The director recently sat down for a lengthy chat with Scount Foundas of Film Comment and, when asked about revisiting Gotham and the possibility of a door being left open at the end of the film, Nolan makes it clear that while the theme of the movie is about an enduring myth and legend, when it comes to the story, it's all wrapped up. "For me, 'The Dark Knight Rises' is specifically and definitely the end of the Batman story as I wanted to tell it, and the open-ended nature of the film is simply a very important thematic idea that we wanted to get into the movie, which is that Batman is a symbol. He can be anybody, and that was very important to us," he explained.
"Not every Batman fan will necessarily agree with that interpretation of the philosophy of the character, but for me it all comes back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and Alfred in the private jet in 'Batman Begins,' where the only way that I could find to make a credible characterization of a guy transforming himself into Batman is if it was as a necessary symbol, and he saw himself as a catalyst for change and therefore it was a temporary process, maybe a five-year plan that would be enforced for symbolically encouraging the good of Gotham to take back their city," he continued to explain. "To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on."
Again, it's nothing particularly revelatory, but it does indicate that Nolan deems the book closed on his trilogy. And it underscores why taking a character from that world and placing him in another franchise would be a bit of disservice to what he has created. But let us know your thoughts below -- can the series and characters live on without Nolan or is a fresh reboot what's needed?