Christian Bale can officially utter what are probably the most famous two words in comic book history: "I'm Batman."
The British actor, best known for playing yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in 2000's "American Psycho," has been cast as the lead in the next "Batman" installment, Warner Bros. announced Thursday (September 11).
Christopher Nolan, the visionary behind "Memento" and "Insomnia," will direct the film (see "Next Batman Movie In Hands Of 'Memento' Director"), which will follow the early career of the Dark Knight.
"What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," Nolan said in a press statement. "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."
David Goyer, who wrote "The Crow: City of Angels" and three "Blade" movies (the third is in production now), penned the new "Batman" script, the details of which are being highly guarded.
Filming on the movie will begin early next year, after the rest of the cast is filled.
Bale first garnered critical acclaim in Steven Spielberg's 1987 drama "Empire of the Sun" and has since appeared in "Reign of Fire," "Laurel Canyon" and 2000's "Shaft" remake.
The actor, who will follow in the shoes of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, was competing for the role against several other young thespians, including Jake Gyllenhaal ("The Good Girl"), Eion Bailey ("Fight Club") and Cillian Murphy ("28 Days Later") (see "Joshua Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal Line Up For 'Batman' Role").