Soon, star Robert Pattinson will bring Bruce Wayne to life on the big screen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Pattinson is set to take over the role from Ben Affleck, who appeared as the Caped Crusader in Warner Bros.’ so-called DC Extended Universe.
But before Affleck’s Batman took on Superman and formed the Justice League, it was Christian Bale who played the Dark Knight on the big screen in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Bale last appeared in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding chapter of his and Nolan’s take on the popular comic book character. But as it turns out, Warner Bros. was interested in having the actor appear in a fourth film.
However, Bale declined. In a new interview with the Toronto Sun, the actor talked about Nolan’s trilogy, and what ultimately led him to refuse the offer.
“We knew we had to reinvent it,” Bale said of Nolan’s take on the Batman. “I literally had people laugh at me when I told them we were doing a new kind of Batman. I think that the reason it worked was first and foremost Chris’ take on it. But also we never were arrogant to assume that we had an opportunity beyond one film at a time. That’s something that Chris always would talk about.”
Bale continued: “He’d say, 'This is it. We’re making one film. That’s all we’ve got.' Then when they came and said, 'You want to go make another?' It was fantastic, but we still said, 'This is it. We will not get another opportunity.' Then they came and they said, 'OK, let’s do a third one.' Chris had always said to me that if we were fortunate to be able to make three we would stop. 'Let’s walk away after that,'" he said.
"Then when they inevitably came to us and said, 'How about a No. 4?' I said, 'No. We have to stick to Chris’ dream, which was always to, hopefully, do a trilogy. Let’s not stretch too far and become overindulgent and go for a fourth.' That’s why we, well Chris, stepped away. After that I was informed my services were no longer required,” he laughed.
The Dark Knight Rises earned $1,085 million at the worldwide box-office. The film saw Bruce Wayne come out of retirement to save Gotham City from Bane. Although the film’s marketing hinted the superhero might make the ultimate sacrifice to defeat his new enemy, the Christopher Nolan-directed movie instead ended with Bruce passing on the mantle to John Blake and living happily abroad with Selina Kyle.
Starring Robert Pattinson, The Batman is directed by Matt Reeves, who will also produce alongside Dylan Clark. While casting is still underway, the film is scheduled to be released on June 25, 2021.