Christopher Nolan gave Batman fans quite a bit to chew on this morning, when he revealed that the movie we've heretofore known as "Batman 3" a) will not feature the Riddler as its villain and b) will bear the not-so-different-from-its-predecessor title "The Dark Knight Rises."
OK, take a moment to shed a tear for the Riddler (and for Jim Carrey, who no doubt would have loved to play him again). Got that out of your system? Good -- now let's talk about that title, "The Dark Knight Rises." "The Dark Knight" was a brilliant title for the 2008 sequel to "Batman Begins" because, in addition to referencing one of Batman's moniker's from the comics, it foretold of the Caped Crusader's descent into loneliness, self doubt and exile in that film. In naming the follow-up "The Dark Knight Rises," Nolan seems to be hinting that a little something called redemption lurks ahead for our tortured hero.
"The Dark Knight Rises" also calls to mind the great sequel title "Return of the Jedi": Both titles suggest a return to glory for our down-and-out heroes. Just as Luke and co. were left Solo-less, emotionally scarred (Vader was Luke's father!) and on the lam at the end of "The Empire Strikes Back," so too was Batman left friendless, girlfriendless and a fugitive from the law at the end of "The Dark Knight." These were the dark middle chapters our protagonists had to go through to emerge the stronger, better heroes we always knew they could be in the third chapter. Of course, while most franchises of this sort play best in trilogy form, I welcome Nolan to keep making Batman movies as long as he wants.
All of that said, what do you think of "The Dark Knight Rises" as a title and how does it stack up to some of the other all-time great sequel titles? Hit the jump to vote for the best and worst sequel titles ever in our poll.
Didn't have your pick for best and worst sequel titles in the polls? Tell us your favorites (and least favorites) in the comments!