‘Dark Knight Rises’: Who Could Helm A Fourth Film?

With Christopher Nolan ruling out making another 'Dark Knight' film, MTV News lists possible directors to take the reins.
By Kevin P. Sullivan

Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises"
Photo: Warner Bros.

There have been conflicting reports about the future of the current Batman series. This past weekend, director Christopher Nolan told the Produced by Conference that he definitively does not plan on making a fourth Batman movie. This news comes just a week after Christian Bale said that he would be open to a fourth movie if the conditions were right.

Could there be a "Dark Knight" movie without the series' original mastermind? Even if Bale stayed on, losing Nolan would leave an impossible gap in the film, one we don't necessarily think should be filled.

But if there had to be a replacement, who could possibly take the reins from Nolan? Here are our picks for directors to take over the "Dark Knight" series.

Duncan Jones
With two ambitious sci-fi films under his belt, Duncan Jones has quickly established himself as a genre director worth paying attention to. His first film, "Moon," is one of the best films in the genre from the last few years, and "Source Code" showed that he can handle a bigger budget and high concept in a smart and entertaining way. Jones recently signed on to direct a biopic based on the life of James Bond author Ian Flemming, so he'll be busy for a while, but his sensibilities combine the right elements so that a superhero film would seem natural to him.

Joe Carnahan
Carnahan has been directing for a while now, but it wasn't until this year's "The Grey" that he showed he could handle more serious material with style. Starring Ra's Al Ghul himself, Liam Neeson, "The Grey" took a rather absurd concept and grounded it in human drama. What really makes Batman resonate is the man beneath the mask, and, like Ottway in "The Grey," Bruce Wayne keeps much of his pain to himself and speaks through his acts of justice.

Darren Aronofsky
The man is just itching to make a superhero movie. His take on the Dark Knight petered out, allowing Nolan to take over and make what eventually became "Batman Begins." Aronofsky then signed on to direct Hugh Jackman in the follow-up to "X-Men Legends: Wolverine," but he dropped out, claiming he couldn't be away from his family while shooting in Japan. One of the most stylistically exciting directors working today, he seems dead-set on eventually directing a superhero flick. Just let him already!

Rian Johnson
Johnson is set to make waves with his next film, "Looper," which opens in theaters in September. That film's mashup of crime film and time travel movie, considered next to Johnson's first movie, "Brick," prove that Rian is a director that takes genre seriously and would be able to handle the multiple dimensions of directing a film like Batman. We previously suggested that he could reboot the series with "Batman Beyond."

Wally Pfister
Perhaps the man best suited to take over for Nolan is his long-time collaborator and director of photography Wally Pfister. The Academy Award-winning cinematographer got his big break shooting "Memento" for Nolan all those years ago, and he's now set to shift his focus to primarily directing films. Pfister is the least experienced of the directors on this list, but he also has the most intimate knowledge about what worked so well throughout the current series.

Who do you think should direct a fourth "Batman" flick? Leave your pick below!

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."

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