Christian Bale Talks ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy And Christopher Nolan’s Vision

Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale attend an Annual Directors Guild of America event
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Christian Bale is currently on a press tour to promote his film Ford v Ferrari, but that doesn’t stop the actor from being questioned about possibly his biggest role to date. The Toronto Sun questioned Bale about his time as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy created by director Christopher Nolan. The publication specifically inquired about how Bale and Nolan reinvented the superhero who up until that point had been portrayed as a very comic-bookie character. Bale remembered being laughed at when he told people he was going to portray the Caped Crusader, but no one was laughing after the premiere of Batman Begins. The actor almost didn’t even take the iconic role.

The 45-year-old explained he and Nolan only thought they were going to do one Batman film and they did their very best to get their vision across without the promise of any more movies.

“I think that the reason it worked was first and foremost Chris’ take on it. But also we never were arrogant to assume that we had an opportunity beyond one film at a time. That’s something that Chris always would talk about. He’d say, ‘This is it. We’re making one film,” Bale remembered.

Then Bale remarked that they had been approached to make a second film and while they jumped at the opportunity, they still didn’t think a trilogy was going to happen. The Dark Knight turned out to be one of the most loved and praised comic book movies of all time, so it’s no surprise the studio came knocking down doors for a third film.

After Nolan and Bale were approached to make the third movie, the pair knew they were going to stop at that. Nolan always had a vision for a trilogy and was thankful to have gotten the opportunity to do so. It turns out they were approached for a fourth film, but the pair knew it was time to stop.

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“Then when they inevitably came to us and said, ‘How about a No. 4?’ I said, ‘No. We have to stick to Chris’ dream, which was always to, hopefully, do a trilogy. Let’s not stretch too far and become overindulgent and go for a fourth. That’s why we, well Chris, stepped away. After that I was informed my services were no longer required.”

The Dark Knight trilogy brought in over $2.4 billion dollars in the worldwide box office, an absolutely stellar amount of cash given the year and state of superhero movies at the time. Nolan and Bale’s brilliance in the three projects set the precedent for future superhero flicks, and especially those in the DC Comics universe. Batman fans still expect a darker take on the Gotham hero these days solely based off of Bale’s portrayal of the character.

Ford v Ferrari is in theaters everywhere.