WARNING: If you haven't seen the end of The Dark Knight Rises or searched the internet for the films plot than don't read anything from this thread.
Ok, you've been warned.
So with the realization that the character of John "Robin" Blake has inherited the legacy of Batman and Bruce is happy and out in the world with Selina, how do you think a continuation of the series should go if Nolan were to keep making films?
Personally, I don't think Blake should become Batman. It would be too weird to have Batman active in Gotham when a statue was erected in his honor. However, the Bat symbol could be used still as it represents the idea of Batman and his legacy more than the person himself. So I think it would be appropriate for Blake's character to take the identity of Nightwing. However, the film didn't show a character that was really a good fighter. So I think it would be interesting if the film alluded to (but didn't show) the fact Blake seeks Bruce out and receives training before returning to Gotham and starting his career. It would also be an interesting change of pace if the kids in the orphanage were aware of Blake's identity (as he takes to working at the orphanage as his cover) and were a part of his supporting cast (much in the same way Zorro was always supported by the priests and townspeople).
As for a villain, I don't think it would be wrong to keep bringing up Batman's rogue gallery rather than try and invent new one's. Nolan had done a great job with each villain so far (though I didn't really like the twisting of Talia and Bane's origin but it was better than what Bane's origin could have been) so it would be nice to see some of the others get the same treatment. Personally I'd would like to see either the Penquin or Black Mask be the next villain as both would work well in a storyline where, with the Dent Acts repeal, organized crime returns to Gotham and part of the films focus is Blake trying to stop a power struggle and turf war as one (or possibly both) of these villains strives to become the head of Gotham's criminals.
Would give the next film a nice "Batman Beyond" feel given the underground popularity of the character's tv show and rising popularity in comics with the Beyond titles as part of the new 52.
I would not bring back Bruce, Selina, or Alfred directly though keeping Lucius would be appropriate.
Just a fun, elseworlds-style discussion for those that want to do a bit of fanfic without the need for incredibly long postings (plus I'm no good at writing actual stories but idea sharing is always fun and easy).