Christopher Nolan has never strayed from his message that his Dark Knight trilogy was meant to stand on its own, and that Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman wouldn’t be appearing in, say a Justice League movie. Christian Bale has pretty much implied the same thing, although the lack of a flat denial and persistent rumors that his Batman would make a resurgence either inside our out of the Nolan continuity has spurred fanboy hopes that Nolan and Bale were just trying to keep his involvement a surprise. Well, there will be no more of that, as Bale, while appreciative of his chance to portray the Caped Crusader, officially shot down the notion that he’d be back in the cowl. “It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another,” said Bale in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”
While some may lament the end of the Bale-era Batman, others are following Bale’s lead. As we’ve mentioned previously, it’s a little hard to imagine the Nolan/Bale Batman in the same universe as Man of Steel if the Superman flick is indeed to be a jumping off point for an eventual Justice League movie. A fresh take on the character could help him fit into a world full of magic and aliens. Taking a cue from the Justice League animated TV show, Batman would likely need to evidence a greater penchant for inventive genius as well; Nolan’s Batman relied heavily on Lucius Fox for his tech toys, but in a movie that figures to feature at least five heroes there’s little room for such supporting characters, and Batman needs to be able to offer something to the team effort, always a challenge when putting him alongside the cosmic strength of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.
Rumors of a Justice League movie have been circulating so long it’s hard to take any individual story seriously, but along with reports that The Dark Knight/Man of Steel screenwriter David Goyer has been hired to pen a script and what appears to be an almost critical mass of Justice League whispers, it seems likely we are headed towards DC’s answer to The Avengers.