Christian Bale Ridiculed Over Batman Performance

Who's laughing now?

By Michileen Martin | Published

christian bale batman

In a couple of weeks it will be the 10th anniversary of the release of The Dark Knight Rises — the final entry in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Along with forever associating Christian Bale with the role of Batman, Nolan’s films brought an untold level of legitimacy to the superhero genre. Still, as much as it may seem impossible to imagine anyone else playing the Dark Knight in those films a decade after the fact, Bale says before the 2005 release of Batman Begins, his news about playing Gotham’s iconic vigilante was often met with the same response — laughter.

Speaking to The Washington Post (via Variety), Christian Bale said, “I would [tell people] we’re going to sort of do Batman, but take him seriously. I had tons of people laugh at me and just say, ‘Well, that’s just not going to work at all.’ So it’s wonderful to be a part of a trilogy that proved those people wrong. I’m not certain if it kick-started [the MCU], but it certainly helped along the way.”

It’s difficult to argue with Bale’s assessment. Often considered the best of the trilogy, 2007’s The Dark Knight won two Oscars, including a posthumous win for Best Supporting Actor going to Heath Ledger for his role as the Joker. While there had certainly been superhero films that had won acclaim before, for such a prestigious award to go to an actor for a superhero movie seemed impossible beforehand. Having Christian Bale and company get so far with Batman was no doubt part of what made the prospect of appearing in superhero movies palatable to MCU Phase 1 actors like Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Jeff Bridges, Stanley Tucci, and more. 

Christian Bale

These days Christian Bale has put aside the Batman cowl for the Necrosword of Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder. Asked whether or not two superhero movie roles will be the end for him as far as that genre is concerned, Bale says the genre doesn’t factor into it. “I don’t have any goodbye and thank you, unless other people say to me ‘goodbye and thank you, please never revisit this again’ then I’ll take their word for it,” Bale insisted. “But otherwise a good story is a good story. A good film is a good film. And a good director is a good director. And I’m open to any of those ideas.”

One of the ideas Christian Bale is open to, by the way, is returning to the role of Batman. He recently admitted he would absolutely return to the part under one condition — it would have to be Christopher Nolan in the director’s chair. He also said that, in spite of reports to the contrary, he has not been approached about returning to the cowl. 

But while we won’t be seeing Christian Bale as Batman anytime soon, he will be appearing in a movie that looks pretty incredible. Bale stars in the period mystery comedy Amsterdam alongside an ensemble cast that includes Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Rami Malek, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, and more.