Originally Posted by Brain Damage
It's not really a "hard" ending. Not as hard as it could have been, anyways.
This is starting to make me uncomfortable.
I dunno though, even if the ending had been Bruce Wayne really dies and John Blake doesn't take up the mantle...they could have still theoretically made a subsequent film where someone new did take up the mantle. Nolan didn't close out that world from any possible continuations, but I think he wanted it to continue in our minds, not on the screen. For all intents and purposes it closes the book on the series and acts as a sendoff for this version of the character.
I think it's also arguable that even if WB tried to continue the series without Bruce Wayne, it'd be more of a spinoff than a sequel.