Under Christopher Nolan’s direction, Christian Bale starred in one of the most triumphant Batman franchises to date – the Dark Knight trilogy. Over a span of seven years, he invested his talent into the character, contributing significantly to the ascension of Batman as the inaugural superhero film to breach the billion-dollar mark at that juncture.
Updated: September 08, 2024
Christian Bale decided to retire as Batman after The Dark Knight Rises. Ben Affleck took over the role in Zack Snyder’s BVS. How did Bale take the news? Bale may have changed his mind after Ben Affleck’s portrayal in Dawn of Justice. As per Screenrant Plus, Christian Bale has a specific condition for his return as the Dark Knight, and that involves Christopher Nolan in the project. He said and we quote:
“I had a pact with Chris Nolan. We said, ‘Hey, look. Let’s make three films, if we’re lucky enough to get to do that. And then let’s walk away. Let’s not linger too long.’ In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, ‘You know what, I’ve got another story to tell.’ And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.” – Screenrant Plus
Will Bale return in a Dark Knight 4 movie? That is a possibility that may be explored in future DCU considering the Multiverse is at play after The Flash. To protect the legacy of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, WB may treat it as a separate universe like Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe.
While Bale found contentment in laying the character to rest at the trilogy’s culmination, his sentiments briefly evolved upon learning about Ben Affleck’s casting for the part. Contemplating the notion of another individual taking up Batman’s legacy, Bale experienced a twinge of envy at the prospect. This sentiment lured him into considering the possibility of stepping into the cape once again.
What Did Christian Bale Think of Ben Affleck’s Batman?
Upon initially setting aside the cape and cowl following The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale found tranquility in his choice. He believed that he and Christopher Nolan had effectively conveyed the narrative they aimed to portray, effectively drawing Batman’s journey to a fitting conclusion.
Bale subsequently expressed his enthusiasm for handing down the baton to his successor. Nevertheless, Bale came to realize that he hadn’t completely moved beyond his connection to Batman when he eventually handed over the mantle to Ben Affleck. As outlined in a distinct article by Vanity Fair, Bale conveyed to Empire magazine that the announcement of Affleck’s casting as Batman had a profound impact on him. Irrespective of Bale’s initial sentiments, the selection of Affleck for the role lured him into contemplating donning the costume once more.
“I’ve got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, ‘Oh go on… Let’s do another. So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour.'” – Huffington Post via Empire
However, Christian Bale wasn’t fully convinced by his acting in the Dark Knight trilogy.
Christian Bale Wasn’t Satisfied By His Performance
An Oscar-winning actor, Bale was widely considered the ideal pick for Batman when he was chosen for the role. Nonetheless, despite his distinguished acting credentials, he held reservations about fully embodying the character of Batman. Speaking candidly to Yahoo, the star of American Psycho disclosed that he believed there were certain facets of Batman’s essence that eluded his portrayal.
“I didn’t quite manage what I hoped I would throughout the trilogy,” Bale said. “(Director Christopher Nolan) did, but my own sense of self is like, ‘I didn’t quite nail it.'” – Yahoo
Subsequently, Bale disclosed his desire to delve further into the intricacies of the character’s psyche. Christian Bale expressed that portraying Batman involved embodying a deeply troubled and complex character. Upon donning the iconic suit, he recognized the opportunity to authentically portray the character’s sinister and suppressed aspects that surface in critical moments.
The Dark Knight trilogy is available for streaming on HBO Max.