“It’s kind of unthinkable now”: Christian Bale Unflinchingly Called Dibs on 1 Role After Getting Hold of a Script Behind Christopher Nolan’s Back

Christian Bale secretly read the script of The Prestige without Christopher Nolan's knowledge.

“It’s kind of unthinkable now”: Christian Bale Unflinchingly Called Dibs on 1 Role After Getting Hold of a Script Behind Christopher Nolan’s Back


  • Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan famously worked together in The Dark Knight trilogy.
  • Bale secured a copy of The Prestige script and told Nolan to cast him for the lead role.
  • The actor expressed his true sentiment working on a project outside of the superhero realm.
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Christian Bale’s most notable team-up with director Christopher Nolan was in The Dark Knight trilogy, but fans of the duo certainly know they made another project outside of the superhero realm. The Prestige, released in 2006, starred Bale and Hugh Jackman in the lead roles as two rival stage magicians.

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Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in The Prestige (2006)

Because of his collaboration with Nolan, many would assume that the filmmaker immediately hired Bale for the science fiction thriller movie, but no – Bale presented himself after he secretly secured a copy of the film’s script. How he got hold of it, no one knows.


Christian Bale Volunteered To Star In Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige

During an interview with IGN, director Christopher Nolan talked about the casting process in The Prestige. Four huge names in the industry were involved in the project: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Scarlett Johansson. Nolan explained how Bale bagged the role of Alfred Borden:

Christian actually just called out of the blue. I’m not even sure how he got the script, but in the intervening years, the script had kind of made the rounds. He called me up and said he’d be interested to play Borden, which seems exactly right. It’s kind of unthinkable now, anyone else doing that.”

Jackman came on board before Bale, though having two well-established actors who portrayed popular superhero roles work together in one project certainly increased its charm among the audiences.

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Christian Bale in The Prestige

In a conversation with Paul Fischer, Bale revealed Nolan did not offer him the role in The Prestige.

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?

Certainly, Nolan did, but it was the actor’s confidence to take on the role that convinced the director he was perfect for the part. He also loved the idea of working with someone a number of times because it strengthens trust and rapport.


Did Christian Bale Enjoy His Role In The Prestige?

Looking back on his time working with Christopher Nolan in The Prestige, Christian Bale told Collider that he had a great time on the project, but more importantly, he portrayed a character that wasn’t Batman:

I liked very much the experience because it was also, Chris and I had only made Batman Begins, but also that is the only experience we’ve had together other than The Prestige, was myself playing that one character.”

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Christian Bale in The Prestige

The Oscar-winning actor remarked how different the movie was in terms of the physical demands that the role required of him.

And so it was a very different film and a different experience to make, and one which is much more comfortable for me where you have a quicker, tighter schedule, which is what I’m more accustomed to and comfortable with.”

Bale joining The Prestige was one of the best decisions he has ever made in his career. The movie went on to earn two Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography, making it one of the most visually stunning films helmed by Nolan.


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2249

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about the latest movies and series. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.