Christian Bale’s Batman Audition Video and Voice: A Dark Knight Begins [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 24th, 2013 at 1:25 pm,

Christian Bale Batman Audition Video Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collectors Edition Special Features Christian Bales Batman Audition Video and Voice: A Dark Knight Begins [Updated]


Love it or not, Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has left an indelible impression on Batman mythology. The most controversial aspect of Bale’s performance was his husky delivery while in the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl – but even that much-debated acting choice has been cemented in the zeitgeist, if only because of the unending flood of parody that has followed Bat-Bale since his inception (see what I did there?).

But how did Bat-Bale begin? Well, with the release of the Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition we’re getting some pretty juicy behind-the-scenes features that detail how Nolan and Co. built their epic superhero trilogy – including the video above, which shows Christian Bale auditioning for the role of Batman, and his original take on the infamous voice.

The featurette is part of the collector’s set, and it contains a few delicious ironies:

  1. The suit that Bale is testing in was worn by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever
  2. The girl testing with Bale in the video is none other than future Lois Lane, Amy Adams.


Want to see what trilogy mainstay Cilian Murphy looked like in the Batsuit – how about Anne Hathaway’s early rendition of Catwoman? Then check out the Gallery below:

Bale was a brave man, risking the curse of Schumacher by putting on one of the “tainted” Bat-suits. All jokes aside, though: Bale has often been praised by people who worked on the films and those in the fanbase for being the first actor to truly craft two personas out of the iconic character. As the casting director in the film describes, even in a loose version of the costume, Bale clearly projects something that Kilmer did not. In short, after looking at that video it’s not hard to believe that Bale was a strong choice for the role.

Amy Adams as Lois Lane in Man of Steel Christian Bales Batman Audition Video and Voice: A Dark Knight Begins [Updated]

…And how about the fact that Amy Adams was on hand to play Rachel Dawes? One can’t help but imagine that she would’ve been a much stronger choice than Katie Holmes – which would’ve established much stronger continuity (and care for the character) in the transition between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It’d been interesting to face the shocking death of Rachel in TDK with that stronger connection to the character. As it stands, Adams was reportedly just doing a favor for the casting director, Man of Steel would be her entry into the DC movie universe, and Katie Holmes would be what we got in Batman Begins. C’est la vie.

What did you think of Christian Bale’s Batman audition? Let us know in the comments.

You can also check out a full Review of the Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition for more Info on the special features.


The Dark Knight Trilogy Collector’s Edition comes to Blu-Ray on Tuesday, September 24th. You can order it HERE.

Source: Batman News

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  1. That batsuit! It burns!

  2. His voice wasnt much diffren in thr audition than it was in begins. Its perfect imo. In the other 2 films it got a bit much but i didnt mind i love bale’s batman

  3. Realistic huh? Seriously?! Who’d actually growl like that in real life?

    • Did you see his audition there was no growl… nor did he really growl in begins. Its all explained tho because it makes complete sense to change your voice so people dont recognize you. As long as they give an explanation i can accept it.

      • Was referring to the trilogy, not the audition. Hated that voice a lot!

        • Funny cause others don’t hate the voice and as someone explained to you already, if you want to remain anonymous and unrecognizable in the suit, you change your voice and the growl helps mask Bruce’s voice plus intimidate criminals.

          I’ve explained this myself for years and can’t see why people have never understood the reason for using it.

            • True. In reality that voice just makes it hard to take the guy seriously. It honestly sounded like Hulk Hogan on base-level auto-tune.

            • Im calling bs if you were walking out at night alone paranoid that you are doing something wrong. Than what looks to be an 8ft tall man grabs you hangs you upside down and says “swear to me” grumble lisp and all you would be scared anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Just cause its not happening to you and its within a movie you dont judge it the same

          • There’s hundreds of ways for Bruce to change his voice & he chooses to f#ck up his vocal cords.

            • *chords sorry

          • Sorry Dazz that’s a BS excuse not a reason. Does it make sense that to avoid being figured out he wouldn’t speak in his common everyday voice? Yes. Does it make sense that the only solution a billionaire vigilante can come up with is to growl, mumble, and sound winded? No, not even like a little bit. Did it make him hard to take seriously in all but a few scenes where it actually kinda works? Yes, yes it did.

            • It’s funny how you and Sonny place the burden of proof with Bale, just because you happen to dislike his choice.

              Don’t try to objectively vindicate your own opinion to try to get away with hating on others’.

              Bale had his style, you disliked it. Tough luck for you. Nothing more to it.

              • I love TDK trilogy but that voice kinda spoils it for me. Bale’s a great actor, just not feeling the growl. Simple… right?

              • Burden of proof of what?
                What is anybody trying to “prove?”

                My post was about NOTHING other than how I dislike his choice, and I don’t need to “objectively vindicate” it.

                This forum is made for people to like and/or hate on other people’s opinions, nobody needs to try to “get away with it.”

                So ok Silrian, what you are saying is if I don’t like something I shouldn’t bother posting anything? Because it’s just my option an there is nothing more to it?
                I won’t call you a pompous D-bag until I see you post a single negative thing about anything, then I probably will. Oh wait….

    • Who’d actually dress like a bat in real life?

  4. Actually, I loved his vocal choices in all three films in the trilogy (I found the louder, desperation-tinged voice in the latter two perfect for what Bruce was feeling and encountering). This audition tape DID show Bale’s authoritative take on the Batman side of things…even in a suit clearly not made for him.

    As for Adams, I did not particularly DISlike Holmes’s portrayal and DID love Gyllenhaal’s portrayal. HOWEVER, Adams being Rachel consistently through both both BB and TDK would INDEED have provided a more powerful, connected performance…Then again, I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy her as Lois Lane.

    • I would have loved adams as rachel. Or even maggie in both she did very well

  5. much better batsuit! the 90s suits were so much better, here’s hoping for a return to form. very cool video though!

    • That suits awful the actor cant even move his neck not to mention in HD burtons batsuit looks like pathetic rubber. Plated armor is the way to go imo, its easiest to explain

      • Exactly why the Nolan suits were the best so far. Not to mention it’s based on actual bulletproof armor used in the military and by tactical forces in the police.

        I don’t know how anyone can enjoy those old, rubber, restrictive gimp suits from the earlier Batman movies after seeing the more practical suits worn by Bale.

      • I really hope they don’t go back to the rubber suits. I don’t hate it or anything but that time has passed. Plus, Light is just bouncing off of it lmao, I wouldn’t be able to take it seriously.

      • Agreed, no more suits like this.
        No more all black Batman either please.
        Just. Use. Batman.

        • The grey spandex would not work… its implausible on film

          • meh I think it could work. Not as light grey as we thin it is but a darker shade.

            Spandex to a degree works(ed) in the books as he has a bright yellow target on his chest. When people see that they tend to ‘aim’ for it. That being the most protected part of his body.

            I think the legs and arms need more flexibility. The Bale suit (while protective) reminded me of a turtle. Just place him on his back and he is vulnerable… 😀

            I know random fire etc would hit him. However with Aliens now in the picture hopefully we can shed some of this ‘real’ stuff and get back to comic book movies being comic book movies.

  6. I thought he took the idea for the voice from Keaton. Even though I am no fan of Burton’t Batman films or Keaton’s performance as such.

    Bale def has a lot of authority even in the audition. Now I would like to see Ben Afflecks audition. Give him a scene or two from TDK and lets see if he can bring some strength to the role.

  7. No chance at deleted scenes with this collection I suppose…

  8. I may be in the minority, but even the audition was unimpressive. Nolan is just a Bale-mark.

    The voice is the worst part… you can hear the start of the BatLisp™. So sad.

    • Bale mark in what way? Recognising a good actor and deciding he’s the guy for your movie?

      Shouldn’t he be a Guy Pearce mark too for that same reason since Memento? Or Sir Michael Caine? Tom Hardy?

      • @Dazz:

        Yes… all those guys too.

        Sure, they are good actors but there may be better actors for those parts which you can’t effectively judge because of a bias.

        Bale was never Bruce or Bats material to me. It’s my opinion but if Nolan really followed Batman, he would have known that.

        Cronyism isn’t always good, maybe for Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse. I’m surprised Leo DeCap didn’t make it into TDKR. Sometimes I think Memento was part of the Dark Knight trilogy. :)

  9. “Swear to me!!!”

  10. i was watching Iron Man 3 again and i noticed in the pub scene when Tony is talkin to Rhodey he takes a jab at Batman


    i didnt notice it before hahaa

    • Sure thats not a jab at rhodey? It just seems like a common insult to show how ridiculous the name war machine sounds

      • Yeah, it was an ironic jab at the fact Stark moved away from the arms trading business and his friend used the name War Machine before being renamed Iron Patriot to sound less aggressive.

  11. That voice is not nearly as intimidating! I’m glad they changed it!

  12. Now I see. The DNA of past Batman movies and future Justice League movies is embedded in Nolan’s trilogy.

  13. Nice, I always like seeing auditions. Amy Adams would’ve been a great Rachel. If she was cast, I’m sure Rachel’s death would’ve had more of an impact on me. Though, that would probably mean we wouldn’t have her as Lois Lane, so I’m glad Gyllenhal took the part.

    While Bale’s voice did go all over the place at times (I always enjoyed it), I thought he did a great job. I prefer it much more than a voice changer or whatever they are. His own voice seems more personal to me.

  14. Hurawl…


  15. I like this much better than where it ended up. This is closest to Batman Begins but even more subtle, I would not mock this voice had he used it. Since he didn’t…
    He sounded like a bear with throat cancer possed by William Shatner, who now thinks he’s Batman.

    Why does everybody only tease the growl? He sounds like WILLIAM FREAKING SHATNER! “The people of gotham… Just showed you… That they’re ready to believe… In good.” Pause acting at its finest.

    On a side rant… The Dark Knight Begins is an infinitely better title than Batman Begins when judged against the naming of the subsequent sequels.

    • The Dark Knight Beings is a terrible title it doesn’t roll out of your mouth at all, also I sense no William Shatner.

      • But it fits better with the other two, I just like symmetry I guess.
        Nothing wrong with the title Batman Begins, it is just kinda the odd ball title of the trilogy.

    • If you’ve ever tried doing the voice you’ll discover the “pause acting” is a result of not having enough air in the lungs to pull off longer sentences. Another reason using that voice was not a good idea… rips up the vocal chords and requires too much airflow through the larynx to be a practical option unless you plan on speaking in only three word sentences like “swear to me” and “where is she”..

  16. Also…. If Amy Adams had played Rachel I might not have been bored to tears with her wooden character in the first movie, I most likely would not have silently cheered when she was killed in the second, and it would have been slightly less depressing that Batman is still whimpering over her 8 years after she died in the third.

    • DragonArcher23, I actually agree with you about Bruce not getting over Rachel. That did stick out to me too, and the part in TDK that upset me most was Alfred burning Rachel’s letter (her final words and something that would have provided much needed closure. I could see not giving it to him right away).

      But, as I’ve thought about it, Bruce’s reaction does make sense in the “internal logic” of the movies. Bruce is physically and mentally worn down. He is not one to easily move on. And even if he was, he has spent years being Batman. In any future relationships he’ll either never be able to reveal that huge part of his life, or if he ever did, the question would be “when” (i.e. probably not on the first date). With Rachel he had someone who he had known all his life and someone who knew his parents and that he was Batman. Could he move on and find someone else (presumably something more meaningful than the endless one-night-stands available to the average billionaire? Probably. But it would be difficult and feel pretty hopeless. In that case, many would prefer to nurture fantasies about a past relationship that never really took off.

      Point is, it’s not a normal “guy not letting go” situation. There is a different context. However, I do see your point. I noticed it too and was bothered by it, but you bringing it up made me think about it a little more.

  17. A great actor making an acting decision. Weird thing is they auditioned together in Begins but didn’t work together until the Fighter and now- American Hustle.

  18. I have no idea where someone would want to do Batman again. This was a terrific trilogy. Just as retrospective of what worked and what I would do everything:
    Batman Begins-Very good reboot. What I would do differently is edit out the boring and overlong parts and also I have no idea why Nolan would cast Katie Holmes over Amy Adams. Adams works in this role and would carry her weight with the rest of the cast.
    The Dark Knight-Great film. Terrific Heath Ledger performance. Only thing I would do differently is edit out the boring and overlong parts and bring back everyone, including Adams as Rachel. I don’t really like Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. He’s too bland. I would cast Matt Damon. Also, the mob as portrayed by Eric Roberts and Ritchie Coster, among others, was a little cheesy. Instead, I’d bring in mob movie veterans Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci.
    The Dark Knight Rises-A great conclusion. I don’t get all the backlash. Anyways, I’d edit out the boring and overlong parts and then take out the unnecessary characters, such as Talia al Ghul/Miranda Tate, John Dagget, the Senator, and Foley.
    Great trilogy, if these changes were made it might’ve even have been up there with The Godfather trilogy and original Star Wars trilogy. Seriously

  19. Imo, Bale’s voice as Batman was fine in Batman Begins. But in the last two films I think he over did his voice. It was most annoying in TDK.

    • Well…bully for you.

  20. Although I never had a problem with the voice I always thought a simple way to explain and stop people from complaining was to say or show at some point that he was using some sort of scrambler or voice modification that’s a part of the suit.
    Or was this not an option?

    • @Kevin7:

      I wouldn’t mind the use of a voice-changer. They do it in Arrow and at first I thought it was cheesy but compared to a lisp… I’d rather go with the technology option (and considering Bats has a cowl that covers his neck, easy to implement/explain).

      Why doesn’t Clark Kent have a Superman voice? :)

      • @ Big Nerd
        For a while I thought that’s what was happening but obviously I was wrong because it’s still a topic that’s being debated.

        Clark doesn’t need it because those glasses work so well. :)

  21. You Bale voice haters do realise that Nolan was the one who edited the voice right? dont blame bale, Its not bad at all IMO if you have to change your voice and be Intimidating a growl would be a better fit.

  22. I know people go on Bale for his voice. I thought it was funny at times but it never distracted me or took away from his performance in the trilogy. I loved Nolans Batman films they are excellent films it took a different perspective on comic films. I think Bale did an excellent job on the Bat.

  23. The only weakness of the trilogy was the Rachel Dawes characters. Maggie was the worst casting ever.

  24. Off topic: Anyone else watch Revenge? I think Gabriel Mann could make a good riddler.

  25. Snyder beyond badass!

  26. The video was removed…Joker?!!!!