Arguably, Christian Bale has played DCU’s one of the most celebrated Batman appearances in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed superhero franchise, The Dark Knight Trilogy. Bale was not clinging to the idea of repeating his iconic DC role.
Bale made a total of $54 million for playing The Dark Knight in the trilogy. Although there were speculations surrounding the actor’s return to the Batcave, he made it perfectly clear in several interviews that the ship had sailed. However, Warner Bros. were not keen on letting Bale go without playing one last card.
For Warner Brothers, letting Christian Bale depart from the DCU was an unbearable pain the studio had to endure. Bale’s portrayal of Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy was hailed by fans and critics, and many fans expected the actor to retain his role. However, Bale was adamant about hanging the boots as he declared that he was done playing the iconic Gotham hero.
While Bale was paid a total of $54 million including his $20 million performance bonus for The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers reportedly offered the actor a huge $50 million paycheck for the Man of Steel sequel to combat Henry Cavill’s Superman.
The movie in talks eventually became Zack Snyder’s 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Ben Affleck took over the role. The source of the $50 million payday, however, doesn’t have official credibility as neither Bale nor Warner Brothers have adhered to the claim. The report grabbed headlines after Vincent Russel’s Beyond Batman: The Unauthorized True Story of Christian Bale and His Dark Knight Dilemma came into existence with a 27-page book. As the title suggests, the validity of the claim was tenebrous at best.
Of course, despite all the fear of being typecast, it would be a significant dilemma for Bale not to consider the offer. But did Warner Brothers actually offer the gargantuan paycheck? Bale has an answer for that, speaking with Esquire in an interview, The Fighter, and American Hustle actor debunked the rumor that was on the horizon, firing the imagination of fans for more of Bale as the Caped Crusader.
People were “talking about this obscene amount of money they were saying was thrown at me,” Bale said, denying the rumor. “No. I didn’t have a single conversation with anybody about ever playing the role again,” he added (via Huff Post). Also, speaking with Screen Rant, the 50-year-old said that the reprising Batman role rumor has always been news to him as “no one’s ever” asked for his return emphasizing his lack of interest in the role as well. But he would come back if Christopher Nolan asked to reform the band. “I had a pact with Chris Nolan,” Bale told the outlet.
“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.”
So, expecting Bale or Nolan to come back to the DC Universe is rather fatuous. The DC scenario has long changed witnessing two actors playing Batman— Affleck and Robert Pattinson, and another young actor may join the mainline DCU to play Batman after Affleck’s departure. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is available to stream on Max.