Christian Bale has confirmed via an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he will not be donning the cowl for any planned Justice League movie, or any other future Batman films for that matter. Bale has often stressed that the only way he would consider coming back as Batman/Bruce Wayne were if Christopher Nolan was to come back for a fourth installment, which is highly unlikely (and even saying that is being optimistic; it ain’t happening). Even more significant is Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer indicating that a Justice League version of Batman would be different (‘rebooted’) than that of the Dark Knight trilogy. So, Bale’s recent comment + new DC direction for the character seem to indicate that the actor is done playing the millionaire playboy and his vigilante alter-ego.
The most refreshing thing about this news is that Bale is satisfied with the three films he collaborated with Nolan on from a creative (and presumably monetary) standpoint, and isn’t moping that he won’t be part of any future Bats plans at this time. Said the actor about the role, “It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”
In the meantime, it’ll be fun to speculate on who might play Batman in upcoming DC/Warner Bros. film properties. (As much as I loved the ending to The Dark Knight Rises, I am not placing any bets on Robin John Blake.) And we can all fantasize about the day, ten to twenty years down the line, when Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale announce that work has begun on their live-action feature film adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns.