Christian Bale will not be reprising the role of "Batman" in the possibly-forthcoming Justice League film, but we kind of already knew that, didn't we?
The actor, best known for playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan's incredibly successful Dark Knight Trilogy, candidly admitted in a recent interview that he isn't interested in suiting up as the Caped Crusader ever again.
"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," he said.
He also said that he believes the Batman role is one that benefits from multiple actors: "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."
As an avowed film and comic book buff, the only thing that is strange to me about this story (which is making all of the headlines today) is that it's even ... well ... a story.
The biggest reason is that there isn't really any ground on which to ask Christian Bale if he's interested in playing Batman in a Justice League film. All of the parties involved have already said "no" pretty firmly in the past.
Nolan is on record stating that his Dark Knight Trilogy is meant to stand alone, and that within his Batman universe, other DC Comics characters like Superman and Green Lantern don't exist. Bale has said that he would only play Batman if Nolan opted to do a fourth film, which the director has continuously ruled out.
Furthermore, David S. Goyer, screenwriter and arguably the "architect" of the DC Comics film franchise, said that a Justice League film would feature a rebooted Batman. Furthermore, Man of Steel, though similar in tone to the Dark Knight movies, is completely independent from them. That franchise, however, may lend itself and its leading man to the Justice League project, and may share the same universe.
And on top of all of that, the continuity of the Dark Knight films wouldn't lend itself to a Justice League movie. The Dark Knight Rises, Bale's third and final go with the character, leaves Bruce Wayne broke and in hiding with Selina Kyle. His mission to make a difference as Batman is thematically over, but even if you could one-line fix that version of the character back into Justice League, he lacks the resources to become Batman again.
So it's been over for a while. Frankly, I'm not even sure why anyone bothered to ask Christian Bale in the first place. But it leads to an interesting question. If Batman is to be rebooted, who should play him in Justice League and, potentially, a new Batman franchise? Sound off!