According to filmmaker Kevin Smith, Warner Bros strongly desired to bring back Christian Bale as Batman in the upcoming film, The Flash.
The movie, starring Ezra Miller as the speedy superhero, includes various cameos from past versions of heroes. However, despite extensive efforts by the studio, Bale vehemently declined their offer.
Smith revealed that Warner Bros courted Bale for several months, attempting to convince him to join the project. However, the acclaimed actor firmly stood his ground and refused. As a result, the role eventually went to George Clooney.
“I think there’s a world where they hadn’t shot that until like… two weeks ago. Like it feels like they were like it could be anybody and I’m sure they were asking Christian Bale for like months and months hoping that he’d break down and he was like no, so they’re like all right let’s pivot – let’s do another Batman and they just grab George Clooney.”
Bale has consistently maintained that he would only consider reprising his role as Batman if director Christopher Nolan were also involved in the project. In the past, Bale had emphasized the need to reinvent the character and credited Nolan’s approach as the key to the success of their Batman films.
The actor explained that their initial intention was to make just one film, and they never assumed they would continue with a franchise. However, after the first movie’s positive reception, Warner Bros approached them for sequels. After completing the third film, Nolan had always envisioned a trilogy and expressed his desire to step back from the franchise.
Bale respected Nolan’s wishes and turned down the opportunity to continue with a fourth installment. As a result, he was informed that his services were no longer required for future Batman films.