Editorial: Why Bringing Back Christian Bale For The DC Cinematic Universe Is A Bad Idea
There are some very odd rumors floating around today that Christan Bale is considering putting on the cowl once more and coming back as Batman. The latest resurgence of this movie pipe dream comes from an UNATHORIZED biography that says Bale is under pressure due to his lack of high-profile success post-Batman and is considering coming back due to Legendary throwing $50 million at him. Now obviously an unauthorized biography is unauthorized for a reason and the facts are automatically called into question, but even if this were true it would make no sense for Christopher Nolan and Bale’s Batman to be a part of the larger DC Universe.
Let’s leave the business and rumors about negotiations out of it completely. Let’s just take a look at how the three Bale films present the Dark Knight and how that causes more problems that benefits for a larger, inter-connected DC cinematic universe. The villains Batman faced were a realistic Ra’s Al-Ghul, Joker, Two-Face, Talia Al-Ghul, and a realistic Bane. None of these villains had any powers or abilities. Some had years of training that put them at the peak of human physical ability, but nothing more than that. Batman had quite a bit of trouble dealing with them, having to rely on special weapons and technology handed to him by Lucius Fox. In Man of Steel, besides being set up as showing Superman as the first real superhero in the world, had Zod destroying cities with heat vision, super strength, and near invulnerability. How is a Batman that got beat by a 6’6 love-struck asthmatic supposed to have any chance against that? Batman didn’t even defeat Bane of Talia. They were taken out by Catwoman and a car wreck, respectively. Bale’s Batman was the super smart detective we know and love from the comics. Unless Lucius had crafted a Kryptonite set of brass knuckles, he’s going to have a hard time. Even in his final movie he was getting older and too beat up to do a lot of physical activities.
Now I will grant you that Batman started to show better detective skills in The Dark Knight Rises, but it was still nowhere near what it needed to be for Batman to stand toe-to-toe with the super powered gods shown in Man of Steel. Even if Bruce started to train and study on his retirement/vacation with Selina, it would be hard to explain a complete character change such as that. The Nolanverse only works if Batman is the only big hero in his world. If he was part of a bigger, connected universe, he would have no reason to trust any of the other heroes unless they rework the entire timeline. Gotham was turned into a third-world country by Bane. If other heroes were out and about at the time, Batman would have some serious problems with nobody even attempting to lend a hand. The government had given up on Gotham, but you would think other heroes would try to assess the situation. Even if they couldn’t get in without being noticed, you would think they’d be on top of the situation.
The final big problem that’s worth mentioning is how The Dark Knight Rises ends. Batman retired, he handed it off to Robin, and the mansion was turned into a home for orphans. Say Levitt’s Batman was the Superman/Justice League film’s Batman. How could he possibly stand against the threat of Darkseid level villains? He was a smart detective, but he has no training. Did Batman leave him some Tae Bo tapes and some tutorials on how to drive the Tumbler? Bruce Wayne is penniless and presumed dead. The new “Batman” is a cop with some nifty gadgets. It would be hard to integrate Batman without completely overturning everything Nolan did. The director made two great Batman films, but they were meant to stand alone. Bringing back Bale would complicate things too much and cheapen what was done with his previous films. That’s my two cents at least. What do you think? Am I way off base or is bringing Bale back a great idea?
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