Latino Review, the website that first reported on Heath Ledger getting cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight and Brandon Routh getting the title role in Superman Returns, is currently reporting on a very juicy rumor from the intersecting worlds of DC Comics and Hollywood: Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale are back in the picture for Warner Bros.’ Justice League movie.
Though the conventional thinking has been that Nolan and Bale would step away from the DC universe now that their Dark Knight trilogy is done, it appears that they may have received an offer they simply can’t refuse. Considering how badly Green Lantern flopped and how much Warner Bros. has riding on the upcoming Man of Steel, it makes sense that the studio would be very worried about its ability to compete with Marvel Studios’ The Avengers franchise — and would be willing to spend whatever it takes to keep its known commodities around.
Bale admitted last spring that he would be willing to reprise the role of Batman if he was presented with another good story (hopefully one that’s better than the very disappointing The Dark Knight Rises script). However, Nolan gave all indications that he was done with the franchise and ready to move on to new challenges.
Frankly, the idea of Nolan’s Batman existing in the same universe as campier characters like Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman is likely to rub a lot of fans the wrong way. Bruce Wayne’s story ended very definitively at the end of The Dark Knight Rises — and can anyone see him happily joining a team of tights-wearing heroes with supernatural powers? A huge part of why Nolan’s Batman films were so loved is that they were grounded in a realism that just isn’t possible in a story where one character is a humanoid alien who can fly.
Also, presuming Bale really does put on the black cowl again, where does that leave things for future Batman films? It appears highly unlikely that Nolan and Bale would have interest in anything beyond one or two Justice League movies, and it would be incredibly awkward to reboot Batman for a new trilogy of films focused on just that character while simultaneously inserting the Nolan/Bale Batman into a series of Justice League films.
This rumor is still very young and it sounds like there’s still a lot that we don’t know. At this point, every detail should be taken with a grain of salt. Until Nolan and Bale put pen to paper, the safest bet is to assume that both men are done with comic book movies altogether.