Re: 8 years of no Batman or Bruce Wayne, and NO ONE could pick up the trend?
That's a great point Magnar.
We have to remember that Nolan did not want these movies to be about the villains. It's all Bruce Wayne when you strip it down (comparing screentime is irrelevant). The villains are chosen only if they serve as a reflection to Bruce/Batman, and is a character that Bruce could become if he didnt reign himself in.
Which is why Freeze, Ivy, Riddler, etc were never the choice. Some of them couldnt be anyhow because of the tone, but this is why Talia/Bane were chosen. As well as Catwoman.
"Guys, what would be your reaction if Alfred was Batgirl in this movie? You go watch the movie, everything cool, halfway through, Alfred becomes Batgirl."