured it out. But his concerns are possibly why one other iconic Batman villian, The Ridder, is absent in this final film despite months of confident speculation about the antagonist fitting into the series and absurd reports about what actor would play him (those hilarious Eddie Murphy rumors were our favorite). However, fans apparently weren't the only ones who believed that The Riddler would make some sort of appearance. Apparently in the newest edition of Empire, a special 'Dark Knight Rises' issue, no less, Warner Bros. executives were already talking about a villain for the trilogy's finale. "It’s gonna be The Riddler, and we want it to be Leonardo DiCaprio…,” Goyer evidently told the magazine. Well, maybe WB did get their wish on some level as DiCaprio did lead the studios' "Inception" to $825 million worldwide. Not too shabby for a film not based on a existing comic-book property.
Would you have liked to have seen that iteration of "The Dark Knight Rises"? Surely Nolan could have made The Riddler some sort of realistic sociopath, no? "The Dark Knight Rises" concludes its epic Batman saga on July 20th. [Via Batman News].