Christian Bale, who gave iconic performances as Batman in filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s masterful trilogy about the Caped Crusader, suggested that he might be willing to don the cape one last time— on one condition.
Nolan’s trilogy was comprised of “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). The films amassed roughly $2.5 billion at the box office worldwide.
Asked about a potential return to the role, Bale told Screen Rant, “No one’s ever mentioned it to me. No one’s brought it up. … Occasionally people say to me, ‘Oh, I hear you were approached and offered all this.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s news to me. No one’s ever said that.'”
“I had a pact with Chris Nolan,” Bale continued. “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.”
Bale is set to star as Gorr the God Butcher in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which follows “Thor: Ragnarok.” Nolan is directing “Oppenheimer,” about J. Robert Oppenheimer and in the development of the atomic bomb, starring Cillian Murphy and set to premiere in 2023.
In 2003, prior to the release of Nolan’s first Batman film, he said of Bale, “What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne. He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for.”
Jeff Robinov, then president of production for Warner Bros. Pictures, added, “Now that we’ve found the best person to play Batman, we are really looking forward to moving ahead with the rest of our casting, and are excited about the exceptional group we are assembling.”
Actors who have played Batman in films include Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and the sequel “Batman Returns”; Val Kilmer in “Batman Forever”; George Clooney in the campy “Batman & Robin”; Ben Affleck in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” “Justice League,” and the upcoming “The Flash,” and Robert Pattinson in “The Batman.”
The Guardian opined, “Here’s why Bale, despite his own misgivings, will most likely be remembered as the greatest dark knight ever to stalk the rooftops of Gotham City. … Bale gave us a Batman we could believe in, in more ways than one. Crucially the character is never overplayed.”