I think most of us are in agreement that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy are some of the best comic book movies ever made. Dark, grounded and gritty, Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman movies starring Christian Bale as the titular character are one of the key contributors towards the renewed perspective of comic book cinema. The trilogy is pretty much flawless, at least in my book, with a solid opening, earthshattering second film and a poetic finale.
Unsurprisingly, due to the box office success of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, both of which grossed slightly over $US 1 billion, Warner Bros was interested in making a 4th Batman film with Christian Bale. However, he declined. In a new interview with Toronto Sun, the celebrated actor talked about Nolan’s trilogy and what pushed him to refuse the offer.
We [he and Christopher Nolan] knew we had to reinvent it. I literally had people laugh at me when I told them we were doing a new kind of Batman. 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. That’s all we’ve got.’ Then when they came and said, ‘You want to go make another?’ It was fantastic, but we still said, ‘This is it. We will not get another opportunity.’ Then they came and they said, ‘OK, let’s do a third one.’ Chris had always said to me that if we were fortunate to be able to make three we would stop. ‘Let’s walk away after that.’
Nolan has said in many interviews that when he initially started writing Batman Begins with David Goyer in 2003, he always envisioned doing three films. Bale then continued:
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.
Robert Pattinson is set to play the next Batman with Matt Reeves (War For the Planet of the Apes) at the helm. The film is set to hit cinemas in 2021.