Now that his days as the Dark Knight are behind him, Christian Bale can look back fondly at what it was like to be Batman for a whole new generation of fans. As his trilogy of films came to a close with Christopher Nolan, there was an overarching sense of finality to his time in the role. He was ready to hang up the cowl and move on. He was so ready to move on that he even reportedly turned down all sorts of lucrative offers from Warner Bros to return for their current slate of Justice League-related films.
Something funny happened, though, when his formal replacement in the iconic role was announced last year. He realized there was a part of him that had, indeed, kept the possibility of a return alive and, suddenly, he realized that it was really over.
In a chat with Empire Magazine, Bale had this to say about the moment that Ben Affleck was announced as the new cinematic Batman:
“I’ve got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, ‘Oh go on… Let’s do another.’ So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour.”
But then reality sank in, and he realized it was, indeed, time to pass the torch:
“But I’m 40. The fact that I’m jealous of someone else playing Batman…I think I should have gotten over it by now. I haven’t spoken with Ben, but I emailed him offering bits of advice that I learned the hard way. I would imagine he is doing everything he can to avoid anything that I did.”
So, basically, he experienced that thing you feel when you dump a girl, think you’re over her, and then you find out she’s dating someone else and you go, “Oh, no. Wait!” But it’s okay, I’m sure he can soak his tears in the stacks of cash he made playing the Caped Crusader.
Bale’s next, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, comes out on December 12.
Where do you fall into place as a fan? Would you have liked WB’s attempts to bring back Nolan and Bale for Justice League to work out? Do you think the Nolanverse Batman and Man of Steel could’ve been synched up? Or are you fully ready for a new approach, new continuity, and new man beneath the cowl?