Will Christian Bale Play Batman in ‘Justice League’?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 9:11 pm,

Christian Bale Batman Suit Armor Will Christian Bale Play Batman in Justice League?

Zack Snyder’s upcoming take on the origins of Superman, Man of Steel, is just over three months away and we’ve surprisingly not heard too much about it in weeks, with Warner Bros. oddly missing a chance to showcase the last son of Krypton’s prowess during the Super Bowl. Reactions from recent test screenings however, are extremely positive and for fans, this will hopefully translate into a greenlight on development of not just a sequel, but of Justice League.

Not a single bit of official information regarding casting, a director, a story or even a date for Justice League has been released by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment and instead, interested moviegoers have relied on rumors and inside scoops, slowly and inconsistently revealing bits of information, sometimes believable or downright obvious, but always completely unofficial.

After the success of The Avengers and Marvel Studios quickly confirming a lineup of six followup movies (dubbed “Phase Two”), one report had Warner Bros. attempting to directly compete in 2015 with a team-up of their own. Justice League would introduce DC’s core lineup of superheroes and it would share the same summer as Disney and Marvel’s The Avengers 2. Will Beall (Gangster Squad) was writing a script for said film, a script which another rumor said was so bad that no sought after director was interested in climbing aboard, resulting in studio executives tossing it away. Later we heard that very same writer signed a deal with the studio to write two screenplays for them, placing doubt on the previous other rumors. What to believe?

Justice League Movie Writer Will Beall Will Christian Bale Play Batman in Justice League?

One “scoop” had the studio considering having Joseph Gordon-Levitt play Batman in Justice League alongside Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent; another had the studio planning to do an entire Man of Steel trilogy along with a Batman reboot before launching Justice League. There’s even a rumor out there stating Justice League has been delayed from a nonexistent release date to 2017.

What does this tell us? There’s not a lot of real info out there and there’s also not a plan in place at Warner Bros., at least not one that so many insiders claim to know about. But if there’s going to be one soon, it’d be very smart to continue building from the foundations they’ve already set. They have a worldwide box office draw in Christian Bale’s Batman, and they have a recognizable, likable leading man in Ryan Reynolds – despite the weaknesses of the shoddy film (Green Lantern) built around him – and if our anticipation pays off, they’re going to have a badass new Superman as well. Justice League should be embracing these assets and building from it. It really is that $imple.

According to Latino-Review‘s latest Justice League report, that may be what they’re doing. Their report (see below for video) claims that in response to Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars and the massive success of The Avengers franchise to date, Warner Bros. is bringing Christian Bale back, for the simple reason that his films, based on a solo character and directed by Christopher Nolan, brought in over a billion dollars each on the last two installments, something Marvel was only able to achieve (so far) with a team-up.


Chris Nolan is producing (and provided the story for) Man of Steel so even though he’s always said he wants his Batman universe to live on its own and that it wouldn’t continue with him, he is involved in another DC property for the studio and was integral in bringing Snyder aboard. There’s no way their ideas end with one Superman movie.

It’s something we’ve talked about multiple times on the Screen Rant Underground podcast (here, here and here), jokingly stating Warner Bros. should pay whatever amount of money required to bring Bale and Nolan back. Perhaps it’s already been done, and we all have to wait for Man of Steel to debut in June before foll0w up announcements are made. It’d be prime time for Warner Bros. to take advantage of Comic-Con to make an announcement of epic proportions, a la Marvel Studios’ unveiling of The Avengers cast.

So the questions are, should Warner Bros. bring Christian Bale back? Do they need him to play Bruce Wayne? Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes!

Man of Steel hits theaters June 14, 2013 and Justice League debuts sometime in the future.

Source: Latino-Review

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. Aside from the Herculean task of resolving issues like donating wayne manor, wayne’s wealth, and the “death” of batman….. Having the Justice League in the Nolan Universe would be awesome and hears why

    Nolan spent over 8 years, millions of dollars, 3 films, and several well respected actors to create a cinematic setting. One of the best settings in all of film. Why not use that initial set up as investment towards a wider universe. What I mean is, Nolan spent 3 films firmly grounding this universe and putting gravity and real weight to a superhero setting. But what this does is making it even more extraordinary that a man like Superman exists. He would truly be ALIEN. He would truly be SUPER. Thats the point at the end of the day. To make these characters greater than mankind. And Nolan has spent more time making the perfect set up for an EXTRAordinary character like Superman or Wonder Woman.

    Plus Bale’s Bruce is already the grumpy old Batman that doesn’t even trust his own teammates so of course we would see the same awkward dynamic that we see between superman or Flash who are more lighthearted.

    Nolan’s setting makes the Justice league more epic as a whole. And I hope Warner Bros. is watching El Mayimbe because he makes a pretty good arguement as to why WB may get destroyed for every summer from now through 2017 if they cant get there act together. Star Wars 7-9 isnt the end of the star wars universe, there are rumors for prequels like Yoda’s origin.

    • Well said.

    • It’s true, and I agree. Except all of this came from us on the podcast months ago :p

    • So many spelling errors, my brain hurts.

    • I completely agree. From a business standpoint, this makes perfect sense for WB. Why would they just give up on this money-making, critically-acclaimed franchise?

  2. I agree with everything in this article and it’s the only Justice League movie I want to see.

  3. I think that the Latino Review is wrong. Bale is not going to play Batman again.

    • @Justin J. Poppiti

      During TDKR’s first press meet (post-release) Bale said he’s open to more Batman films in the future.

      Now that Nolan’s on the supervisor board for WB, this will be a greater impetus for Bale to return.

      • That still doesn’t mean that Bale will play Batman again.

  4. It would be such a great step for this batman to come back and join the justice league. It makes sense. The characters older, wiser, and stronger then ever at the end of rises. Plus he gets a little vacation to recharge a bit with catwoman! Then he can come back, teach robin, and prepare himself for the next level of escalation…the coming of superman and alien/other worldly beings. It is definitely the way to go for a simply amazing justice league story

  5. Here is my dream. They need to keep the Nolan trilogy in place. That way Batman is already established and I like this version well enough. Man of Steel can stay as well. They can keep Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, though I wouldn’t mind if they made a Green Lantern 2 that would be really good, so it can ease people’s worries of the character and Reynolds himself. Maybe have Flash and Wonder Woman solo movies, though not necessary, as they can be introduced in Justice League, and when there solo movies are made, they could be made in post-Justice League time and involve flash backs if necessary to add to their origin. Another great addition to this universe definitely has to be the Arrow TV show. It definitely has to be added to this universe and continuity as it is a great show and has proven to be popular. The show has also dealt with lesser known villains from the Batman universe, so they don’t need to be used again. Plus, the show can help to promote and springboard certain characters and ideas to the Justice League movie.

  6. God I hope not. Bale is a terrible Batman. Besides, Nolan’s done with Batman now isn’t he?

  7. Haha none of you can really notice huh? They’ve been planning the justice league movie since DKR, and I’m sure there’s gonna be some sort of post-credits scene in man of steel. They’re just keeping it close to the chest because they’re now competing with marvel. Just wait and see!

    • (To be read in a sarcastic tone: ) Yeah, that sounds exactly like WB. Have a concrete plan in place years before.

  8. While I think a Justice League film would be great, why doesn’t WB just combine their two valuable DC properties with a World’s Finest film with Bale and Cavell?

  9. Remember how Bruce has no money left?

    • He left a ton of it to his butler, same as he did when he disappeared while training with the league of shadows.

      • That’s hardly enough to fund being batman for more than a week.

  10. In the Blu Ray special features for TDKR all concerned expressed in no uncertain terms that this would be the last time they would be working together on a Batman project… Whether thats water under the bridge, we’ll have to wait and see… Like the 1st poster says it will be a Herculian task if it is in fact all true.

  11. I think it would make more sense to bring JGL in as batman than bale..considering I think it was widely accepted he gas retired unless it was just a vacation. But regardless if they being bake back u have to bring JGL back with sum sort of role..maybe robin…if not JGL as batman where u can start fresh and bale as sum sort of consultant for him

  12. people cn guess or present their openion whatevr they like bt the real truth is if nolan wb n dc together get there hands on a good script der will b JLA with Bale they wnt take a big risk of introducing new batman we can talk and discuss on other actors to replace bale bt thats nt gonna happen sooner or later coz in hollywood money does matter! and wb along wid dc dnt wanna waste millions of dollars jst on crap i would say 2 u all jst calm down and wait fr the right time we’ll all see whats gona happen next jst wait fr man of steel u ppl hv waited so long jst wait fr 3 mnths more then we’ll see whr does wb n dc takes there world of heroes

    • Def disagree…knowing how Nolan is when it comes to story telling and continuity I don’t see how they could possibly bring back bale without completely rendering the ending of his last movie completely wasted. Unless they brought back JGL also along with him..money does talk. Which is y I’m sure he would find s way to add sum continuity and not just pretend he never made the last 20 min of TDKR…tho I do agree we should just wait to see MOS and see what clues we get from that

  13. Its possible to have both Batman and Superman in one film (ala Worlds Finest) even though they’re from different “cinematic” worlds. Like Thor, who changed everything in the Marvel Universe, in that he was essentially an alien coming to a world that was based pretty much on our own. Superman can be that catalyst. His appearance can bring about the more fantastical elements of the DC Universe to light eg Darkseid. In regards to how the last Batman film ended; well if Malcolm Merlyn can go to Nanda Parbat to train, then Bruce Wayne can do the same bloody thing. If Tony Stark can augment himself with nanites then why can’t Bruce Wayne seek help from someone like Shondra Kinsolving in healing his back and various injuries. Maybe, just maybe, we can finally have the introduction of the Lazarus pits.

    I always thought that if Nolan did indeed make a 4th film, he could root it in some sort of magical realism. Bring in aspects from the comic books.

  14. Storywise it would not so much make sense for Bale to return. BUT if he could be talked into it, it would obviously make promotional, dramatic and financial sense to bring him back. I would not really mind that one bit. It would help give Justice League some serious weight.

    Do not bring Ryan Reynolds back, however. That Green Lantern film went *against* the grain of the direction in which WB needs to be moving. Nothing about it represents a true asset at this point. Let it go and move on.

    If there is some small, deft cameo in Man of Steel and/or WB makes the right sort of announcement at Comic Con, they have the opportunity here to create a fan frenzy. Play it right, and it will pay off like crazy.

  15. I can’t believe nobody has commented on the most important part of the article; the film is apparently being written by the writer of Gangster Squad, one of the worst films in living memory. He sh*t that script out and smeared it around on the page until it almost resembled a real story, only without any of the things required for a real story to be gripping or make sense. Awful, awful writer, if that’s anything to go by, he has no experience either, Gangster Squad being his first produced script except for a few episodes of Castle. Why bring a rookie writer on to such an important projects? Warner Bros are asking for trouble here.

    • I think they threw out that script

    • One of the worst films in living memory? I enjoyed Gangster Squad… a lot.
      What was so bad about it?

      • I enjoyed it the problems for me was thesle choice of ruben fleacher a complete hack of a director who will never live up to his first film. The movie had a solid story and good dialouge

    • Did you watch the video? Nobody said anything about Will Beall’s script. That was just Screen Rant’s speculation. And last I checked, Beall’s script was thrown out. True, he does have 2 new WB movies, for whatever reason, but those can be anything. They don’t necessarily have to be DC.

  16. I think Bale, Cavill and Reynolds could be fun to watch on screen together. They’re all good actors and Bale is great.

  17. Ah Mayimbe. More than half of what this guy “reports” on always turns out to be wrong. Why people still takes everything he says seriously is beyond me.

    Anywho, I hope this isn’t true. I still think Nolan’s TDK trilogy should be left alone (i.e. standalone – not part of a DCCU). They should start fresh with Man Of Steel and reboot Batman.

    Bringing back Bale into a JL movie would cheapen the ending of TDKR for me (and having Nolan’s Batman in a world of super-powered beings would actually cheapen the whole trilogy imo). And as for JGL, that’s a bad idea too. If Batman’s in the JL, it needs to be Bruce Wayne under the cowl.

    • I’m not defending Mayimbe but I hope there is some truth to his report. The main thing I want is for Nolan to be a consultant or “Godfather” of the DC cinematic universe because WB really needs someone to be the equivalent of Marvel’s Joss Whedon. Even though they have people like Bruce Timm, for whatever reason, they could care less about them so the next best thing is Nolan. Maybe Batman will be rebooted but Nolan will have some input into the story, script, etc.

    • Well what is the re-imagined Batman just loosely follow the event of Batman Begins- and maybe the Th Dark knight. I have posted twice here. If they want Bale to return, which makes sense from a business standpoint, do what Bond always does.
      The trilogy will be intact as is but the new film which just adds to the groundwork that the Begins and TDK laid down (like MoS) will allow for supporting cast members to return without continuing with JGL or rebooting entirely. Its complex but people did not care of the different take on Hulk or the shift in tone and plot in the Fast and Furious films. As long as it makes clear to the audience, why not different avenues that these characters can go.

      I am not saying is the best but honestly it occurs a lot in the past and James Bond does it regularly- and that franchise is going 50 years strong. There are many who TDKR and many who didn’t, why not explore the different opportunities and let audience and fans enjoy both or pick what they prefer.

      Sorry for the messy writing in advanced.

  18. It would be really nice if WB just came out and said something official already.

    I’d just rather have a solo Man of Steel trilogy that’s not part of any shared universe. Let Snyder & Nolan go crazy with that single character, who is big enough to carry a franchise on his own.

    • WB is probably not going to say anything official until Man of Steel comes out.

  19. The only way I would be 100% satisfied is if Bruce Timm has a say on this entire universe.

    Why would you bring Bale back? A Dark Knight Returns esque Batman with an entire team in their prime?

    And you’re going to tell me nothing major went on during the time Bruce became a hermit? All of a sudden, this major threat just happens to pop up after hes done being Batman?

  20. The way TDKR ended – Joseph Gordon Levitt was obviously presumed to be the next Batman or NightWing & Christian Bale (Bruce) had stepped into retirement.

    In my opinion – I think it’d be EPIC if they had JGL step into the role as Batman/NightWing & then have Christian Bale reprise his role & suit up for the Justice League film as well.

    So I say – Carry ALL THREE over! (Bale, Levit & Noland)

  21. Excellent. Now I can skip that film. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see a justice league by Nolan if it was playing for free in Imax 3D.

    • Agreed

  22. I can see why this would work, but I have issues with it. The Dark Knight Rises was the worst of all the Nolan films. It was sloppily put together, and the story felt so rushed. Bane was cool. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. No. Talia’s death… don’t tell me you giggled. Bruce Wayne complained about being batman yet, he became batman. The faking his death scene, was so stupid. I know they could have done better. The Justice League could only be the last chance to save the Nolan universe. But I am not keeping my fingers crossed.

    Yes folks, I am one of those few people who did not like TKDR.

  23. I agree with top sentance from ACW 007. Typical if WB want Nolan as ifthey feel they can’t make any DC CBM without him involved in any way. And why bring Bale back? Yes he was good, but can’t we not get so attached to Nolan’s tone. If they both do another Batman reboot, again we’ll probly won’t see Robin or anyone in the Bat-Family. Both Nolan & Bale aren’t fond of Batman’s partner aswell as some people on here im sure.

    I for one don’t wanna see Nolan’s touch on every hero in a shared
    universe. I prefer Bruce Timm/Paul Dini.

    TDK/TDKR bringing bringing billions doesn’t mean much really. Both were topped The Avengers. TDK was mostly hyped because of Ledgers’performace as Joker. As for TDKR, i know people didn’t enjoy that as nuch as TDK & didn’t think it was a good conclusion as some make it to be. Few say Avengers didn’t have much of plot or story probly because they forget there were 5 Marvel films that set things up to that one film. Justice League could have same backlash from people even if they have solo films come after the team-up. Marvel must of done things right, otherwise WB/DC wouldn’t be pushing for Justice League supposely to compete with Avengers 2.

    I prefer someone else as Batman. Id be surprised if Bale play ball & be in a reboot that includes Robin. Doubtful though.

    • @WallyWest

      I’m glad Nolan is involved (may be involved), but I’d like to see Timm and Dini in there somewhere. But from a business standpoint it makes sense that WB is putting Nolan in charge and not Timm/Dini. The latter 2 are relatively unknown to general audience, and only really known by the hardcore Batman/comic book fans. Also, I don’t believe either have very much experience in live action films. Nolan on the other hand, is pretty much a household name these days, after the Batman trilogy and Inception. It makes perfect sense for WB to get him as a figurehead, even if he doesn’t do anything. Why else did they put his name in the Man of Steel trailers? Same reason why Steven Spielberg’s name is always in the Transformers trailers. NAME BRAND.

      I love Nolan’s work and I also love Timm/Dini. Hopefully Nolan will immediately sign them on and the 3 can put their heads together (along with Snyder). Maybe Nolan will be the Kevin Feige and Bruce Timm will be the Joss Whedon.

      • @ Ezra

        Id love to see Timm/Dini involved. If they were, i think id feel more comfortable if they were workin with Nolan. True they’re probly unknown to genral audiences, & despite they haven’t worked on live-action projects before, they make-up for knowing alot about the DC characters from the comics that can be used in the shared universe. Even lesser known heroes such as the Legion Of Super Heroes which i think would make a good film. The put Nolan’s name on MOS trailers because of his Batman films

        If Nolan got Timm/Dini to work with him, id be much happier.

        • @WallyWest

          Fair enough. That would probably be the ideal situation for me. Nolan, Timm, Dini, Snyder. Bale, Cavill, Reynolds. Woah.

          • I can see your point on why Timm and Dini wouldn’t be the obvious choice for WB executives.

            But they also aren’t looking at the reputation they had in creating an entire universe. I mean, BTAS made a MAJOR impact on the way Batman was put out in the comics and that entire DC animated line up of shows was taken in with great praise.

            Nolan was a shot in the dark with “Batman Begins”, I say you’d have a HUGE chance of a hit with these Justice League movies if you have Timm and Dini playing some sort of part in it all.

            • @ ACW 007

              I think if you got these great talents together, they could do wonders for a DC shared universe.

          • Personally the writers of Young Justice also make the list of who should be part of the creative process. That show is grounded yet fantastical. entertaining yet complex. fun yet mature. They really know how to make new stories yet be loyal to the source material.

            • @ The Archer

              Batman:TAS – JLU was pretty much well grounded & fantastical aswell.

          • @ ezra

            Indeed. For me aswell.

  24. Bringing back Bale as Batman for even 10 seconds invalidates the wonderful end of TDKR. It would be dreadful, not even Nolan could make that work.

    I’m all for JGL as Nightwing or a batman in there, but even so a JL film will still fundamentally fail as the other characters are about 60 years out of date and generally terrible.

    TDK trilogy was so based in reality that to introduce any kind of super power, magic or alien presence into that scenario shatters Nolan’s carefully built world.

    Batman fights the kinds of villains that Superman would conquer in seconds, and as there’s such a glaring disparity between their powers, it means that conversely any villain who can face superman would most likely be able to defeat Nolan’s batman without pausing.

    Nothing adds up about a Justice League film. Doomed to failure.

  25. WB/DC is clearly a mess. The only thing that makes sense is to bring Bale back as Batman (yuck), Ryan back as Green Lantern (double yuck), cast a Wonder Woman, and make Nolan (yuck to infinity!!) the Joss W. of the franchise.

    I can’t stand Nolan and his dumb “dark realistic” take on superheroes ( other than his influence on the Arrow show runners), but what choice does WB/DC have at this point?

    I feel bad for DC fans, of which I am one, because our heros are owned by a studio run by fools.

    • @ Stark

      I wish could be more a DC fan of films but WB & Nolan are ruining it for me. It’s obvious Nolan is only good for bringing the big bucks for WB as they don’t care about DC characters. They’d be dumb enough to milk Batman/Superman films for what they’re worth.

      Im not sold on bringing Bale back because again it’ll be another reboot without Robin or anyone from the Bat-family. I can’t see Nolan’s ” dark realistic ” take working all of DC’s popular heroes like Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman,etc. Not mention number of their villains aswell other characters.

      WB seem like they can’t make one decent CBM without Nolan’s involment. Oh yea, Green Lantern, Doh!I guess WB beg to Nolan on their knees.

      • @ Wallywest

        I am with you Wally. I used to be a bigger DC than I am now. Now I only really am a fan of the animated movies, which are superb, and of course Arrow which I love. The rest of the DC universe seems to just be in shambles right now.

        The Batman trilogy, IMO, sucked. Superman Returns sucked. Green Lantern REALLY sucked, so there has been much to go on from DC as of late.

        I agree completely with you. IMO, Nolan is the worst thing to happen to CBM. WB/DC just has it all wrong.

        • …in my opinion..ur opinion sucks lol..Superman returns was ok…green lantern did suck ..but to day the batman trilogy sucked .doesn’t even make any sense 92-97% of the audience loved it..which means anyone in the minority is crazy..not to mention ..the trilogy brought in nearly 3 billion dollars… Don’t think it did that by sucking buddy

          • @Shuperman

            Just curious, but what part of “IMO” don’t you understand??

            Maybe I wasn’t clear.

            I realize millions of people liked the Bat trilogy, and that’s fine, I just didn’t care for it. It just wasn’t what I was looking for in a batman franchise. Call me crazy, in the minority, whatever, I just didn’t like it………wait for it………IMO.

      • @Wally West

        You completely misunderstand the tone of the TDK trilogy. It will work fine with the other DC characters.

        CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: The term “realism” is often confusing and used sort of arbitrarily. I suppose “relatable” is the word I would use. I wanted a world that was realistically portrayed, in that even though outlandish events may be taking place, and this extraordinary figure may be walking around these streets, the streets would have the same weight and validity of the streets in any other action movie. So they’d be relatable in that way.

        • @ Ignur Rant

          I understand. People think Marvel Studio’s films aren’t realistic because they chose balance fantasy with realiity nicely. Smallest example would be like in Ironman 2, Tony noticing Bill O’Reilly critizing Pepper Potts as new CEO of Stark Industries, among other things within the other films. They care just much about the characters, if not more aswell trying to make the best film they can in their shared universe.

          You noticed how most of Batman’s villains didn’t look like their comic book counter-parts in Nolan’s trilogy so they were a realistic take on the characters right? I read people sayin TDK & TDKR didn’t seem like comic book films but instead crime thrillers. Especially TDK.

          • “You noticed how most of Batman’s villains didn’t look like their comic book counter-parts in Nolan’s trilogy so they were a realistic take on the characters right? I read people sayin TDK & TDKR didn’t seem like comic book films but instead crime thrillers. Especially TDK.”

            +1 million

            BUT… with the introduction of an alien… that leaves room to now have all this awesome technology and fantasy… And maybe we can have more fantastical villains?

            • @ leathercheerio

              Fantastical villains, and heroes? I can only hope.

  26. would love to see bale come back for jl but that wont happen

  27. SMH.First of all its fairly simple to continue on after TDKR.The ending was made for this purpose….Picture this,BATS leaves lets JGL do his thing as Robin or Nightwing.Joker kills JGL Bats returns.Now i feel Man of Steel is in the same exact time frame as Nolans trilogy.Origin story blah blah,at the end of Man of Steel u simply have a article about Waynes supposed death written in the Daily Planet,End credits.Of course this is BATS when he goes and trains with the LOS.Idk if there going to do a Superman trilogy but if they do just mention Nolans Gotham here and there,and have more of clark kent then Superman,the public cannot know of Superman until the events of TDKR happens,after which JGL has become this new hero.About a year passes,joker escapes kills JGL just to bring Bats out of retirement.Meanwhile Selena and Bruce are fighting daily,Bruce continuously has Knightmares and Selena becomes bored and just disappears one Knight.This leaves Bruce torn and with nothing left.He returns only to find gotham….

  28. in ruins once again.On his way back he hears of JGL death.Feeling responsible for leaving JGL with such a huge burden,he swears to never stop being batman.Now simply have Superman look after gotham while JGL death occurs and Bats return.Finally you have a Batman/Superman only movie.With Superman as the hero and Batman as the supposed villan,they become friends when a EVIL so large comes into play they realise the need a team a rather large team…….end credits show the spacestation.That sets it up for The Justice league movie.

  29. They could continue with Nolan’s ending lets say somehow Bruce wayan saw the alien invasion from MOS on the news(its a movie it’ll work) and that got him thinkin maybe his job I’m Gotham his done but maybe there is a bigger threat and he could stop it that way u can have him not trusting ppl but remembering what he learned that a teammates can help him and maybe we so git a proper batman and robin film with bale and jgl

    • It’s as simple as that. Bruce retired, faked his own death, and that ending is still as powerful as ever. But then he sees an alien invasion happen and he decides to come out of retirement. I don’t think that’s too much of a stretch.