Christian Bale Says He Won’t (& Shouldn’t) Return For ‘Justice League’

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The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale Christian Bale Says He Wont (& Shouldnt) Return For Justice League

Bad news for those who thought that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s take on Batman in the pair’s Dark Knight trilogy was the definitive live-action version: it seems we can finally put to rest hopes of seeing the star suit up on screen once more. Although rumors of a Justice League film being planned by Warner Bros. and DC Comics refuse to die following the success of Man of Steel (2013), Bale has again spoken on the likelihood of ever returning to play Bruce Wayne.

Expressing the same opinions he has in the past, the star sees Nolan’s take on the character as a finished story. From his point of view, the team was lucky enough to tell every chapter of the story they had hoped to, and with the trilogy now finished, it should stay finished. Meaning his time with the character is over.

Going solely on facts and quotes – not rumors and gossip – Bale has consistently made it clear that The Dark Knight Rises was his last time playing Batman. The only exception, he claimed, would be Christopher Nolan finding another story to tell; a notion the director has rejected at every turn. Yet with endless money awaiting his return in particular for a Justice League film, some have maintained hopes that a large enough paycheck could lure Bale back to the cowl, even if it was a long shot.

dark knight rises running time comic con Christian Bale Says He Wont (& Shouldnt) Return For Justice League

Speaking with EW, Bale made his position as clear as ever. Apparently, time out of the limelight hasn’t made the idea of ‘undoing’ the trilogy’s ending any more attractive:

“We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy…Chris always said he wanted to make it one film at a time. And we ended up sitting there looking at each other, saying ‘We’re about to make the third.’ We never really knew if we were going to get to be there, but if that was how it was going to be, this was where it should end as well.”

Anyone who sought out the deeper themes and undercurrents of trauma in Nolan’s trilogy – and how they were resolved in The Dark Knight Rises – can understand Bale’s position on letting sleeping dogs lie. In essence, Nolan and Bale told the Batman story they wanted to, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Some blockbuster fans may have taken the closing moments of TDKR as leaving the series open for yet another sequel, but supporting actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt claimed it shouldn’t be taken as such.

For reasons that don’t need to be explored in-depth, calling on Bruce Wayne to once again sport the cowl and bear the responsibility of a city, a country or planet doesn’t just undercut Nolan’s ending, but goes completely against the final message of the trilogy as a whole (“Batman could be anybody”). Fans will forever wish that Nolan and Bale had taken advantage of their success and made as many films as possible, but as Bale explains, they knew a legendary trilogy was more than seemed possible in the beginning; with an ending that left fans wanting more, not realizing the series had run out of steam.

christopher nolan michael caine1 Christian Bale Says He Wont (& Shouldnt) Return For Justice League

Besides delivering what we expect (and to be honest, hope) will be the final word for those demanding Nolan and Bale return for another sequel or spin-off (an idea neither have ever seemed interested in), Bale’s sentiments imply that the film’s universe is just as separate and complete as his role in it. In other words, all those rumors about WB having Bale and Nolan locked into a Justice League reprisal were baseless. Besides Bale, his on-screen successor also seems as unlikely a solution going forward.

Just because Bale isn’t looking to return to the cape and cowl, that doesn’t mean a plan isn’t in place without him, or that he hasn’t already been contacted by WB and been forced to let them down easy. Unfortunately for those who thought the studio was merely being secretive when claiming they’re taking their time, all evidence supports that position. To date, Bale claims he has yet to hear anything directly about a DC team-up:

“I have no information, no knowledge about anything. I’ve literally not had a conversation with a living soul. I understand that they may be making a Justice League movie, that’s it… It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”

Morgan Freeman Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale Says He Wont (& Shouldnt) Return For Justice League

This is certainly bad news for all of those who thought that Nolan and Bale’s Batman ‘got it right’ compared to the versions which preceded them, but as we’ve stated before, a new Batman would be needed for a Justice League universe. With Bale’s blessing, perhaps even his supporters will be tempted to look to the future, and which actor will portray Bruce Wayne next. We still don’t know if that will be in a reboot film or in Justice League itself, but we’re confident that’s a question Warner Bros. might already have an answer to.

Just because Bale is hanging up his cape doesn’t mean some elements can’t be continued, of course; the latest Alfred (Michael Caine), for instance, has stated his interest in portraying the role in another series, and it’s hard to see a reason why he couldn’t. And with Nolan’s continued role with DC’s biggest stars, there’s no reason to think he may not be attached in a minor capacity. However, only time will.

At least now we can say with certainty that there will be a new Batman in the coming years, and as was the case with Man of Steel, he’ll have a lot more riding on his shoulders than the fate of Gotham. If a rebooted Batman film can succeed standing on its own two feet, the prospect of a Justice League team-up, or even a Batman/Superman film first becomes far more promising from the studio’s standpoint (that plan has Henry Cavill’s blessing, so who are we to doubt it?).

Superman Versus Batman Movie Christian Bale Says He Wont (& Shouldnt) Return For Justice League

Does this make your hopes for future DC movies soar, or fall flat on their face? Most importantly, does this open the doors between the world of Man of Steel and the heroes around Superman that Nolan’s Batman may have kept closed? Share your thoughts in the comments.

We’ll keep you updated as more news on either the new Batman or Justice League arrives.

_____

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: EW

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TAGS: batman, justice league

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  1. I love Michael Caine but please lord, do not cast him as Alfred in another Batman series.
    All the rumors will start again.
    There will be many who’d argue that Caine playing Alfred again means that Nolan’s trilogy isn’t over no matter how many times we’ve read the contrary.

    • I think the idea would be, hopefully, akin to keeping Judi Dench in Bond movies even after the stories shifted dramatically into a new actor era. In other words, the familiar element would be a shorthand way of bringing the audience in, but it would be wrong to think of Casino Royale (Bond’s new origin story) as a sequel to the Brosnan films. In this sense I am cool with more Caine, but the implications (or lack thereof) should be made abundantly clear.

  2. Batman can be anybody. ‘Nuff said.

    I don’t see how MOS opens the door to a Justice League movie either. Given Supes track record in MOS – who would want to team up with him? Certainly not Bats – he’d be more wont to take SuperMan down.

    • Batman deciding to take Superman down? That’s a great place for their relationship to start, don’t you think?

      I like the idea that they learn to respect each other by coming to see the unique strengths they each have. Also, by learning that they have the same goals using different methods. Starting out as adversaries could explain how they become close friends.

      • +1

      • In case you don’t know, The Dark Knight Returns by Miller is a great classic graphic novel that covers much of this ground, pitting the two against each other. It also served as inspiration for the Nolan films in some ways, but made Bruce much older than the last film. The oddness and dreariness and negativity of the setting are off putting to some, but I think it is a great story, and it hits on the stuff you want. Check it out if you haven’t!

  3. Message of the trilogy “Anyone can be Batman”

    I take it unless they’re wearing hocky pants.

    As for Bale, he and Nolan have always said they’re aint no superpowers in that universe, why would you want Bale’s portrail in a JL film.

    Recast / Reboot…. move on.

  4. Im not going to bother reading any of the prior comments here as I suspect a lot of them are argumentative and dismissive, both of which are not productive in a friendly discussion.

    Since Mr. Bale refuses to play Batman in the capacity of the established Nolan version of the caped crusader, WB will just have to find another. So then the speculation should go to whom shall it be? But another questions then begins to burn, will that actor simply replace Bale, or will it be another Batman all together? How many more reboots must we the audience suffer? Was Nolan/Bale’s Batman the right Batman or the only Batman? There are a lot of questions that must be considered going forward.

    My opinion with what they made of Bale’s Batman by the third movie, he would not be able to function in the Man of Steel’s universe. If MoS is the universe going forward as the Justice Leagues universe, then Nolan’s Batman would need to undergo some changes or at the very least retconned in order to fit. The problems are the following: Bale clearly showed signs of extreme fatigue, and that was just defending gotham from gangs. The only BBG’s he really came up against that we know of were Scarecrow (hardly a BBG really), Ras Al Guhl, Joker, and Bane… other than that its all been street gangs as far as we know. So how would Bats ever stand up to the likes of Mongo, Darkseid, Metallo, Braniac, Sinestro, or dozens of other truly superpowered beings? The answer is he couldnt. Because this Batman is human. Just an ordinary human that is well trained with a few modest gadgets. Clearly as demonstrated he breaks and breaks badly. In the kind of action expected in a JL movie with the precedent set by MoS, this Batman wouldnt last 5 seconds. So we need a more invincible Batman. The kind that has the beyond belief style tech that allows him to stand up to these kinds of threats and survive.

    So Bale wont play him anymore. Nolan set it up perfectly in the end, “anyone can be the bat” and so too anyone can be Bruce Wayne. In a JL movie you can have Batman, without Bruce. There is no need to have him ever remove the cowl beyond the ego of the actor underneath. But lets say you do remove the mask, as I suspect would happen anyway, it still need not be Bale and still use the established character. No reboot would be necessary. In fact another reboot would be detrimental to the character. What ever story that needs to be told could be covered easily in a quick montage that establishes the bare necessities, He is Bruce Wayne, owns a company that is worth more money than god, and moonlights as a crime fighter in a small burg named Gotham. Anything more would be redundant and tiresome. Any audience that is going to see JL would already know who he is even if they arent regular fans. They would have by this time already seen at least Nolan’s interpretation of him and know for the most part what they are getting. A guy in a lightly armored suit with gadgets and vehicles that kick serious bad guy ass. The only thing that might need to be developed that in my opinion lacked in Nolan’s Batman is his incredibly sharp, intelligent mind that makes him the worlds greatest detective. I think Nolan did some service to his Bats OCD when it comes to his tactical mindset and having backups for backups for backups. So you have the basics already understood by the audience for him, so skip his development in JL and spend that time on the other characters that would still need it. But if you really must develop him, MoS 2 would be the place to do it if you intend on having a JL movie following it. Just like Bats had Selena Kyle in TDKR, Clark could have Bruce in his corner, not as Bats, but still present and established. This would in allow for a new actor to be set up for JL to play Bats officially without having a Superman Batman film overshadow Supes in a MoS 2 film. The perfect use would be as a an unsuspected foil to Luthor’s legitimate plans. Luthor has in most incarnations skirted the law in order to accomplish his goals. Rarely did he overtly come straight out and get caught. Usually when he did it was REALLY big, but most times he paid for or developed what ever mechanations that tested Superman all the while keeping his company in tact and without direct ties to himself. This was best portrayed in the series Smallville in my opinion. So if you have to switch out actors to play Bats, having him in a final scene getting the best of Luthor and helping to foil his scheme while introducing himself to Clark Kent/Superman as a friend in high places is a perfect way to transition him. The next would be in JL where Superman at first doesnt trust masked superheroes and uses Xray to see that Batman is the same guy that helped him to stop Luthor in MoS 2.

    • Despite you not reading everyone elses comments, this is basically a neat summary of what most people have been saying in response to every article posted on screenrant since we found out MoS2 was likely.

    • So in other words you would like Warner Brother’s to make a live action cartoon exaggerating human abilities and experiences. They tried that…it was called Green Lantern.

      “Since Mr. Bale refuses to play Batman…”

      If you CAREFULLY read the many articles on the subject, it is obvious that no one asked Bale about playing Batman in the Justice League therefore it is a studio decision to not use him. WB/DC is making a monumental mistake in not keeping Bale underneath the cowl. What could have been an epic crossover and launch of the Justice League is probably now going to be mediocre if not downright bad. I have NO hope that the next iteration of Batman will be any good.

      Let’s look at the WB record…the first two Superman movies were good… change directors and the next three – crap. The first two Batman films good…change directors the next two – crap. An interesting take on cat-woman made popular by Michelle Pfeiffer, what does WB do, recast the role and have a character that has nothing to do with the Batman mythology and a new actress directed by someone named “Pitof’ and we get – crap! Even non superhero genre Clash of the Titans, WB changes directors, key actors and the sequel Wrath of the Titans – BOMBS.

      WB should have gone with what brought them to the dance and should milk it for all its worth. For Christopher Nolan to say he has told the story he is going to tell…does he and WB make movies for himself or for fans? Thus far it seems like a lot of fans are disappointed and I think it will show at the box office.

      Good luck to the Justice League!

      • I too have serious doubts about rebooting Batman, however I sure as heck don’t want Bale joining the Justice League. The strength of the trilogy is largely in how the relatively realistic and mundane world we live in requires this down to earth version of a hero. Putting the Nolan Bat into a world of gods and magic and aliens undermines those films and the feel of the universe within them. It also diminishes Bruce hugely, making him look like a deputized tag along in a world of super-human gods and monsters. I find the two franchises completely incompatible. If there is a JL Batman, then I hope it stands alone and apart as a one-off story, tangential to what came before and what comes next. If the next stand alone Bat film is tied into a JL film by the same actor or anything else, then we lose the unique flavor of Batman to a wacky comic book world with very few rules and endless gimmickry. This is MY greatest concern, and a more potently tragic death than any in the last movie. Thoughts?

        • I don’t think the Nolan Batman is incompatible at all. The Nolan version of Batman had some VERY fantastic moments except they were science fiction…just like the comic book version.

          Why would it diminish Bruce hugely. If you saw the Avengers, Nick Fury’s character was JUST a man. Heck…he did not even have any fancy gadgets, but he asserted himself as the person who brought the “team” together both physically and spiritually and he was one of the “brains” behind everything they did, despite having a Thunder God, Iron Man, and an invincible monster/genius scientist on that team. was he diminished?

          • I see your point, though the intent of the Bat trilogy was to exist in our world, even if it strained realism at times, so I do feel like the jump to a larger universe is a huge shift. Good point about Fury, although he also suits my concerns. In a world full of superheroes and gods a mortal man CAN make a difference…he’s just the least interesting character with the least screen time, and his greatest accomplishment is in getting the “REAL” heroes to save the day. See what I mean? That being said, I think you are on to the best possible use of the Bat in a JL movie: intelligence/wisdom/guidance/leadership etc. He would be in the awkward position of having to suddenly justify his own worth, something that would never be in question when there are just Gotham’s criminals to fight.

            The struggled somewhat effectively with Tony Stark in this position of self doubt with IM3, so maybe it could be interesting character work, especially if Bruce is not a rebooted youngster, but personally I like batman best in Batman’s world, where there is no galactic threat diminishing the value of his crime fighting contributions. Furth down the thread Holden Caulfield (who finds the recycling plot elements of Batman increasingly phony) makes the solid suggestion that Batman get the least screen time in a JL film. I agree for many reasons, even though he’s my favorite by far. There should be no origin for him and no Bruce Wayne scenes at all. (This sidesteps all talk of keeping him perfectly cohesive with the next film or the last film). They can become a team of immortals before realizing that they lack something Batman can bring to the table somehow. Thus he makes a relatively contained appearance that can be seen as a special contribution, and we can skip all the awkward table talk where Superman discusses shifting the orbit of the Earth and Bruce can only mention all the times he punched a crackhead in the ghetto…

            Just my preference, and as I stated before, I wish it would be a different actor than before (and it will be) as well as different from whoever gets the next solo Batman film. Just as Micheal Keaton’s batman doesnt exist in the same story as Bale’s, the JL batman should be a seperate entity. Otherwise we are really stuck changing the current canon state of Batman into something that is, in my opinion, less pure of a concept and less interesting of a character. Will every bat story for the next 10 years (or even many more) be about the guy who met the gods and aliens and otherworldly threats? Again, I feel you may as well have James Bond join the group. It may be a fun ride, but when it’s over who wants to expect that the next few Bond films will be in the aftermath of alien war? Nobody, including me, is worried when an animated film does something weird with a character, because we know it is just a one-off story.

            • ‘He would be in the awkward position of having to suddenly justify his own worth’ – this would definitely be one of the subplots of any JL movie.

              I’m fine with them skipping the origin and no Bruce Wayne, provided Bruce Wayne hasn’t shown up in MoS2, which I would say is a possibility because if us ‘Scranters’ have been thinking about it, surely it has crossed the minds of the WB/DC guys.

              What I’m not sure about is the lack of screen time for Batman. I just can’t picture a JL movie without Batman being a central part of the story.

              • I see your point. I think he would have to be a PIVOTAL element, but not necessarily get lots of screen time. Making him work in this context would be perhaps the most important calculation for the writers. The delicate issue at the center is that when you go JL you pull out all the stops, combine the mythologies of many disparate heroes, and go for broke on the over the top spectacle and momentum. That hardly bodes well for following up with a small scale Gotham-centric story about mortal criminals. I don’t mind using Batman this way, except for the liklihood that they won’t use him in any other way while they are riding out the profits of a superhero mash up franchise. If the two treatments of him cant both be out there in live action films, then I would prefer no JL Batman to having to forfeit more intimate character pieces like The Dark Knight. As much fun as Avengers was, TDK is much more compelling for my tastes, and I’d hate to sacrifice that sort of film for the next however many years. What do you think?

                • You’re right, Bats probably needs to be the most important character in the film. We can’t have audiences leaving the movie thinking Batman is lame compared to Superman, Green Lantern and the rest.

                  Does a gotham-centric movie necessarily have to refer to any events that happened in a JL movie though. And if you start to bring in characters like clayface and ivy and a venom-crazed bane (I know those last 2 have been done, but poorly), would that seem so out of place compared to what’s happening in the JL movies.

                  Actually I’ve just had a thought, what if Batman stories were to take place before any JL events? Before MoS even?

                  • Maybe that is the genius solution to keeping Batman movies “pure” in the wake of outrageous JL plot twists! We certainly don’t need a retelling of his origin, but a tale from the early years would clearly sidestep any super friend adventures they tell about his later years. It could be like the next Arkham game, early and formative but hardly an “origin tale.”. I like this idea! It also opens up the idea of the JL batman being substantially older, whereas I think the main consensus why Bale couldn’t reprise Batman is because his version got too old. Setting aside the casting question, what if they doubled down on the relative frailty of Bruce by having him be over the hill? A young Batman in his prime could look like a joke next to a team of gods and magical beings, so why not take the concept even further and make him more like the Miller classic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, a retired vigilante? That would further define the issue of his value to the group, and be a cool alternate way to see the guy without the ongoing batman movies using the same version. I’d love to see how they would make old Bruce an invaluable contributor when he seems like a liability as an aging mortal.

    • I like the idea that if they do JL they never show Bruce, just Batman. As you say, minimize the obligatory backstory, expect audiences to recognize the character without having to be reintroduced to the basics, and just get on with the story. Done carefully we could nullify any question as to which version he is or who is behind the mask. Don’t bother with that! Just call him up on the spot light and get on with the story. Let him play his role, and then preferably recast him when the next batman film comes around so that we don’t have the ridiculous impression that Bale is fighting alongside and against magical people all of the sudden, or that the world of Batman is from now on nevr the size of Gotham again, but rather the size of the planet or villain-riddled galaxy. Marvel has managed to tell a cool new Iron Man after removing Tony from the “real” world, but it was a great risk, and it DOES have a cost. I don’t really want him talking about planets full of gods while he goes about his earthly business. His world is big enough without that, just as Gotham is for Bruce, and when you let go of that there is an inherent devaluing of all that has been or ever could be accomplished by one mortal man. I think the JL stories need to disassociate and distance themselves from the individual franchises, just like when the outrageous animated comic film of the month comes out. Nobody asks if the Planet Hulk version of Hulk is the guy from Avengers, right? It is just obvious that the projects are seperate, and they don’t reflect on the integrity of other projects. Personally, I’d be so protective (paranoid?) about the diluting effect of a JL movie, that if it had to happen I would recast EVERYONE to make the film’s parallel, standalone nature glaringly evident. No actor would portray their character in JL as well as their own tales. Maybe that’s just me, and I know it won’t happen, but aren’t there enough adult fans out there to see that cosmic escalation is not always the best way to make a character interesting?

  5. Don’t even bother with Batman in a potential justice league film. The studio should worry about Flash, Aquaman, Hawk guy and wonder woman.

  6. What kind of a world do we live in where a man dressed up AS A BAT!!!! steals all of my press……

    This town needs an enema……

    • @ Jonathan

      Too bad Ledger’s Joker didn’t say something like that in TDK,lol.

  7. @ Patrick Bayard

    “So in other words you would like Warner Brother’s to make a live action cartoon exaggerating human abilities and experiences”

    You do realise that that we are talking about SUPERHERO-movies here right?
    What is the point of making them realistic? How is Man Of Steel realistic when it stars a super strong alien who can fly?

    “For Christopher Nolan to say he has told the story he is going to tell…does he and WB make movies for himself or for fans?”

    So basically you demand that Christopher Nolan keeps churning out Batman films even if he has no interest in it and no story to tell? That’s certainly a reasonable and well thought-out idea.

    • There are HUMANS in comic books and Superhero movies. Are you suggesting that completely un-enhanced human characters in comic books have superhuman abilities? I am completely missing your point.

      As far as me making a “demand” that Christopher Nolan churn out Batman films. I am saying the exact opposite. He and Bale were hired to reboot Batman and they did an outstanding job. My point is that just because Christopher Nolan does not want to continue making the films that includes this iteration of Batman does not mean Warner Brothers needs to…they own the rights to the character. Since the fans have embraced THIS iteration of the character, Warner Brothers should continue what the fans want. Iron man has had different directors, so I am unsure why a director saying he has “told the story he wants to tell” means no one else can continue the story without him. Especially someone like David Goyer sine he is one of the writers of THIS iteration of Batman.

      • You’re unsure why a director saying he has “told the story he wants to tell” means no one else can continue the story without him? Because you said changing directors leads to crap in WB’s track record.

        • Yeah! I would prefer Nolan remain…in fact I would love it if he took on the Justice League. To be clear, I am making a distinction between the director walking away from a successful franchise and the studio deciding to reboot the whole thing characters and all for no apparent reason. If Nolan does not want to continue…or has no story to tell…then fine find another director and continue your successful franchise (as they did with Iron Man). And I understand that it was Nolan’s decision…but Warner still has a successful franchise in Bale’s Batman why not continue it? Why not at least talk to Bale and try to work out with him and other cast members a way to continue the story NOT as a solo film but in an ensemble cast – Justice League. Rebooting seems to always fail when Warner does not make the effort to continue with established success and makes the arbitrary decision to reboot a character. All it is going to do is alienate fans.

          Let me put it this way, when James Bond was rebooted with the addition of Daniel Craig in the title role, fans embraced him as a different and ironically more realistic and gritty version of the character. Are you telling me that when Martin Campbell walked away from directing …it would have been a good idea to also get rid of the character Bond fans had just embraced. No and to the studio’s credit they did not. Sure the follow up film was not well received but the next one certainly was. This is not that different a situation. Bale would not have to carry a Justice League movie so why not do so with another director?

          • I see your point. It would be nice if they could tie in a successful franchise with a fledgling one to make everything work well. And I understand your distinction between a director willingly or unwillingly leaving a franchise. It’s not good for art when the studio pushes its greed on something. the James Bond reference is a little loose. He’s been played by more actors than Batman and has only been officially rebooted once and that was with Craig. Bond has always been like that. But point taken.

            Unfortunately for the fans of Nolan’s Batman and the general audience who doesn’t bother with comicbook canon neither of them wants to. You’re point about Iron Man is ill-suited because RDJ was never adamently against reprising the role as Bale was with Batman. He was angry because the studio was playing shinanegans with the other actors paychecks and he thought that if it was an ensemble movie they should all get a fair share. He never said anything like Bale did such (rough quote) “I won’t do another Batman unless Nolan has a story to tell.” RDJ threatened Marvel with walking as a bargaining chip but never said “I’m done.”

            A lot of people (including myself) have been talking about the continuity issues, the non-canon baggage, and all sorts of problems associated with tying in TDK trilogy with MoS. While we could go on forever about all those details, for me there’s really one defining thing that would get in the way of a successful tie in and that is time. At the end of TDKR Wayne was about 50. Christian Bale is 39. If WB/DC wants to take this to a full franchise that would mean Bale would need to sign at least a 3 picture deal. One for each JL movie. By the time they got to the 3rd JL movie and also filmed and released all the other character movies Bale could very well be pushing 60 and Batman would be even older. It’s just not right for the character. He needs to be at his peak. He needs to at the top of his game. Bale’s Batman, though it has been the best on screen version, just isn’t that Batman now. If they had done this after TDK I’d be totally on your side. If the third movie had never happened then yes, have him be Batman. But that’s not the case. Way down the line when Bale is the age Michael Caine is now and they wanna have him play Wayne and get some young up and comer to play Terry McGinnis, I would be totally down for that. That would actually be pretty incredible. But he just isn’t the one to play the character in this universe. A new Batman can be just as effective as Bale as long as the writers stay true to the aspects of the character that people have loved for decades. Make the characters, including the new Batman, someone the audiences can relate to and they will love it and accept it no problem. That’s why Nolan’s was so successful. He made the movie about Bruce Wayne. He allowed people to see behind the mask and care about the man wearing it. That shouldn’t change going forward but that also doesn’t mean that he can’t be made better, more superhero. The reason superheroes are our modern mythology is because people can relate to them. Another director will be able to do the character justice the same as a new actor. there isn’t any real need to keep Bale and it would be bad for the franchise in the long run.

            • Lots of good points and ideas. As far as being relatable though, doesnt that go put the window when the story gets too big? How relatable is Tony Stark now that he fights alien invasions and eats take out with a Demi-God? Marvel bit the bullet and went full-on magical universe with their heros, and it was fun, but do you really want the core future of Batman to be like that? Characters change and evolve and get repurposed, but I’d no sooner make such an earth-shattering change to that (film) franchise than I would send Daniel Craig’s Bond to fight magical aliens in space. Hence my wish to have JL ideas treated as a seperate franchise akin to the animated releases, and not an ongoing permanent change to Batman.

              • you keep it relatable by their reactions to such events, not excluding the events entirely. Just because something happened in a cartoon doesn’t mean it couldn’t be put into a movie. How realistic is making a weaponized fear toxin from a fictional flower? And assuming you made something like vaporized LSD, how can you be sure that everyone will see things that terrify them? But it worked for the movie and it was great. Why wouldn’t Be able to have some sort of high testosterone stimulant pumping through him all the time along with some steroid-like drug to make him even stronger? As I’ve said before on here, making these characters grounded and going with a more realistic approach does not mean that a writer or director or franchise has to sacrifice the things about them that make them superhero stories. The realism comes from the reality of what they are dealing with as people. Opinions may differ on MoS but you can’t say that they didn’t try to make most of the story about his relationship with his fathers. They made it a story about a man. An extraordinary man who can do extraordinary things but there are real human emotions there. That’s how you make it relatable. Who cares if they’re fighting aliens? Imagine if Tony Stark had died at the end of Avengers. Would the fact that he died while flying a nuke through a portal to another dimension really take so much away from the loss the characters would feel that you couldn’t relate to it? Coulsen died and Whedon made it mean something to those characters. I could go on but to say it’s not possible to make comic book things relateable is ludicrous. why then have people been reading them for over 70 years?

                • should say “why wouldn’t Bane be able to” sorry

                • I think you are confusing relatable with a total immersion in the real world. I don’t think anyone is expressing that. What I am saying is you start with the world we live in and then as you introduce fantastic characters, people respond to it in the film the same way you would expect in real life AND the fantastic things you introduce, you offer a pseudo-realistic explanation of them. That will allow the audience to become fully immersed in the story and elevate their buy in.

                  It is a marketing and artistic mistake for Bale not to reprise the role of Batman. Everyone loses: bale on the largest payday he could get at the moment, the audience on the most successful iteration of Batman; and the studios on the fans that will be alienated after the guaranteed comparisons to Bales Batman which has similarly plagued Cavill’s Superman being compared to Reeve’s Superman and Garfield’s Spiderman compared to McGuire’s.

                  • You may feel that way, but from reading most of the comments on this article, it seems most people are ok with a new version and recognize that while Bale was good, he was not the best version out there. they can do better. There will always be comparisons. I’m sure the people of the 40′s compared that Batman to the one of the 30′s. It’s fine. i don’t see either of the movies you mentioned hurting too bad in the box office because of those comparisons. New Batman is the way is it’s gonna be and should be.
                    And I’m not confusing anything. Nobody needs to be immersed in the “real world” because it’s fiction. Audiences don’t go to see superhero movies to feel like they could someday be a superhero. We have Kickass for that which is, rightly so, a comedy. And your first paragraph was pretty much exactly what I said before. Keep the human aspect along with the fantastic stuff. But you’re the person saying Batman shouldn’t be able to back flip over another person or break stone with his fists or kick over trees or still fight after being shot or stabbed. Which is it? Is he gonna be a guy as fit as any other martial artist or is he gonna be someone special and unique? In Hush he bench presses a coffin lid through the 6 ft of dirt. He says it’s 600lbs. Is that too fantastic? Because the world record for bench press is over 700 lbs. The fact is, audiences won’t get caught up in these types of details if the human aspect of the character is there and relatable. Nobody is gonna care if Batman kinda pushes the boundaries of what a human can do, or if Wonder Woman is wearing lingerie, or if Superman is wearing his underwear outside his pants because they’ll be too preoccupied with the ethos of these characters. they’re legendary. Most of the original stories draw heavily from ancient mythology. To bring them down so fans of Nolan’s universe can have something like that Batman is such a smack in the face to all the other fans who enjoy more than just the film adaptations.

                    • this thread needs to be changed to “Patrick bayard cant accept that christian bale WON’T come back as batman.”

                      i believe we are going to witness what happens when an unstoppable force (DC/WB rebooting batman. that IS going to happen) meets an immovable object (PB’s stance that Bale MUST come back in order for a JL film to succeed) and lord help anyone within 100 yards of ground zero!

                    • Well made points again, Oneiros. Allow me to respond. First, I don’t disagree specifically with anything you said, and I think you had good ideas in general. I also agree that forcing a version of a character or even a tone down the throats of people who have another preference sucks. On the other hand, we like what we like and want what we want. One solution is to have any and all iterations, much like choosing between movies and comics and graphic novels and animated films. I like the dark, gritty, down to earth graphic novels, but original fans never even KNEW that batman. As far as JL goes, the solution I suggested before is to let that storyline exist independent of the solo bat films. For the record I highly doubt this, but it would eliminate every concern I have about the future of batman after JL. Maybe the JL movie doesn’t suit me, but so what? Others will like it, and eventually I’ll get to see my preferred version of the guy next time around. The problem lies with these corporate plans that will likely lock him into a single new continuity that isn’t my cup of tea.

                      I understand your points about relative realism and pervassive implausibility, but while I don’t disagree I feel compelled to draw a limit. A good example is the show Xfiles, that is on the surface a real world story of FBI agents, and couched within a mundane and recognizable world the story delves into government conspiracies and alien invasion. The every-day trappings of the show are part of what make the extraordinary seem plausible and fun. If the agents drove a flying car and had laser pistols it would be Men in Black! The other example I mentioned was that by your defense of putting Batman into a JL movie you could just as easily justify putting James Bond into it. (We’re not talking canon here, just exploring the limits of your argument with a hypothetical!). Sure you could put Bond in a supernatural scifi movie, but how would you feel if they did? Was a line crossed that maybe should not have been? Does the character thrive or suffer in this new place? Even if you like the idea, you can imagine that many would not. We can allow others to enjoy Bond versus the Aliens, but that doesn’t mean we will be content with years of sequels while our preferred version of Bond is neglected in favor of box office power. So there IS a line being drawn or crossed here, but where it is and how to approach it is obviously subjective. Thoughts?

  8. They can let Bale go but I think it’s a mistake to reboot batman alone. Better to team him up with Flash or som other Justice Leaguer. Then Man of Steel 2 should feature another justice leaguer new green lantern or Reynolds.

    Then come together for Justice League in the future.

  9. Yer it’s time to move on.

    Don’t be scared of change people.

  10. Since Bale doesn’t want a big fat check, I say give it to Matt Bomber. I think he looks the part of Bruce Wayne and could be a great Batman. Though seeing as Bale is denying that WB haven’t talked with him, may mean they actually have and they’ve asked him to not talk about the big fat check he’ll get for it.

    • It’s not the paycheck. Sometimes actors want to do something DIFFERENT. /tries to act surprised.

  11. Sorry, meant Matt Bomer.

    • Yeah Matt Bomer would be good. joe manganiello did screen testing for MoS before Cavill got the part. He could probably pull off the look but I’m not so sure about his acting ability. He’s also almost 40. Anson Mount could be good as well but again, he’s 40. Being 40 isn’t bad for the first movie but if they wanna do something like 3 JL movies we’re now looking at a 55 year old Batman. Probably gonna have to go with some younger actors.

  12. Somebody probably already said this…but I don’t feel like reading all the comments.

    Nolan/Bale’s Batman was the Batman we deserved, but not the one we needed right now.

    • You know, surprisingly, I think you’re the first person to use this reference on this article.

  13. Reading all this…I think that the key is that Batman Begins was conceived in an era when this idea of long-running continuity was not standard procedure. Even though Nolan’s approach now leaves WB having to start over, it was worth it for the respectability that TDK trilogy brought back to the character, and especially for showing that audiences will buy into serious, well-made comic book films. The lessons learned can inform the next generation of DC adaptions.

    • Unless the best that DC can come up with is to emulate Marvel by upping the ante at every turn and forsake the intimacy of Gotham for a cosmic showdown with galactic villainy. The last thing I want DC to do is to follow the route Marvel took. Avengers was fun, but in a polar opposite to The Dark Knight kinda popcorn silly way. Please don’t make Batman another member of another high-fiving hero team against impossible, magical odds!

      • Yeah the vast majority, I feel, doesn’t want to see that. They can fight Darkseid and everything but let’s not get silly about it. DC has a number of very serious comic arcs they could pull material from. Hopefully they use it.

  14. Glad to read that so many of you realize that anyone (well maybe not anyone) can be the Bats at this point. Enough time has passed and Bale has expressed on several occasions that he has no interest in playing the part ever again. So lets move on with this and get the JL started.

  15. What a shame! I would love to see him as Batman again.

    Well, Matt Bomer, it’s your turn!

  16. I’d cast Gerard Butler (Olympus has Fallen) as Bruce Wayne. This guy is tough as nails and fits the bill perfectly as the next Dark Knight.

    • As Bruce Wayne, it’d be hard to believe he isn’t Batman. You need someone like a younger Thomas Gibson, who would be my choice if he were 20 years younger. A man in respectable form without being so obviously ripped.

      However, I do think Butler would be a perfect Kraven the Hunter in Spider-Man

  17. This is last word on this tread on this bale is coming back nonsense.
    1. Iam not a nolan hater or dc hater, just dont like those followers who
    Love to be scandalous about him.
    2. Neither avengers 600 mil plus or darknight 533 million accidently make
    this much money without people liking it and going back and watching it again,
    otherwise every may or july release would make over 500 million, very weak
    argument.
    3. Last if not for that unneeded and very violent neck breaking scene at end
    Of mos this movie may have reached a billion.

  18. Enough Batman, already. After seven films dating back to 1989, the whole franchise is threadbare. How many times does this guy have to save Gotham? And that’s all he does! Have the climaxes of the 20+ Bond movies shown 007 defeating the bad guys in the same damn city? WB needs to realize that Batman isn’t the evergreen franchise that James Bond is.

    If they do a Justice League film – and that’s a huge IF – Batman is the guy who should get the least amount of screen time.
    Hell, a Superman / Green Lantern film makes more sense than a S/B film. Batman would be perceived by general audiences as more of a hindrance than a help to Superman if side-by-side in a movie. Batman is Aquaman without the water.

  19. I hope so if he makes that choice it will be nice for Henry Cavill meet up with Christian Bale… If he says Yes then he will join forces in the Hall of Justice group called JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Cannot wait,

  20. Since anyone can be Batman, have JGL wear the cape. Continue how DKR ended and have Blake take over as Batman. Bring back all the main actors from DKR except Bale, and that’s it. Problem solved.

    • Anyone can be batman… as long as they are also Bruce Wayne. JGL is a no-go

      • @ DMC

        +1

  21. Finally, now we have a completely official and personal source telling all those fanatics to go home and stop praying at the Bale/Nolan alter.

    Not…..gonna….happen. So start getting used to the idea of a new person dawning the cowl and cape. If you just can’t do that then you might as stop watching DC movies because he will be recast for JL.

  22. Im done with the Nolan/Bale Batman. Want something better outta Batman character I have not seen yet. If JGL is to play Batman, I won’t be seeing his Batman,lol.

    • Yeah, I want new ideas too. Preferably ones that don’t betray the essence of Batman for the sake of having a bigger scifi/fantasy blockbuster. Plus, Bale served the trilogy well, but despite being arguably the best Batman, he is be no means the quintessential or ideal version. I am more than happy to try and get a better fit with a recasting. He was not the primary reason that the films were so good. Nolan was. The tone and complexity, grittiness and grey areas, the commitment to telling a human story… This is what I fear may be lost indefinitley as we get the system shock of going straight from the most real depiction into a film series that embraces every comic book absurdity and child-like impulse to pile all the toys together.

      • I agree with Josh. I don’t, for example, want to see Wonder Woman throwing her boomerang tiara. I can live without things like that. there are things about the canon that could use some modernization but I feel like they’ve done ok with that in The New 52. It’s fine to make Wonder Woman a demi-god. It’s fine to make the Flash the result of a scientific accident. As much as I don’t like the idea of them going a Marvel route (and I don’t think there’s any indication they will) it would be more detrimental to each character if they base the entire universe off the audience expectations of one character as it seems some people would like done with respect to Batman. The entire thing cannot revolve around one character. If they put all their effort into making one right that means they’re likely to get the rest unforgivably wrong. I’m glad to hear that you agree it should be about the human story. there are very human things about all of them no matter what powers they do or do not have.

        • Yeah a completely un-aerodynamic item like a tiara shouldn’t be a boomerang. Ranks right up there with Superman ripping off his chest emblem and having it turn into a huge cellophane wrap. The blocking bullets with bracers and the unbreakable lasso of truth need to stay though!

          • LOL. That wasn’t actually Superman’s power, it was simply Christopher Reeve being a badass.

            • Oh my gosh…! Well, NOW it makes sense! Thanks for clearing that up.

  23. These posts by Oneiros, Patrick and Josh make for some good reading.

    • Awww. You’re going to ruin the image of discussion posters as snide jerks who want to trash each other! Thanks, DMC. Good typing with you.

  24. I honestly think this article should be called Christian Bale repeats he is done with batman.
    It is not like it is a surprice. And peace be with it, Batman in a scenematic sence, won’t die without Bale.
    We all know who he is, and for those who do not, there is plenty of material to look through by now.
    A single batman movie would be enough to set batman up in the justice league universe, and give his origin a new spin maby.

  25. He’s too old plus he make the worse batman remake.

  26. I really hope bale doesnt return for JL. His bruce wayne was dead on but his batman wasnt that great.

  27. Anson Mount or Joe manganiello would be a good Bats. If Scott Atkins was taller and had a bigger jaw, then he’d be perfect.

    • *Adkins

    • Adkins could do it. He is taller than Keaton and way more skilled (physically) than all the other guys that have played Batman on TV or the Big Screen…wait a second… not more physically skilled than Clooney. Nah no way, Clooney would take him down in a street fight in real life.

  28. I think they need to follow in the Marvel world’s footsteps and establish some successful on screen characters with their own movies first. Then, we should talk Justice League. Otherwise it’s a bit like jumping the gun.

    I’m patient enough to wait.

    I’d like to see some good origin stories of the other characters – Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash are all potentially great origin movies. I wouldn’t want to do a Batman origin again, since audiences would compare it to Nolan’s masterpiece, and it would probably fall flat. Green Lantern’s been done, but I’d need to see some other DC hero movies that nail their characters well. Also, Martian Manhunter could be an awesome origin story with a surreal flavour (I’m not talking Lynch, but kind of down that alley, not so abstract – no not Shamalan, please not Shamalan).

  29. People complain that even if Bale and Nolan wanted to do another movie, that Bale is too old and unfit. Totally untrue Well lets not forget TDK Returns (old Bruce Wayne still kickin some ass, plus Bale is in great shape looking good.) , Bale has portrayed a great Batman. Warner Bros has a lot at stake with these movies so to risk it with another actor would be very bad. Nolans franchise is too recent to do a reboot without having it compared to the new one. Think about it, warner still has all the gear from the trilogy, to start over properly would cost sooo much money, like so much. And it would waster time setting everything up. We cant have anybody but Bruce Wayne in the JL soo we can play it off as the earth needs bale, he is reluctant but he puts on the mask anyway. Maybe he dies or maybe after that movie he really is done and he Blake aka Robin/Nightwing takes up his mantle. Or we can do it a la Batman Beyond. Nolans trilogy explicitly stated anyone can be batman so why not experiment. im just saying there is really no reason not to have Bale. Not everyone wants Nolan back tho so lets let him be a creative consultant like on MOS, his name attached to the movie will draw in fans.