We had already heard that Christian Bale wasn’t returning to the role of Batman after The Dark Knight Rises. He doesn’t want to play Batman again unless it’s under Christopher Nolan’s direction, and Man of Steel screenwriter/Dark Knight trilogy co-story writer David S. Goyer has said that the Batman appearing in the nebulous Justice League film will be a rebooted character. But on the other hand, Man of Steel, co-produced by Christopher Nolan, did pretty well for Warner Brothers, and rumors began to swirl. So what does Bale have to say on the matter?
As you’d expect, he’s made up his mind on the matter. “We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Chris [Nolan] always said he wanted to make it one film at a time. And we ended up sitting there looking at each other, saying ‘We’re about to make the third.’ We never really knew if we were going to get to be there, but if that was how it was going to be, this was where it should end as well.” Well put!
To dispel rumors even further, Bale stated that he hasn’t even been involved in any talks about a Justice League movie. “I have no information, no knowledge about anything. I’ve literally not had a conversation with a living soul. I understand that they may be making a Justice League movie, that’s it.” Since he’s completely done with Batman, Bale has no issue with anyone else playing the role. “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.”
It was a good run, but I think it’s fine to let Bale retire his cowl. Besides, if he returned, it would tie Nolan’s more realistic Batman to a most likely hyper-realistic Justice League film. For all that was said about making a more realistic Superman, it would be very hard to fit Nolan’s Batman into the world of Man of Steel. Did you see the end of that movie? While Green Lantern or Wonder Woman or even the Flash would work in this world, a Batman film would be rather boring and ordinary compared to what is going on around him. (Disclaimer: I believe Batman works best alone and don’t really like the dynamics of the Justice League due to power disparities. I think what Marvel did with the Avengers, making every team member viable in some way, works far better than a team with nigh-invincible characters like Superman. The only reason Batman is in the Justice League is because he was popular, but he’s basically relegated to “the brains.” In short, I think Marvel’s shared universe and prominent headliners work better together than DC’s.)
Source: Entertainment Weekly