Next month, Christian Bale is returning to comic book adaptations. But he’s on the other side now, as The Dark Knight actor plays Gorr the God Butcher, Thor’s most lethal, menacing foe yet, in Thor: Love and Thunder, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A noted departure from the actor’s stint in the cape and cowl, this Marvel sequel will feature one of Bale’s most transformative turns, even in a career full of them. But would he be open to reprising one of his most famous roles? Certainly, as we’ll see with Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck returning to the part in The Flash, there’s a history of Batman actors returning to the role of Bruce Wayne, even with Robert Pattinson taking on the role in The Batman back in March. But would Bale do it? Indeed, the Oscar winner would … but one condition.
Talking with ComicBook.com, Bale noted that there have been no attempts to bring Bale into the fold. As he notes, nobody has reached out to him, and they keep him “like a mushroom,” in that they keep him “in the dark” and “feed” him “shit.” But if the thought were to be entertained by Warner Bros executives and proposed to the esteemed actor, Bale wouldn’t be opposed to the notion, but only if Christopher Nolan, who directed The Dark Knight trilogy, along with The Prestige, were to come back to the DC property, too. Of course, that’s not looking too likely anytime soon, but hey, it’s certainly not an impossibility, either.
Here’s what Bale said:
For me, that would be a matter of Chris Nolan, if he ever decided to do it again and if he chose to come my way again, then yeah, I would consider it because that was always our pact between each other is we would just stick to it. We said we would only ever make three. And then I said to myself, and I’d only ever make it with Chris.
Certainly, while it concludes on a bittersweet scene, The Dark Knight Rises ends on a definitively conclusive note. The trilogy was conceived as a trilogy, as Bale notes, and there’s not much need to continue the story, in their view. Certainly, Bale hasn’t had any trouble moving on to other films. Along with the aforementioned Thor: Love and Thunder, Bale was recently Oscar-nominated for his lead roles in American Hustle and Vice, along with his supporting performance in The Big Short. Furthermore, Nolan continues to earn critical acclaim with his follow-up films, including Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Tenet. And the marquee filmmaker is working on his next film, Oppenheimer, which will debut in 2023 and is surely expected to be one of the most anticipated additions to next summer’s blockbuster season.
It should be noted that this isn’t the first time that Bale hasn’t talked about the possibility of making a fourth Batman movie, though he sounds more optimistic here than he did in 2019 when he noted that Nolan’s dream was always to make a trilogy and that it would “stretch too far and become overindulgent” if they went ahead with another film. At the time, Bale was told that his “services were no longer required” and he hasn’t been in the Batsuit since, and it doesn’t look like there’s a mad rush for the actor to return.
Therefore, Bale isn’t hurting for high-profile work at the moment, and he would likely only fancy the notion of doing Batman again if there was something fun or intriguing about doing it all again — particularly with his frequent collaborator. Bale’s phone is ringing, but he’s not getting any calls from Warner Bros. at the moment. If Nolan were to light up the Bat-Signal, though, Bale wouldn’t give even a second’s hesitation.
Thor: Love and Thunder crashes into theaters on July 8th.