Christian Bale could have become an integral part of the DC Extended Universe but the actor declined the offer to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne.
Christian Bale has gone down as the most impactful Batman in film history. Unfortunately, the actor featured as Bruce Wayne in only three films while more were offered to him. Christian Bale had reportedly refused to star in another Batman film to be directed by Christopher Nolan.
- The unmade fourth Batman film
- Reasons Christian Bale rejected the film
Christian Bale’s ‘The Batman Trilogy‘ is revered by fans worldwide. No one would have missed the opportunity to witness Bale in a fourth Batman film. From his physical transformation to devising a husky voice for Batman, Bale did it all. Christopher Nolan’s vision was simply the perfect cherry on top.
Given the box-office and critical success of the trilogy, Bale was offered another Batman role. According to “The Sun”, the actor faced “extraordinary pressure” from studio executives to come back as the caped crusader for the fourth time. The offer was reportedly made to Christian Bale just a year after the release of the final film in the trilogy ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘.
The reports started flooding in when Vincent Russel, a small-time writer, got the intel from an executive source at Legendary Pictures, the production company behind ‘The Batman Trilogy‘. According to Russel, the source was quite confident that Christian Bale would welcome a fourth Batman film as they were cited as saying,
“Why would Christian Bale walk away from what is certainly going to be either the first or second highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema?”
However, as it played out, Christian Bale conveniently walked away from Batman to start afresh in his career. The actor was paid $53 million for ‘The Batman Trilogy’ but for the fourth film, he rejected the offer of starring in a $50 million role directed again by Christopher Nolan.
Around the same time when Bale was being persuaded for another Batman film, Warner Bros. was looking for a slightly older Dark Knight, much like Bale himself, to go against Henry Cavill in the sequel to ‘Man of Steel‘. This finally turned out to be ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, featuring Ben Affleck as the rebooted Bruce Wayne.
PASSING THE TORCH
Although we know that Christian Bale walked away from an opportunity to star again as Batman, why he did so is more interesting. Firstly, Bale was apprehensive of milking Batman out of himself as well as Nolan. The English actor expressed to “Entertainment Weekly”,
“We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy”.
Secondly, the rumours that he was considered as a choice for Batman in ‘Justice League’ are also shady as the actor denied participating in any such conversation,
“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”.
Lastly, the kinds of diverse roles Bale took up after the three films as Batman to avoid being typecast must also be noted. He played an obese con artist in ‘American Hustle’, an economist in ‘The Big Short’, a race car driver in ‘Ford v Ferrari’ and a former US Vice-President in ‘Vice’.
Since Christian Bale wanted to ensure that he constantly reinvented himself, sticking with Batman was not the wisest choice and it was best to pass the mantle as he elucidated,
“(The Batman role) is a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with”.
While Bale’s successor Ben Affleck exited as Batman after a short stint and Bale never saw the light of DC Extended Universe, the actor is now a part of Marvel Cinematic Universe in a fascinating turn of events. We will see Christian Bale in another new avatar in MCU’s ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ as supervillain Gorr, the God Butcher.
Do you believe Christian Bale made the right choice by walking away from Batman? Comment below!