If you want to make me mad, go ahead and say that the Batman series has been defined by Nolan and should never be touched again. GO AHEAD. SAY IT.
Yeah, everyone's going to hold future Batman films to Nolan's standards. It's a high standard. But in no way whatsoever has Nolan scooped all that can be scooped out of the Gotham universe. I mean, for one thing you have the richest rogue gallery in any comic book series in the world. Hush wasn't even touched. And think about Hugo Strange, for goodness sake. Heck, even the Joker could be interpreted in any number of ways and, frankly, I'd love to see Harley Quinn introduced sometime in the future. My point is, Batman is vibrant and timeless. There will always be room for interpretation. If nobody else can get their foot in the door, it's on the fans for being obtuse. And that makes me pitch a fit.
But as for how I would reboot it... I should probably note that I do plan on becoming a director and taking the reins of Batman somewhere down the road is not at all outside my realm of possibilities. I've loved the series passionately ever since I was a kid and I'm pretty intimately familiar with it. Stylistically it's right down my alley (though I'd honestly say that the recent Batman video games fit my modus operandi more than Nolan's films in a lot of ways, save for my fierce disappointment with the ending of Arkham Asylum). I would aim to maintain the realism and believability of Nolan's interpretation while introducing a bit more... finesse, I suppose you'd say. My number one complaint with Nolan's films (and I will forever have my head bitten off for this) is what I perceive to be the somewhat sloppy handling of technicalities. I guess it doesn't exactly meet my standard, but the simple fact is that we may have different ideas of how to communicate action and suspense. I'm into a more flowing nature of filmmaking whereas I think he may be into a fragmented, chaotic feeling, which is perfectly legitimate. Both can reasonably apply to the series.
Story-wise, I agree with Arctic one hundred percent. Nolan did better than anyone at avoiding origin stories. I've yet to see Rises so I don't know about Bane and Catwoman, but the way he handled the Joker was superb, and to be honest, I think the Scarecrow is right up there, though I actually have a lot of issues with how he treated him. Crane is, without a doubt, my favorite Batman villain, even above the Joker or Two-Face. He intrigues me more than any of them and I think he's just fascinating. I felt like he became petty as Batman Begins progressed and then his practically useless appearance at the beginning of The Dark Knight just had me feeling very, very disappointed. I'd like to see Scarecrow with a more weighty presence. He may not be the oil to Batman's water like the Joker is, but he appeals to the very core of the Batman saga, which is fear. I appreciate him for that.
Anyway, I'd cut the origin story out anywhere that I possibly could. Batman Begins was an understandable necessity because we'd really never seen Bruce Wayne in that light before. I liked him as Nolan presented him to us better than any other incarnation. He was humanized. I'd like to be able to achieve that without an origin story, and I think it's possible, but it would take some serious thinking.
I'd love to make use of villains like Hush and Hugo Strange, bring the battlefield to an immensely personal level for Batman. I don't think Nolan explored the question of Wayne's sanity nearly to its end, and I think that's good. It wouldn't have fit his version. However, my version would absolutely bring that to the forefront. Batman is the closest thing we have to a truly jaded superhero, and that above all else is what intrigues me the most about the series. I would broaden that as much as I reasonably could. And, bear with me here, I want to see Harley Quinn have a very substantial role in things. You can't have Quinn without the Joker, and honestly, you can hardly have Batman without the Joker either, so all that's a given. But despite my many complaints with it, The Joker Diaries revealed to me Harley Quinn's potential in film, and it stuns me that she's never been given the chance to shine. The most we've seen of female antagonists in Batman films are Poison Ivy and Catwoman (going on Burton's here, since I have no idea what Nolan's was like), both of which I feel were handled... exceedingly poorly. Harley Quinn represents to me the most perverse thing in the entire series, and that's the loss of innocence. If I ever got my hands on the series, I would take as much advantage of that as possible. It's just such a juicy tidbit and I really can't believe it's never been squeezed before.
In summary, I suppose my vision of the perfect Batman would be a more psychological one. Nolan tapped into it more than anybody else has, and he did it with subtlety and care. But I think it can go deeper (seriously no Inception pun intended). Whatever story I could develop would grow from that. Stylistically, I can't avoid dark tones. It's inherent to my nature and I think it's inherent to Batman. I love the filth of the series and I want to be able to communicate that in a pungent way while maintaining a strong sense of realism. Gotham should feel tangible, but I think it should also feel mystical.
And of course, there's always the issue of Robin. He is, hands down, the biggest challenge to interpret. We've never seen him in a genuinely serious incarnation. I'd like to take on that challenge and make him into something real. I think Batman taking someone under his wing beautifully reflects the Joker taking in Harley Quinn. They mirror each other. Again, it would take a lot of manipulation, but I think Robin deserves a good treatment.
So... you know... VOTE FOR ME, BATMAN 2019.