EDITORIAL: The Pros And Cons Of Christian Bale Returning As Batman In JUSTICE LEAGUE
The news that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale may reteam for the Justice League film has been met with a lot of buzz, as well as plenty of doubts. Hit the jump for my list of pros and cons of continuing The Dark Knight Trilogy in the superhero ensemble.
This week, we saw arguably the biggest and most exciting CBM rumor of the year so far, stating that Christopher Nolan would be overseeing Warner Bros.’ troubled Justice League movie. This comes as a surprise, since the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy previously said that he wouldn’t be involved with the DC Comics superhero ensemble or any other Batman projects. Zack Snyder, director of this summer’s Man Of Steel, will also serve as a producer and may even take the helm. Perhaps even more surprising was the revelation that the film was being planned as a vehicle for Christian Bale to return as the Dark Knight and team up with Henry Cavill‘s Superman. However, this report (which came from the reliable El Mayimbe) was countered by our own Jake Lester’s recent scoop (which you can check out by clicking HERE) saying that Bale will not don the cowl for another film. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out after Man Of Steel opens in theaters, but the idea of seeing Bale as the Caped Crusader once more has been causing a lot of buzz and a nearly equal amount of questioning.
Personally, as a huge fan of The Dark Knight Trilogy, I would be thrilled to see Christian Bale’s Batman alongside Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel and other heroes. He has been arguably our best Caped Crusader to date, and it would be impossible to imagine how anyone else could deliver a better performance. At the same time, however, it would make perfect sense story-wise to leave Nolan’s trilogy as a stand-alone piece and bring in another actor to wear the Batsuit in a rebooted take which would be closer to the comic version. Below, I’ve compiled a list of both pros and cons of continuing the story of Bale’s Bruce Wayne in Justice League.
#1 - Bringing In A Familiar Face
Business-wise, it would be absolutely ideal for Warner Bros. to at least pursue Nolan and Bale to return for Justice League, seeing how well the last two Batman movies did. Marvel’s The Avengers grossed $1.5B last summer, despite none of the solo movies not grossing a billion. However, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises have both surpassed the $1B mark worldwide, making Bale’s Caped Crusader an instantly recognizable face. Additionally, if Man Of Steel does as well as WB is hoping, and Nolan/Snyder/David S. Goyer are all on board, then Justice League could very well be the first superhero movie to gross $2B worldwide. I can’t see it doing quite as well financially if they bring in a completely new take on Batman that the audience isn‘t familiar with.
#2 - A Greater Foundation To Build On
Perhaps the biggest worry concerning Justice League has been the approach of only Man Of Steel building up to it, with likely only one familiar face and 4-6 completely new cinematic characters (assuming that both Batman and Green Lantern are rebooted). However, connecting The Dark Knight Trilogy, as risky as it is story-wise, helps Man Of Steel build a stronger foundation and create a more cohesive universe.
#3 - An Older, Experienced Batman
I think we all agree that the Justice League movie's Batman needs to be a very experienced hero, perhaps more experienced and older than the other League members. We have seen the Caped Crusader’s adventures in The Dark Knight Trilogy, and despite entering retirement twice, Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne certainly has experience. Perhaps they can shape a DC Movie Universe like Bruce Timm’s Animated Universe, where we saw several years of Batman’s adventures before joining the Justice League.
#4 - The Best Actor For The Role
This is certainly up to debate, and this section in particular is from my point of view/opinion. As I said before, Christian Bale has been arguably our best Batman to date, and while he hasn’t portrayed the character as comic book accurate as some would like, he delivered a human and believable take on the Dark Knight in three movies. Of course, there are other actors who can be brilliant in the role, but not to the same level as Bale’s. I can also see him having wonderful chemistry with Henry Cavill.
#1 - When Is A Conclusion A Conclusion?
Both Bale and Nolan have stated many times that The Dark Knight Rises was the end of their take on Batman (even though the former expressed interest in playing the character again if the latter gave him a sufficient story), and many agree that the ending concluded Bruce Wayne’s story arc perfectly. I’m confident that Nolan will give his approval to the best possible story should this particular version of Batman continue in Justice League, but it would be a stretch to bring him back. The only way this would work properly is if Wayne came back as Batman again when a major threat arrives, a storyline which was already covered in TDKR and would be redundant to see again on film.
#2 - Could Be More Comic Accurate
As stated before, Bale’s Batman alongside Cavill’s Superman sounds wonderful on paper, but how would it actually fare? To many comic fans, the biggest flaw with The Dark Knight Trilogy’s Batman is that he just isn’t as powerful as the comic book version. The comic book incarnation regularly fights super villains, aliens, etc., while Bale’s Batman had his hands full with terrorists and even had trouble fighting dogs. Not somebody who can take on Darkseid in my opinion. I’d be more than open to see how this can be fixed in Justice League if they’re going that route, but this is the main reason why a reboot may be a better option: to deliver a Batman that’s as intelligent, strong and unique as the version we all know and love.
In conclusion, the idea of Christian Bale reprising his role as Batman in Justice League has both its strengths and its setbacks. While it would be amazing to see the actor play the Caped Crusader again and to see him working in a wider DC Universe, I’m not sure if that’s realistically possible. Some things may be fixed in a JL script (such as Bruce Wayne suddenly becoming more powerful and like the comic version), but some issues wouldn’t allow a smooth story transition from the end of The Dark Knight Rises if not handled properly. Regardless, if there’s anybody who can continue Wayne’s story following TDKR, it’s Christopher Nolan and the rest of the gang. Still, I wouldn’t mind if a rebooted, more comic accurate Batman was brought on board, but it would make perfect sense business-wise to bring Bale back and allow a better foundation to build upon than merely Man Of Steel (since no other solo DC films will be released before Justice League, apparently).
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE