Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan connected to make three of the most acclaimed superhero movies of all time. Normally when a project strikes gold, the studio, director, and actors want to keep going to this well before it runs dry. Yet Bale and Nolan embodied the concept of "quitting while you're ahead" when it came to their Dark Knight trilogy.
During a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Bale explained why he didn't sign on to make another Batman movie. According to the actor, he and Nolan were never "arrogant to assume" that the studio would let them make more than one movie. So when they started to get asked to make sequels to 2005's Batman Begins, Bale and Nolan made a pact to not overstay their welcome.
"[W]hen they came and said, 'You want to go make another?' It was fantastic, but we still said, 'This is it. We will not get another opportunity.' Then they came and they said, 'OK, let's do a third one,'" Bale said. "Chris had always said to me that if we were fortunate to be able to make three we would stop. 'Let's walk away after that,' he said."
"Then when they inevitably came to us and said, 'How about a No. 4?' I said, 'No. We have to stick to Chris' dream, which was always to, hopefully, do a trilogy. Let's not stretch too far and become overindulgent and go for a fourth,'" Bale continued.
Although the Dark Knight series ended as a trilogy in 2012, the story of Batman is one that will always interest audiences. As a result, DC Comics revived the tale of Bruce Wayne just four years after Bale's exit with 2016's Ben Affleck-starring Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batfleck had one more outing, in 2017's Justice League, and now Robert Pattinson will take on the role for The Batman on June 25, 2021.