What? Christopher Nolan has said that his third visit to Gotham City will be his last.
"Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story. And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."
Why? A properly trilogy then, which will complete Bruce Wayne's journey from playboy to vigilante hero to misunderstood pariah to... redemption? catharsis? death?
We trust Nolan to deliver on this promise of closure, but there are a lot of things we'd like to see along the way...
Batman on the Run
What? With Batman on the run after the events of The Dark Knight , Gotham PD sets up a dedicated team - the Batman Special Unit - to hunt him down.
Why? The chance to complicate Bruce Wayne's life even further, thanks to the involvement of the unit's key consultant, psychiatrist Hugo Strange.
As depicted in the comics' 'Prey' storyline, Strange works out the superhero's true identity and wages war on both Batman and Bruce Wayne, by manipulating a dodgy copper into becoming a vicious rival vigilante. More of that in a minute.
Conflicted Commissioner Gordon
What? Promoted to commissioner at the end of The Dark Knight , Gordon is saddled with a double life comparable to Bruce Wayne's own.
On the one hand, he must work together with Batman to clean up Gotham; on the other, he's officially in the business of hunting him down and can't be seen to go soft.
Why? There's scope here for Gary Oldman to deliver the conflicted soul of the third movie. And you can never have enough of Gary Oldman on top form.
What? The Joker's antics in The Dark Knight left Gotham's criminal elite in disarray, but the movies - like nature - abhor a vacuum.
Especially with Batman disgraced, there's a vacancy for a twisted nutjob to put fear into the hearts of a city's populace.
Why? A demented villain is as much a part of Batman's make-up as the cape and costume. The only certainty is that, following the tragic death of Heath Ledger, it won't be The Joker.
While promoting Inception , Nolan recently went on the record: "For me, Heath was the definitive Joker. It wouldn't feel appropriate to readdress that character."
Riddle Me This
What? Top of the fans' list for the threequel's uber-villain is Edward Nigma, aka The Riddler - and, according to recent rumours, that's how it's going to be.
Why? It isn't hard to see the attraction. Unlike The Joker's random anarchy, The Riddler's games are driven by intellect and a compulsive need to mess with people's heads - perfect territory for Nolan after Inception .
And it's one of Inception 's stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who looks to be in the frame to don the Riddler's domino mask according to those rumours.
What? Of course, there are plenty of other candidates for mayhem. In the two films to date, Nolan has left the door open for a raft of villainous comebacks.
Harvey Dent, aka, Two-face, fell to his apparent demise at the end of The Dark Knight , but mysteriously was never confirmed. Same goes for Batman Begins' Ra's Al Ghul, especially if Nolan goes by comic lore where the character is able to regenerate.
Known to be alive are The Scarecrow, currently incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, and Mob boss Sal Maroni - whose hobbling by Batman might make him hungry for a return to power.
Just one thing. Don't bring all of them back, for goodness sake. Remember Spider-man 3 .
What? A leftfield idea, this one. Give Batman a rival.
Why? While The Dark Knight left him more unpopular than Michael Bay and Uwe Boll combined, Batman at least gave Gotham a good idea: if the cops aren't up to the task, maybe it's time for a citizens' arrest.
We're not talking about The Dark Knight 's amateur Bats, but a fully-fledged alternative...and casting-wise, Tom Hardy's balance of cheekiness and menace strikes us as a particularly good choice.
The character's name? Robin, of course.
To The Manor Reborn
What? As for Bruce, he's busy getting his shit back together, starting with his family home.
Destroyed in Batman Begins , rebuilt (off-screen) in The Dark Knight ... Batman 3 should reveal the souped-up new mansion.
Why? Batman needs all the help he can get. The new crib, bespoke-designed to give Bruce greater control
of his environment, provides that all-important sanctuary.
Not least because it'll have an equally mod-conned Batcave....
What? One gadget definitely worth putting in the Bat Cave is the supercomputer designed by Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight .
Why? While Fox is adamant he'll resign as CEO of WayneTech as long as the computer is in place, what's to say Bats wouldn't move it to his pad for some super surveillance?
And if Fox finds out... Well, Morgan Freeman has taken a backseat so far, this would provide the perfect opportunity for some fireworks with Bale.
Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? (part 1)
What? With the Tumbler trashed during The Dark Knight , it's time for the Batmobile to get a makeover.
Why? Well, Batman's hardly going to be walking around Gotham, is he?
Bats' wheels are an essential part of the gadget geek's repertoire. With cops and criminals on his tail, it's time to pimp that ride. Nothing less than an urban juggernaut will do.
Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? (part 2)
What? With the stakes raised, Batman needs another dimension: specifically, height.
Not yet seen in the Nolanverse, it's time for the Batwing - Brucey's aerial appliance - to make a comeback.
Why? Having seen what Nolan has done to make every other aspect of Batman's life work in a plausible 'real-life' context, we're itching to see how the 'Wing would be reinvented. Let the Bat fly!