Several actors have donned the Batman suit, but it was Christian Bale’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader in The Dark Knight trilogy that made it a billion-dollar franchise. His collaboration with director Christopher Nolan proved to be successful, and so it wasn’t the last time they worked together.
Fans witnessed Bale sport the Batman suit in 2005’s Batman Begins. The film was a massive hit, securing the franchise two more sequels that finally completed the trilogy. With this immense success, it was tough for the lead star not to get typecast for the role.
Christian Bale Wanted To Star In Roles Outside Batman’s World
“I loved that because I was like, ‘This could be it. I could never be anything but that.’ And for a lot of people, I won’t. I was like, ‘Ah, maybe I’m going to be forced to go do something different.’ And maybe this f***ing thing [acting] that I got forced into doing as a kid that I didn’t f***ing want to do in the first place, I’m out. And I’m free. And then it didn’t happen.”
Bale confessed he feared Nolan might not cast him other than Bruce Wayne. In 2006, Nolan worked on a new movie called The Prestige. It follows two competing magicians, who would be played by Bale and Hugh Jackman.
The Batman star told Paul Fischer that Nolan did not approach him for the role in The Prestige. It was he who called on the director to volunteer himself:
“Chris didn’t actually come to me with this. I actually read the script and I called him up and said, ‘I want in. I like Borden. I can really nail this character.’ You know, the question was could he see me as anything other than Bruce Wayne?”
Bale admitted it took quite an effort to convince Nolan, but the latter gave him a shot in the end:
“[Christopher Nolan] said, ‘Yeah, go for it.’ I do think he’s one of the best around, and I think you’re in bloody good hands. It’s nice to work with someone a number of times. You do get a nice little short hand between you, and you can really hit the ground running much quicker.”
The Prestige ended up becoming one of the most iconic projects of Christopher Nolan, winning Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography.
Christian Bale Tried Out Variety Of Roles To Avoid Being Typecast
As it is a huge responsibility to portray a character who embodies the symbol of justice, it was also tough to get the image out of the public’s subconscious mind. Christian Bale confessed he was not worried about being typecast, although the 49-year-old actor admitted he tried to find ways not to get trapped in one role:
“I wasn’t worried about that because my feeling has always been with anything like that it all depends on the following roles I take and just ability as well you know.”
Bale also noted that Nolan’s overall vision for the film made the actor’s version of Batman less likely to get typecast. The various comic book references they used in the movie made Bruce Wayne more of a character with an animated personality.
The Dark Knight trilogy and The Prestige are available on Netflix.