As one of the most popular and beloved comic book characters around the world, Batman has several film and television adaptations. Fans will continue to fight to define which version is the best, but having different visions has been to the benefit of the hero as we can see different facets that always find the right audience. One of the favorites, and the one who always comes first in the polls, is Christian Bale, who played Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. The actor has been away from the role for several years, but he would be willing to return with a clear condition.
When Christopher Nolan became involved in the Batman trilogy, he was already considered a quite creative and unique director who still did not have enough confidence from the production companies to handle such high budgets. Now it is impossible to imagine the creator working with little money, but there was a time when his best resource was the ingenuity to exploit every dollar he had. As has happened with many others, approaching the world of superheroes came in handy. Similarly, the character of Batman urgently needed an update to connect with a new generation and remind fans of his validity.
The challenge was not easy to overcome, but the result was excellent. Batman Begins (84%) renewed the genre in many ways and showed that the public was ready for a new wave of superheroes, something that Marvel knew how to take advantage of very well with its own characters. The beginning of the trilogy made references to several of the hero’s best-known graphic novels, something that served very well to maintain the dark tone and maturity of this type of story that was reached to its maximum with Batman: The Dark Knight ( 94%), appreciated as one of the best superhero movies of all time.
As has happened with other actors who brought Batman to life, when it was announced that Christian bale would give life to the hero many were disappointed. The actor already had the respect of the industry and the public, but he was not generally considered to have the right body or presence. In the end, the fans were more than satisfied and Bale became one of everyone’s favorite incarnations, even those who don’t know the Batman from the comics that well.
Bale’s extreme dedication is well known to all and that is why spending so many years preparing to bring the hero to life came with a complicated weight. The actor retired from the genre with The Dark Knight Rises (87%) and for many years claimed that his interest in Batman had already dried up. Similarly, the protagonist of American Psycho (67%) implied that he no longer had any interest in superhero adaptations, an idea that he put aside to become the villain of Thor: Love and Thunder. Along the same lines, it seems that the interpreter also changed his mind about bringing Batman to life. During an interview with ScreenRantBale revealed that, despite rumours, he has never been asked to return as the character:
No. No one has ever mentioned it to me. No one has commented on it. […] Every once in a while people say to me, “Oh, I heard they came to you and offered all of this.” And I say, “That’s new to me. Nobody has told me anything.”
Bale assures that he has a deal with Nolan and only with him would he return to the ring:
I made a pact with Chris Nolan. We said, “Look. Let’s do three movies, if we’re lucky enough to do that. And then we have to leave. We don’t have to stay long.” In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, “You know what, I have another story to tell.” And if he wanted to tell that story with me, I would be there.
Christian bale maintains his respect for the director, with whom he also worked on The Big Trick (76%), and it seems that his interest in Batman is reduced to whether Christopher Nolan have a particular idea that requires it. Since his departure, Batman has been played by other actors, such as Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson, who also suffered attacks and prejudice from the public before they saw his work. In that sense, one of the aspects that works so well with Bale’s Batman is precisely that his story does close and did not depend at all on a shared universe to achieve that.