Five and a half years ago, Christopher Nolan wrapped up his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Facing off against Tom Hardy's Bane, Christian Bale's iteration of the Caped Crusader went through his most physically challenging struggle yet. While The Dark Knight Rises wasn't met with the same level of critical acclaim as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it still received many positive reviews and made over $1 billion worldwide. However, Bale hasn't been able to watch The Dark Knight Rises in the years since because he still associates it with the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, where a gunman opened fire on a crowd of people watching the movie. While recalling his time working on the Batman movie, Bale said:
Very sadly, I have not been able to watch that film since because of the whole tragedy of Aurora. I have not been able to sit down and see it without thinking of that. And I'd love to be able to, one day.
On July 20, 2012, the night that The Dark Knight Rises opened, James Eagan Holmes entered a theater at the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora, Colorado showing the blockbuster, set off some tear gas canisters and started shooting people in the crowd. 12 were killed and 70 were injured, and when Holmes, who had dyed his hair red, was later subdued by the police, he started calling himself The Joker. On August 24, 2015, Holmes was sentenced to 12 lifetimes in prison for his crimes, but even more than two years after that verdict was passed down, Christian Bale admitted during his appearance on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast that he still associates The Dark Knight Rises with the Aurora tragedy.
It's certainly understandable that Christian Bale feels this way about The Dark Knight Rises. As positive as his experience may have been making the threequel, when it comes to the finalized presentation, he just can't help but think back to all those lives tragically lost on the night the movie opened. Several days after the tragedy, Bale visited some of the Aurora victims, so he saw firsthand how they were hurt by that monster. However, as the actor noted, he hopes that one day he can sit down and watch The Dark Knight Rises and appreciate it as the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman vision without feeling this way. For now, though, he's keeping that particular Batman story at arm's length.
Christian Bale's time as Batman has been long concluded, but you can see the actor later this year playing Dick Cheney in the Adam McKay-directed Backseat, as well as hear him voice Bagheera in the Andy Serkis-directed Mowgli. As for the current cinematic Batman, Ben Affleck's Dark Knight most recently appeared in Justice League, which will be released digitally on January 30.