Superhero movies have pretty much hit a zone for the past several years. I don't think it's likely we'll see a return of obvious camp like we saw in the first run of live-action Superman and Batman films from 1978-1997. I think the exceptions are superhero films that are one-offs and/or wholly original stories like V For Vendetta or Kick-Ass.
The general tone now, at least for the more familiar mainstream characters, pretty much mirrors the comics: done generally straight with varying measures of humour. And no matter how dire things get in the stories in the end it's all obviously "just for fun." With this approach it's hard to get seriously worked up over the fate of the characters.
Note in recent reboots such as The Hulk and Spider-Man the general tone stayed pretty much the same even if individual story elements were changed to suit the new take.
But Chris Nolan broke with the current convention. By the time of Batman Begins in 2005 we had already had two X-Men and two Spider-Man films to establish the new overall tone. Nolan seemed intent to tone down the tongue-in-cheek aspects and keeping it to a minimum. The Batman tends to be accepted as a generally darker kind of superhero and lends himself well to Nolan's kind of storytelling. It also helps that Nolan's story has a distinct beginning, middle and end for the character rather than being left open ended like most other films. He also didn't leave much room for the idea of too many untold Batman tales set within the framework of his larger story. That said TDKR is left somewhat open ends, but not necessarily for Bruce Wayne and perhaps the Batman as well. It's possible Nolan could oversee a followup of sorts to his trilogy without being closely involved as director, maybe, and it wouldn't necessarily be Batman.
So does the next followup project or reboot follow in the Nolan style or will Batman be brought back into the mainstream tone of other superhero movies? Could we get a John Blake as Batman or perhaps as Nightwing? Could be get to see Anne Hathaway return solo in a Catwoman feature (something I'd like to see). Could we conceivably see a retro looking period piece? (another thing I'd like to see)
Thoughts anyone? What do you thing is likely and/or what would you like to see?
Folks...the Nolanverse is DONE! The end.
Warner Brothers has already stated that their next goal, post Man of Steel
, is a Justice League film. Man of Steel
will probably be adjusted to make room for that possibility and Green Lantern is headed for a soft reboot as well. The Next Batman you see will be done so as to fit in with Justice League.
WB is clearly pleased with what Nolan did, but they want a JL film and WB does NOT allow multiple versions of its characters to be featured in the same medium.