Portraying a superhero has become a full-time job in Hollywood. Between solo movies, spin-off films, and full-blown team-ups, it’s genuinely rare to see an actor get out of a comic book role once they’ve signed on. Christian Bale is one of the last superhero actors to premiere on the silver screen before the cinematic universe boom, but he apparently has no interest in returning to the genre anytime soon. Bale recently opened up and responded to whether or not he would take on another superhero role, saying:
No, I’m not interested in doing that. I’ve never seen — I’m trying to think if that’s correct, I think I’m actually correct, I can’t remember a single superhero film that I’ve ever watched. Apart from the ones I made and like, the Christopher Reeve Superman films.
Christian Bale’s recent comments to Collider while promoting the release of The Promise will probably disappoint his longtime fans. After all, his tenure as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is now the stuff of legends, and critics often regard him as one of the top actors (superhero genre or otherwise) working in Hollywood. Despite his prestige (Nolan pun intended), Bale simply doesn’t seem interested in the genre anymore — to the point that he’s only seen his Batman films and the classic Christopher Reeve Superman movies. I guess that means we can rule out him telling us what he thinks of Ben Affleck‘s version of the Caped Crusader.
His comments about the genre as a whole make sense when we look at the nature of The Dark Knight trilogy. Although Christopher Nolan‘s work on those Batman films arguably set the standard for modern superhero movies, they also don’t feel like superhero movies at all. From Batman Begins to The Dark Knight Rises, each film was approached and executed more like a straightforward drama than a bombastic comic book epic, so Christian Bale’s personal aversion to typical superhero fare seems somewhat logical. Because of the grounded nature of his Batman, you could even make an argument that he hasn’t acted in a traditional superhero film yet, and therefore has no interest in starting now.
At the end of the day, it’s probably for the best that Christian Bale doesn’t want to do another superhero movie. Unlike many actors, he already had the distinct luxury of performing in three well-regarded comic book movies that retired his incarnation of Batman with a logical conclusion. While other players like Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds have portrayed multiple comic book characters over the course of their respective careers, there’s no real reason for Christian Bale to return to the genre. He got it right the first time around.
For now, it looks like we can look forward to seeing Christian Bale stick to intimate dramas for the foreseeable future. You can currently catch him in The Promise, which is now in theaters.