The Caped Crusader, Gotham’s Watchful Protector, the World’s Greatest Detective – Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s masked vigilante is known by many names, but in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, he was most commonly referred to as The Dark Knight. And what a Dark Knight he was.
Former American Pyscho star Christian Bale was officially unveiled as the seventh incarnation of Batman in 2005, and later headlined two of the best comic book movies ever made: The Dark Knight and its slightly less impressive follow-up, The Dark Knight Rises.
But thanks to Nolan’s penchant for realism, The Dark Knight trilogy will always be held in high regard by Batman fans, and after almost a decade spent in the cape and cowl, Christian Bale has now offered a candid retrospective of his time as Gotham’s Caped Crusader – beginning with the “mixed emotions” of being placed under such an intense spotlight.
Mixed emotions about it. I’m always eternally grateful to Chris. For instance, ‘Rescue Dawn,’ Werner [Herzog] and I had been trying to put that together for a few years. ‘American Psycho,’ Mary Harron and I had been trying to put that together for a few years. No one was interested. Why? Because of me. Chris cast me in Batman and suddenly everyone said, ‘Yeah, alright. We’ll go with him.’ It did change everything. It was the first time I had done a film of that magnitude. That was a real learning curve for me. I wrestled with it for a long time. I still do on occasions. But I’m just learning, hey, accept the good things.
That candid reflection comes as part of Variety’s latest episode of Playback (via Heroic Hollywood), in which Bale also reveals a behind-the-scenes story of his dedication to the part.
At my suggestion, I said, ‘no one can ever see me without the cowl on. They cannot. You cannot bust, blow apart that mystery. So we must not.’ So, I’ve got to be in a tent the whole time and seven months later I’m like, ‘oh my god, this was my idea, wasn’t it? I’m still in it.’
And what of those allegations that Bale’s unforgettable performance as Patrick Bateman propelled him onto Warner’s radar?
Well, I guess the true fans always saw that Bruce Wayne had this great darkness to him. There is a philanthropy, obviously, hopeully there but it is something… he’s having a battle, a monster within himself. And so, I suppose that in that respect, Bateman/Batman, they started to see that, ‘well, maybe this guy can do it.’
In related news, The Dark Knight trilogy is coming to Ultra HD Blu-ray thanks to a newly-unveiled Christoper Nolan collection, so keep your peepers peeled for that one and be sure to pre-order it off Amazon if you haven’t done so already.