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With Zack Snyder's Man of Steel having already made over $500 million worldwide, it's pretty clear that audiences have accepted star Henry Cavill as the new cinematic Superman that we will be seeing for years to come. The future of Batman, however, remains completely up in the air. Before the release of Man of Steel there were endless rumors suggesting that either Christian Bale or Joseph Gordon-Levitt was going to cameo in movie and create a tie between the new version of Superman and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy - and while that ended up not being the case, still many wonder if there's any chance that either star could return as the Caped Crusader in the planned Justice League movie. Today it seems that one of the stars has firmly shut that door.
Entertainment Weekly recently had the chance to catch up with Bale, who has the new Scott Cooper-directed thriller Out of the Furnace coming out at the end of the year, and when the conversation turned to the future of Batman the Welsh actor confirmed that The Dark Knight Rises was the end of his run as the superhero and that he will not be coming back for Justice League. “We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three," Bale told the site. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy. Chris [Nolan] always said he wanted to make it one film at a time. And we ended up sitting there looking at each other, saying ‘We’re about to make the third.’ We never really knew if we were going to get to be there, but if that was how it was going to be, this was where it should end as well.”
What's really strange, however, is that apparently neither Warner Bros. or DC Comics has even reached out to the star, who claims that he hasn't had a single conversation about the superhero team up film. Instead, his knowledge seems to be limited simply to the fact that there is a Justice League movie in the works. But even if he does eventually get a phone call, don't assume that it's going to change his mind. "It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another," Bale said, referencing the fact that actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney have all worn the cowl before him. "So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with."
As much as I respect Bale and Nolan's decision to move on from the world of Batman, as a life-long fan of the character. Their interpretation of the Dark Knight was truly amazing and had a phenomenal impact on the world of comic book movies as a whole. We can only hope that whoever the studio ends up getting to replace them is even half as talented - and that won't necessarily be an easy search.