Bat-fans received the worst news last night.
Christian Bale confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that he will never ever play Batman again. Ever.
“We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy,” said Bale.
He added he rather see someone else take on the role in the future.
“It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”
Since the release of “Man of Steel,” there’s been talk of a future “Justice League” film, something Bale told EW he doesn’t have any knowledge of either. We’re not surprised by that since that film would be in the earliest of development stages.
This isn’t particularly new.
We’ve heard rumours before the actor isn’t interested in donning the cape and cowl again. However, we’re just not buying that Bale would never have anything to do again with the Bat.
Yes, we know Batman screenwriter David S. Goyer has basically confirmed the next go at the Dark Knight would be a reboot, but we’re not shelving Bale just yet.
There’s just way too much money at stake.
1. You don’t just walk away from one of the all-time highest-grossing superhero films.
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has earned $2.5 billion worldwide. $2 billion of those earnings came from the last two films alone.
“The Dark Knight Rises” had one of the all-time highest grossing opening weekends earning $160.9 million. While “The Avengers” holds the top spot with $207.4 million for the largest debut, “TDKR” earned that much money despite no 3D screenings and the tragic Colorado shooting at a midnight showing for the film.
Had the tragic events that unfolded that weekend not occurred, that film would have most likely beat out “The Avengers” for the largest box-office weekend. It earned more in midnight sales than the Marvel team and was on pace with the film Friday before taken a huge dive in theatres Saturday.
After the “Harry Potter” franchise ended, Batbale and Nolan have been much of Warner Bros.’ backbone at theatres. Sure, they have Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” series for two more years, but after 2014, if WB wants to compete with Disney and Marvel it needs to figure out what it’s doing with the DC universe.
2. Warner Bros. could have Disney right where it wants them.
Disney clearly had to be shaking in its boots when “Man of Steel” grossed an unexpected
$116.6 millionopening weekend. That’s massive for a franchise start.
“Man of Steel” blew away every other superhero origin story including “Spider-Man” which previously had the number one spot on the chart grossing an unheard of $114.8 million opening weekend back in 2002. How did the first Iron Man film fare? It earned $98.6 upon its debut.
Immediately following Superman’s killer box-office weekend, Disney and Marvel announced Robert Downey Jr. was secured for two more “Avengers” sequels.
Disney could have continued “The Avengers” without Downey Jr., but after “Iron Man 3” made a massive $174 million at the box office opening weekend, it was clear he’s the main draw to an “Avengers” flick.
In the same way, if Warner Bros. is serious about making a “Justice League” film — and how could they not when Disney is announcing their line up for future Marvel films left and right — Batman’s needs to be in it. Other than Superman, he’s the glue that holds the crew together.
Could Warner Bros. do a “Justice League” with a different Batman?
In terms of star power, Henry Cavill has been well received as the icon for Superman. Parallels to the comics aside, Batman is Warner Bros.’ Iron Man. Christian Bale is Warner Bros.’ Tony Stark.
3. Why Bale could still be Batman.
It’s no secret Nolan and actors in big blockbusters seem to have no problems lying to press concerning big roles.
4. OK. He doesn’t NEED to be Batman. But he should still play a role somewhere.
However, only one person can be Bruce Wayne.
For those familiar with the DC universe, Wayne wasn’t the only guy to fill in the Bat’s shoes.
One easy-to-comprehend route WB could take that makes sense with the franchise is to call back Joseph Gordon-Levitt who inherited the bat mantle at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Plus, IF those many rumours of a future Batman reboot are true (please no), it wouldn’t be a far stretch for WB to explore a “Batman Beyond” film. They’ve tried in the past.
According to “Tales From Development Hell,” Warner Bros. seriously considered adapting the animated cartoon about an older Bruce Wayne passing over the bat mantle to Terry McGinnis to film. The studio even registered domain names related to a potential movie.
In 2000, it even appeared to be real.
“As co-creator Paul Dini told website Comics Continuum, ‘Boaz is co-writing the script with Alan Burnett and myself, as well as directing.’ Although such a script was almost certainly completed, soon after Dini’s announcement the studio let it be known that it was no longer pursuing the Batman Beyond approach.”
Thanks to “Man of Steel” we know Wayne exists in this universe. So it wouldn’t feel out of place to have Batman be played by one individual while Bale reprised his now-iconic role.
Bottom line: If Warner Bros. doesn’t want Disney running laps around them with the Marvel, it needs to put its best foot forward.
Fine. Don’t have Bale play Batman, but don’t discard him completely.
Christian Bale is the hero Warner Bros. deserves (even if he claims he’s not the one it needs).
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