While The Dark Knight Trilogy was a huge financial and critical success, Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman ended on a rather definite note. As a result, the role of the Caped Crusader will be taken over by Ben Affleck, who will play the character in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck is also slated to reprise the role in 2017’s Justice League Part One and likely 2019’s Part Two, and he is expected to star in his own movie too. But what does Bale think about the acclaimed actor-director playing Batman?
Speaking with Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie), Bale discussed his role as Moses in the upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings and how his take on the iconic Biblical figure compared to Batman. Inevitably, talk turned to “Batfleck.” Bale admitted that, even though The Dark Knight Rises was a strong conclusion for his Batman, he did have a little bit of interest in reprising the role again, so he was rather surprised when it was announced that another actor will fill the role. “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.” He continues, “But I’m 40. The fact that I’m jealous of someone else playing Batman…I think I should have gotten over it by now. I haven’t spoken with Ben, but I emailed him offering bits of advice that I learned the hard way. I would imagine he is doing everything he can to avoid anything that I did.”
Unsurprisingly, following the release of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, there were rumors of Bale returning for another movie, especially Justice League. However, Warner Bros.’ current direction is arguably for the better, as Bale and Nolan’s saga will stand alone (as it should) while the DC Cinematic Universe features a far more comic accurate Batman. Bale’s Batman would have had difficulty fitting into the latter world, as Nolan designed his trilogy to be real world-based; that is, no superheroes.
Also, the ending of Rises made it definite that Bruce Wayne was finished with being Batman. And even if he did return for another movie, it would hard to imagine a story other than a Dark Knight Returns-style arc, which was already covered in Rises and would be redundant if done again. So, ultimately, this series is best left alone while we get a fresh new take on the iconic DC hero.