Christian Bale had a relatively quiet 2017, appearing in only two major films: the box office disaster The Promise and the period western Hostiles, which is still in limited release. Of course, Bale is arguably still best known for his turn as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, which is still considered by many to be the best live action portrayal of the character.
Bale’s last appearance as the Caped Crusader was in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises and since then, the role has been occupied by Ben Affleck, who has played the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. Generally, actors who have portrayed a character played by others tend to weigh in with their thoughts on a new actor’s take on that character but Christian Bale so far hasn’t shared his opinion on Affleck’s Batman … primarily because he doesn’t have an opinion.
As Bale admitted on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he hasn’t seen Affleck on-screen yet and there’s a pretty straightforward reason for that:
I have not [seen Ben Affleck’s Batman]. Yes I’m interested [in seeing it], my son seemed like he was really interested, but then I realized he just wanted to see the trailer and that was it—I tend to go see films that [my kids] want to see. I have to confess I’m not a huge superhero film fan. People seem surprised at that, I don’t know why. I’ve not seen any of the Avengers films or any of those films at all. I hear they’re very good, but I’m quite happy just hearing they’re very good.
Even though it happened nearly a decade ago, Bale still has a bit of a reputation for being a prickly guy due to his infamous leaked tirade on the set of Terminator: Salvation, so it would have been fair to expect him to harbor some sort of disdain for the man who took over the role he once played. As it turns out, it simply comes down to time and Bale’s own interests, as he just doesn’t seek out superhero films in his spare time (and really, who can blame him when there are so many good movies released in a given year?). I’d imagine that he’d have nothing but good things to say about Affleck’s performance if he ever did see him in action but considering Affleck hasn’t played Batman in a legitimately great movie yet, perhaps it’s for the best that he hasn’t taken the time to do so yet.