|Sorry if you've got Gotye stuck in your head now.|
1. A decent character for Marion Cotillard. You already know my feelings on Chris Nolan's idea of what constitutes a good female character, so first of all I'm hoping that Miranda Tate will seem like a fully realised person rather than a few lines of clunky dialogue held together with good acting. Apparently part of her role is encouraging Bruce Wayne to continue his father's legacy as a philanthropist, and I'm interested to see how Nolan handles this. In the sillier Batman adaptations of the '80s and '90s it's easy enough to swallow the fact that Bruce Wayne's solution to Gotham's crime rate is to become a costumed vigilante, but the Dark Knight trilogy's relentless pursuit of gritty realism means that Batman teeters dangerously close to the edge of the superhero-ridiculousness Uncanny Valley at all times. If he could be putting his billions to good use as a philanthropist, then why bother being Batman in the first place? The argument is that Gotham's justice system is so hopelessly corrupt that only Batman can properly deal with the city's organised crime problem, but the more the film draws attention to the fact that Bruce Wayne could be solving these problems with money instead of his fists, the more self-indulgent Batman seems as a basic concept.
2. A decent character for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I admit I'm immediately biased against John Blake because if there's anything the Dark Knight trilogy doesn't need, it's a 30-year-old white guy who starts off as an idealist before (presumably) having his spirit crushed by the horrors of grim reality. What a fresh new story to tell! He's going to have to be pretty damn awesome for me to believe it's worthwhile to create a brand new character when the Batman extended universe probably has like a zillion to choose from already. Especially since our previous look into the lower echelons of the Gotham PD was Detective Anna Ramirez, a corrupt cop who was written out at the end of The Dark Knight, removing the only substantial female side-character in the series.
3. An awesome Catwoman. Catwoman is the only superhero/villain who can get away with wearing stiletto heels all the time, but that only really works if she's something more than just a two-dimensional vamp. I like Anne Hathaway and I think Catwoman has the potential to add some much-needed playfulness to the Dark Knight franchise, but for obvious reasons I'm a little wary of Nolan's ability to write her properly. Considering the lengths he was willing to go to make the Batsuit and Batmobile as "realistic" as humanly possibly, I can't wait to find out how he legitimises Selina Kyle's decision to climb things while wearing five-inch heels and a leather catsuit.
4. Maximum possible quantity of Tom Hardy screentime. QED.
Edited to add: Aaaand, this last point, it turns out, is far less positive than I previously thought. Someone just reminded me in comments that Bane is another instance of Chris Nolan whitewashing casting. I'm not very familiar with Batman comics canon and had forgotten about this, but apparently Bane is canonically latino despite the casting of a white actor in this role. :/