Originally Posted by BlueLightning
The problem is that the outline Goyer talked about is from 2005, just in time for the release of Batman Begins. That concepts became the storyline of The Dark Knight. The first developments for Rises came shortly after The Dark Knight was released.
But speculation is fun.
What Goyer said at that moment:
"The next one would have Batman enlisting the aid of Gordon and [Harvey] Dent [a.k.a. Two-Face] in bringing down the Joker... but not killing him, which is a mistake they made in the first one. ... In the third, the Joker would go on trial, scarring Dent in the process.""
That comes from here.
Then at Comic Con 2008, Goyer said the following:
However on the other hand, by the end of 2008, Nolan was just doing rough outlines for the story before doing Inception, but nothing worthwhile yet. He stated that if there wasn't something that would keep him invested, he wouldn't do it.
Could we have had the Joker in a third film? Perhaps if the circumnstances were different. Chris Nolan has stated that he works only one film at a time. As for Goyer, that's a different story.