When production was announced for Batman V. Superman in 2013, following the relative success of Man Of Steel, the internet was sent into a tizzy. At that point, barely a year removed from Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, speculation ran rampant about just how connected this new incarnation of the Bat would be to those films. Inside sources even claimed that Christian Bale was being offered a ludicrous paycheck to step back into the cape and cowl for the long-anticipated crossover.
Ultimately, it was never to be. Bale turned down the offer to return, feeling that The Dark Knight Rises had already given his take on the character a fitting swan song. In the following year, Snyder and co. tapped Affleck to take up the role, choosing to re-invent the character, rather than adhere to the Nolan films’ continuity.
Bale has spoken semi-regularly in the years since on not only how proud he is of the choice to step away, but also how hard of a choice it was to make. In a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Bale revealed he has yet to even see Affleck’s take on the character.
“I have not [seen Ben Affleck’s Batman]. Yes, I’m interested [in seeing it], my son seemed like he was really interested, but then I realized he just wanted to see the trailer and that was it. I tend to go see films that [my kids] want to see. I have to confess I’m not a huge superhero film fan. People seem surprised at that, I don’t know why. I’ve not seen any of the Avengers films or any of those films at all. I hear they’re very good, but I’m quite happy just hearing they’re very good.”
With Affleck’s Batman having now appeared in three DCEU films in total, this seems to indicate that Bale is not too keen on keeping up with his former franchise. However, as Bale indicates, this is not something he’s doing out of spite. He goes on to reveal that he’s not a huge fan of superhero cinema in general, and that he wasn’t even particularly an “avid fan” of the previous Batman comics or films prior to taking the role. In fact, the only Batman-related media Bale does say he is a fan of is Adam West’s take on the character, and Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.
So fear not Affleck, it’s nothing personal, and after all Bale did impart the most important knowledge of all to you, once upon a time.