Christian Bale is open to reprising his celebrated role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for a fourth film in the acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. However, the Academy Award-winning actor revealed during a recent interview with ScreenRant that he would only play the superhero again if Christopher Nolan, who directed him in the acclaimed series, returned to the helmer’s chair for a third sequel.
However, Bale also noted that “No one’s ever mentioned it to me. No one’s brought it up,” including Nolan and DC Comics. “Occasionally people say to me, ‘Oh, I hear you were approached and offered all this.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s news to me. No one’s ever said that.’
“I had a pact with Chris Nolan,” the Golden Globe-winning performer added. “We said, ‘Hey, look. Let’s make three films, if we’re lucky enough to get to do that. And then let’s walk away. Let’s not linger too long.’ In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, ‘You know what, I’ve got another story to tell.’ And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.”
Warner Bros., which distributed The Dark Knight trilogy, did pitch a fourth Batman movie to Bale after its conclusion. However, he decided to turn it down at the time, out of respect for Nolan and his vision of the series only featuring three installments.
Nolan and Bale redefined the comic book film genre with The Dark Knight trilogy’s first entry, 2005’s Batman Begins. However, its first follow-up, 2008’s The Dark Knight, is still regarded by many fans as the greatest superhero movie ever made. The sequel is in large part remembered for Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously.
Following the release of the series’ final installment, The Dark Knight Rises, in 2012, both Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson have taken on the role of Batman. The latter earned acclaim for his performance in The Batman, which grossed $770 million worldwide at the box office after it was released in theaters in March.
“I still haven’t seen it. I will see it,” Bale recently told Variety about The Batman, which was directed by Matt Reeves. “[I]t’s amazing how few films I see. Every director I work with, I’ve seen a couple of their films and they’re always looking at me going, ‘Are you kidding?’ I like to really savor films and I don’t watch too many. But I will, I certainly will.”
Bale added, “Robert is an absolutely wonderful actor. We bumped into each other, talked a little bit about it ahead of time, and I heard wonderful things.”
Bale is returning to the comic book genre with his next movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. He’s making his MCU debut as the villainous Gorr the God Butcher in the MCU follow-up, which is set to open in theaters on July 8.