Christian Bale Almost Made His DC Movie Debut Years Before Batman Begins

  • Bale almost played Superman, but as Batman, he humanized the hero in a way never done before in cinema.
  • Petersen's canceled Batman vs. Superman movie could have changed the DC movie landscape in the early 2000s.
  • Bale's portrayal of Batman under Nolan's direction solidified him as the perfect Caped Crusader, far better than as Superman.
Christian Bale reinvented Bruce Wayne and his caped persona for a newer generation in Batman Begins, but the Oscar-winner was very close to essaying the role of another quintessential DC hero. While Bale broke out as a child star in movies like Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, the English actor took on challenging and diverse roles in the late 1990s and early 2000s. From playing a mild-mannered music journalist in the glam-rock classic Velvet Goldmine to the reckless namesake of American Psycho, Bale was already a critics’ heartthrob even before he was cast in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
The Ford vs. Ferrari star debuted as Batman in 2005’s Batman Begins, but a few years earlier, another superhero opportunity landed in his lap, but the ambitious DC movie was eventually canceled. Still, it’s all for the best that this hypothetical scenario never became a reality, for it might have prevented Bale from being cast as the Caped Crusader. When compared to other live-action Batman actors, Bale’s version stands out with his distinctly raspy Batman voice and emotionally complex psyche. The way Bale humanized Gotham City’s vigilante could have been reflected way back by another hero closely linked to Batman.


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