Although I’ll always have a place in my heart for what Tim Burton accomplished with his two Batman flicks, I believe The Dark Knight Trilogy remains the gold standard for what comic book movies can achieve (Joker does rank up there as well, at least in my view).
Having said that, I’m sure a fair percentage of those reading this article will agree with me. Heck, it’s no secret that numerous Bat-fans the world over wanted Christopher Nolan to helm a fourth picture with Christian Bale under the cowl. That would’ve been pretty sweet, sure, but The Dark Knight Rises was given a solid conclusion.
While recently speaking with Toronto Sun, Bale said this when reflecting on his time playing the iconic Caped Crusader, and how the success of Batman Begins gave way to two lucrative sequels:
“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,’ he said.”
Soon after saying that stuff, Bale dropped this bombshell:
“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 (laughs).”
Taking into account how The Dark Knight Rises raked in more than one billion dollars worldwide, you can’t fault Warner Bros. for wanting a fourth installment. If you’ll recall, there were persistent rumors saying Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake character was being considered to headline a film of his own, but nothing came to fruition.
Instead, the studio rebooted Batman by securing Ben Affleck’s services. And after appearing in three movies during his tenure – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League – we’re now about to witness yet another reboot in the form of 2021’s The Batman. Time will tell if Robert Pattinson’s iteration will be as beloved as Bale’s, but I’m remaining optimistic.