No matter how many times the character is rebooted on-screen, it’s likely that Christian Bale will go down as the most iconic version of Batman. That’s what happens when you play the role in three massive movies that hit with critics and the box office alike. The Bale version of Batman helped redefine somehow comic book movies are/were made. And now it looks like Giant Freakin Robot’s original scoop is confirmed. Geekosity has confirmed our report that Christian Bale is in talks to return as the Caped Crusader in the upcoming The Flash film.
Of course, this whole possible line of casting is incredibly surprising considering where we last left the actor in the Batman role. But this being the world of comic book movies, literally, anything is on the table in the current landscape. It almost doesn’t matter at all what happened or occurred with the previous iteration of any character, it’s all possible when it comes to a return and that looks like it could be the case here. Originally, the plan was to have Michael Keaton reprising this role in the movie from the original Tim Burton version, but he hasn’t fully committed to the part. That’s led to the studio reaching out to Bale to take up the mantle.
It’s worth noting that this is all very much in the planning stage of things and is far from being confirmed. There are significant hurdles to clear if Christian Bale were to come back into the role of Batman. Following The Dark Knight trilogy of Christopher Nolan films, it appeared as that would definitely be the end of the line for Bale in the Bruce Wayne/ Batman role. Even though he appeared to survive the nuclear detonation in The Bat, it sure looked the dude was in full retirement along with Selina Kyle.
There’s also a sense that Christian Bale sees his time as Batman officially came to a close at the end of that trilogy. If he saw The Dark Knight Rises as a definitive sign off, then bringing him back into the fold could be a challenge. Working in previous versions of a character (a la Michael Keaton as Batman) is becoming an industry-standard these days with the Marvel universe about to take the plunge in Spider-Man: No Way Home considering Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are going to reprise their roles alongside Tom Holland.
Considering Christian Bale played Batman in his own insular universe, there could be a sense that those movies sat completely separate from any other world. But, remember, it looks like Ben Affleck is set to return to the DC Extended Universe in The Flash as well, so if there are other versions they clearly take place in something akin to the DC version of the multiverse.
Again, this is all still very much in the rumor phase right now. As with all of these things, there are often many different things that need to align for any major casting decision to happen. But if Christian Bale were to return as Batman we would be in a new age of comic book crossover movies.