I like that idea of Joker in a catatonic state like Returns. But only for a portion of the 8 years.
As the years went on after TDK he slowly lost hope in the lie being uncovered, as well as Batman returning. To have it parallel Bruce's story, Joker falls into that catatonic state around the time that Bruce becomes a recluse in Wayne Manor. So the last 3 years before Rises picks up. Would love to think of Harley Quinn as the psychiatrist slowly helping out the Joker before and after this.
I also am a fan of Jakinj's 9 Bat appearance idea (post-tdk). Sometimes i like to believe that some
of his pieces were true. Not really the bat-family stuff though.
Im a believer of the 3 year gap between Begins and Knight so my imagination runs wild with that. Batman taking on more mob bosses and henchmen (Penguin, Black Mask, Alberto Falcone, Killer Croc). Leftovers from the previous film (Zsasz, Scarecrow). And inmates from Arkham who broke out (Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Ventriloquist).
Then there's Blake. He's gonna battle Joker eventually. You have Riddler, Scarecrow & Freeze as antagonists too.
Originally Posted by Anno_Domini
3.) Gordon retires and finally makes peace with his wife while Ellen Yindel becomes the new police commissioner.
I like this too. But with Gordon having a fling with Sarah Essen first. They agree to not see each other anymore, he wants to retire and misses his wife and family. He leaves Gotham to work out things with them. Ellen Yindel takes over.