By now everybody knows the Big News, straight from Christopher Nolan: The Riddler is NOT in the next (and presumably final) Batman movie, and the title is now "The Dark Knight Rises."
Awful, awful, awful fucking title. It sounds like its it's own fan film. Not that it matters, everyone is just gonna call it "the third Batman" anyway.
As for Riddler... yeah, probably would've been kinda redundant to do another master-planner criminal, and everything that makes Riddler not just a more conservatively-dressed Joker was likely to have been tossed in Nolan's stringently down-to-earth universe. Either way, the bad-guy speculation now goes back to square one; with the possible extra detail that the film is casting around for "a female lead." So... Catwoman? Talia al Ghul? Poison Ivy? Harley Quinn (a way of having Joker again without having Joker again)? Batgirl (no one says there can't be a decade or so in between in "movie-time" for Barbara Gordon to grow up)?
Serious question, now: Am I the only one getting the strong feeling that no matter how good this is it's going to be recieved as a kind of dissapointment?
"Dark Knight" being a cultural-phenomenon was lightning in a bottle, a one-time-only confluence of "wow, Joker!" and "wow, tragic actor death!" That's not going to happen again. So if this "fails" to outdraw the original (to say nothing of Avatar), the headline is pretty-much already written, yes? "Batman Can't Beat 3rd-Movie-Curse," "A Step Back After Inception," etc?