Should Nolan do ‘Justice League’ Without Christian Bale?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 6th, 2013 at 11:48 am,

Chris Nolan Man of Steel Dark Knight Comparisons Should Nolan do Justice League Without Christian Bale?

The rumors surrounding the on-again, off-again development of a Justice League movie just won’t stop surfacing. If Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013) is more of a success than a failure, we should all expect them to gain momentum, as well. Yet even then, the place of Batman in the assembled team-up remains in flux.

After recent rumors claimed that Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, and Zack Snyder were all on board for Justice League, another unconfirmed report suggests that’s not the case. While Nolan may be willing to executive produce Justice League, Christian Bale may not be interested, and Warner Bros. could be going a different direction. What does this mean for the prospects of Justice League going toe-to-toe with The Avengers 2 in 2015?

Before we delve into the ‘Nolan-yes, Bale-no’ rumor coming from CBM‘s alleged (though unnamed) sources, it’s worth pointing out a few things – we love getting excited about possible casting, returning characters, and speculating over what might be, but getting hopes up is never our intention. It goes without saying that any and all rumors should be taken with a massive grain of salt, especially when plenty of ‘rumors’ on this subject are in essence just one of a handful of directions WB and DC Comics could take.

For starters, there is absolutely no reason to think that Warner Bros. wouldn’t approach Christopher Nolan to executive produce any DC superhero film, especially if Man of Steel lives up to the early reviews. As one of the most marketable and recognizable names in both casual and hardcore movie fan circles, Nolan being attached to a project leads many to believe that he’s ‘in charge’ of the movie’s story and style (a fact that Snyder, the director of fan-favorite films like 300 and Watchmen is no doubt thankful for).

Man of Steel Justice League movie Connections Should Nolan do Justice League Without Christian Bale?

If Nolan is willing to produce just about any Warner Bros. movie, it’s hard to think they’d turn him down. And given the origins of Man of Steel‘s story stemming from David S. Goyer and Nolan’s conversations on the set of their Batman films, it’s likely they’ve got a few ideas concerning the League to throw around by now. If Snyder’s work pays off, then attaching him to a Man of Steel sequel – with Goyer writing the script – is also a no-brainer. Which is why that’s also been rumored to be the case of late.

Given all that common sense, it’s safe to say we’d be surprised if Nolan isn’t part of the production team for a Justice League film, providing he’s not otherwise occupied. If Snyder earns his place as the steward of Superman, it also stands to reason he’d have a large part to play in any movie featuring him, as would Goyer. But it bears repeating: this is still early days for any future movie plans.

With all of this in mind, CBM‘s source at Warner Bros. reporting that Nolan will produce Justice League, along with Deb Snyder and Zack Snyder, who may also direct, shouldn’t knock anyone out of their chair. What may come as a surprise given recent fan enthusiasm is that according to the same source, “if Bale is coming back and Goyer is penning, it’s news to Warner Bros.”

Considering the scriptwriter is in question – with reports that a script from Will Beall (Gangster Squadmay have been scrapped - we’re not even sure there is a set plan in place. So if Goyer is possibly only consulting, or re-writing Beall’s script, it certainly makes Warner Bros.’ signing with Beall for a brand new deal seem like less of a contradiction. But the news concerning Christian Bale is certainly worth more attention.

 Should Nolan do Justice League Without Christian Bale?

According to the source, Bale has moved on and will not return, and Warner Bros. is going in a different direction with a new version of the character. How much this surprises you depends largely on how much you think Christian Bale’s past comments regarding a future as Batman were motivated by money, and and how much was driven by a genuine commitment to not playing the role again.

Nolan hasn’t minced words in the past, making it clear that his and David S. Goyer’s Batman story was built around Bruce Wayne’s mission, and was told in three parts – a beginning, a middle, and an end:

“To me, for that mission to succeed, it has to end, so this is the ending for me, and as I say, the open-ended elements are all to do with the thematic idea that Batman was not important as a man, he’s more than that. He’s a symbol, and the symbol lives on.”

Besides being a tacit admission that another actor in the role of Batman wouldn’t conflict with the themes, those sentiments were largely repeated by Bale, now an Oscar-winning actor with any number of roles to choose from. But again, he’s stated that he won’t be returning more times than we can count, so until he signs on, there’s no reason to think that the circumstances have changed his opinion.

On the other hand, we can completely understand Warner Bros.’ possible interest in looking for not just another actor, but a completely new version of Batman (since a rebooted Batman in JL has been the rumor for some time). If a new take on the Dark Knight is in the cards, we’ve already laid out our plan for a more fitting version, and even a few actors who could play it.

Batman Reboot 2017 Should Nolan do Justice League Without Christian Bale?

The bottom line: if Nolan wants to executive produce Justice League, he probably will. If he lands the job, then Goyer is likely to be brought in to write in some capacity. Snyder will likely have some input given his (potential) success with Man of Steel, and if his direction is one of the most complimented aspects, he’s as likely to helm Justice League as anyone else.

So until we hear differently – along with some compelling evidence to support it – we’re going to be awaiting official details (assuming a Man of Steel trilogy and Batman reboot doesn’t happen first). We would suggest you do the same, but excitement over possibilities is definitely fair game.

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Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14, 2013.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: CBM

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Technically Batman always considered himself a part timer.

  2. Whats the solution? Create a Alternative Universe,( a very common thing in the comcis, but al tthe diferents Earths.) C’mon the bugger made Inception!

  3. Batman doesn’t trust any of them, especially Superman. If they want to weave it into the continuity established by the Batman trilogy it would have to be between 1 & 2 or 2 & 3. Treat it as an Elsworlds story and move on. Let Bale go and diversify his portfolio, that wasn’t just any movie for any actor. He gave a much needed performance for a very poorly handled character in previous films. Just how tall was Michael Keaton? Batman doesn’t smile or wait around for you to figure it out, and he isn’t Bruce Wayne so enough with the origin retellings.

    • And Bales version wasn’t both poorly acted and managed?You must be deeply disillusioned if you consider Bales performance in any of Nolan’s Bat films to be “much needed”.

      • Voodoo…

        Actually, Bale’s version was beautifully acted, quite well layered, and effective in conveying the necessary elements to express the philosophical bent of TDK’s universe.

        That said, any upcoming JL film will have to recast Batman, since Bale no longer wants to be In the role. Thus, it’s a non-issue.

      • @Voodoo

        “wasn’t both poorly acted and managed?”

        Uh, you realize there were THREE Batman movies with Bale right???

        • Ken, do you lack basic reading comprehension? Please reread my comment. If you are still confused I will be happy to go over the meaning with you.
          Archaeon, different strokes for different folks I suppose. Keaton was the pinnacle of Batman and Bruce Wayne, IMO. I found Bale to be insufferable and the weakest aspect of the Nolan Bat films, which is strange considering he is a fine actor outside of those pictures. It’s telling when the actor playing Batman is the weakest part of a Batman movie. My opinions, of course.

          • @Voodoo

            LOL, you’re right. But if I lacked reading comprehension rereading it wouldn’t have made a difference. It’s merely that I was skimming through the comments and didn’t interpret it correctly the first time around because I wasn’t paying too much attention to it. Notice I didn’t actually address the primary point of your comment, lol. My mistake. Brain fart of the day… :-D

              • Sorry for spelling error above- it should be “accepting”

              • Sorry mate, don’t agree. Burton’s Batman film is timeless. It’s just as good now as it was then. Nolan, IMO, crushed his Bat films bc of the pressure of maintaining his apparent hyper realistic universe. Burton made a comic book film, Nolan made crime films that happened to have Batman in them. When society and films move on from this gritty “realistic” nonsense, we’ll be able to look at Nolan’s films objectively.
                And no…Bale is rubbish in Nolan’s films. He’s only memorable in the sense that his asthmatic rasp is the most identifiable aspect of his performance. That’s all I got from Bale- a distinct impression that he has an advanced case of throat cancer.
                Keaton was quirky and twisted and brought great energy to the role. Bale phones his performance in on life support. IMO, of course.

            • Ha no worries mate. I laughed too. Didn’t mean to sound like such a snarky b****

              • I think Christian Bale should be in the new movie because of the hyper realistic environment Nolan used for the trilogy. Think of it, Batman is the only one who clearly sees past the superpowers and “campiness” of the lives of all the other heroes. His world is gritty and unrated, which is why he is untrusting in the first place.

                Bale should portray Batman in a role similar to that of Rorschach in Watchmen. Just man the watchtower or w/e HQ they use, do his own PI work, and then outfit Superman with some kind of tech/mission that will aid in solving the problem. Minimalistic approach with Bale and your movie works 100%!

                • …And that is exactly WHY they absolutely MUST recast Bale, and throw out the last three films. If the Justice League had existed, or if the heroes even existed in the same world, that last film would have had made no sense. Superman would never have allowed Gotham to stay under bomb threat for days, much less weeks. Hell, Flash could have solved it, too. Any DC hero able to get into the city, and out of it, without having to go through the established check point (almost all of them), and smart enough to stay under the proverbial radar (all of them), who could find the bomb (most of them), could have solved it in about 48 hours. Bringing Bale into a Justice League movie would put both the last Batman film, and the Justice League film, into the bin with Batman and Robin, for the continuity/ common sense issues alone. Bale’s universe DOES NOT exist in standard DC canon. It exists in some moronic whiny land where only Batman exists, and is also a pansyass whiner, btw.

      • We have a retard ladies and gentlemen. Please do not return without any cinematografic culture “Vodoo”

  4. Bale (if he ever were to agree) should only appear as Bruce Wayne, in a ‘fatherly advisor’ role like Leonard Nimoy did in 09 Star Trek. No outfit.
    To bring an outsider in to play Batman would need a good link to TDKR otherwise the whole team would be doing an ‘Arrow’ (dumping Justin Hartley to start afresh with Amell with no continuation from Smallville)

    Nolan would be a great choice for Justice league as a producer, not director. The reason being, the movie needs big action and fight sequences like The Avengers which is not Nolan’s forte but Snyder’s (view watchmen for a like for like fight scene comparison with Batman Begins).
    Also, as much as Goyer is a great storywriter he could do worse than look at the kashchei2003 story online for inspiration.

  5. NERDS!!!

    • and proud of it. So what?

  6. Bale already stated that if Nolan wanted another film, he would be on board 100%.

  7. Thisis kind of random but I heard a rumor that Shane black may be in talk to direct JLA if Snyder passes keep in mind I do not think the source is that reliable but let’s say it happened those of you who were fans of the JLA would you be excited

  8. Bale’s Batman is definitely not the be all/end all. He was good, but it’s not like everytime I see his face, I think of Batman. I think Nolan’s involvement is overrated as well. Batman Begins, & The Dark Knight were pretty good. But Dark Knight Rises was completely boring, and the story, and lack of action was horrible. Stupidest ending ever. John ‘Robin’ Blake? Stupid. Nolan is so hell bent on the stories being based on reality, that he misses the point. Hey, this is a superhero movie!!! There are no superheroes in the world. I say reboot Batman, but don’t restart it. And while you’re at it, keep Nolan out of it too. There are plenty of directors, and for once, I’d like to see an American movie. Please?

  9. With the origins story of Batman being pretty damn well established within the lexicon of popular culture, I sincerely hope that any future Batman stories take place in a sort of “drop in” “drop out” fashion. Even if it were a “Year One” kind of Batman story arc. The back story can always be referenced in flash back or dream sequences but I think that it be great to work on a younger Batman who would also be intrigued by the recent revelation of Kryptonian supermen being in existence. So essentially a new Batman and a new Superman in that they are both new to the world at large, Thereby slotting him into a universe created in MoS.

    For what its worth – I think Sir Ben Kingsley would be a fantastic Alfred! Extremely witty, a brilliant foil for Bruce Wayne’s dark seriousness and also a good strong father figure when needed.

  10. We can bring back Christian Bale. The thing is that Batman was the FIRST HERO on Earth and then Superman comes and Martian Manhunter and all the others. Batman finds out about this and new villains come. Then Batman assembles the JL and so on. Please someone tell Bale or Nolan this because Bale is BATMAN and we know that most of Batmans enemies are dead but new ones will come (this wasn’t my idea, it was someone else’s but I strongly agree with this person).