Every generation has their Batman. Depending on the age of the person you ask, you’ll discover Adam West fans, Michael Keaton fans, Kevin Conroy fans and, if you stare into the darkness long enough, a George Clooney fan. For a certain group of fans, Christian Bale’s take on the Dark Knight always be the definitive interpretation, with his gravelly growl and trademark intensity instantly beating out whatever Ben Affleck brings to the character in ‘Batman vs. Superman.’ Some of these people are going to resent Affleck no matter what. And, in a surprising turn of events, it looks like they can all rally around Bale himself.

We’re not going to say something silly and slanderous like “Mr. Bale is so jealous that Mr. Affleck has taken over the role that launched him into superstardom that he plans to lure the ‘Gone Girl’ star into his plastic-wrapped home and murder him with an axe while Huey Lewis and the News blares in the background.” But we will say that Bale admitted to Empire (via IGN) that he was a wee-bit envious that someone else is putting on the cowl. Here’s his direct quote:

I've got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, 'Oh go on... Let's do another.'


So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour.

Here’s your image of the day: Bale, alone in a darkened room, staring past his Best Supporting Actor Oscar and into the blank, empty eyes of the Batman cowl he keeps on his (purely hypothetical and 100% imaginary) shelf. “They wanted an older, more experienced Batman?” he asks the empty room in a low growl. “I could have been their older, more experienced Batman! I LIVED THAT LIFE!

Even in a casual interview, Bale can’t help but come off as the most intense guy in Hollywood. It’s part of his appeal as an actor. He takes every job, even the ones that involve capes and Batmobiles, very seriously. So when he admits to being a little envious that someone else is playing a role that was his for the past decade, it’s easy to imagine his characters from ‘The Machinist’ or ‘American Psycho’ taking control and compelling him to do terrible things to the poor, defenseless Affleck. After all, if Bale is going to scream at director of photography for touching lights during a take, he‘s going to straight-up kill the guy who took his part.

But, it’s only a good thing that Bale called it quits, since he‘s now free to take on more diverse, strange and challenging roles. Batman is a job for a charismatic movie star, not a guy willing to starve himself half to death to lend authenticity to a character.

Still, Affleck had best watch his back. Who knows where and when an angry Bale could strike? After all, he played Batman in three movies ... he knows all how to strike fear into the hearts of men.

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