After lasting longer in the role than any other actor, Christian Bale has confirmed that the upcoming finale of director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises," will be his curtain call as the iconic crime fighter.
"I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I'm taking that cowl off," Bale reportedly told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "I believe the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it's all done. Everything's finished. It's me and Chris — that will be the end of that Batman era." The $200 million-plus [article id="1674764"]epic[/article], out July 20, will also feature Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and [article id="1673927"]Tom Hardy as villain Bane[/article].
The Oscar-winning actor also held forth on the complexity of the role that has been inhabited in the past by George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton.
"Bruce Wayne is absolutely sincere as Bruce Wayne, and as Batman utterly sincere. But Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a pure facade, it's a lie he has, somehow, to control one side of your soul that's not really under control," Bale said. "In fact, only Alfred knows who he is. It's time for Bruce Wayne to face the pain that has always stirred his life."
Bale took over as Batman in 2005's "Batman Begins" and reprised his role in 2008's $1 billion-grossing "The Dark Knight." Though Hathaway has gotten some flack for the look of her [article id="1671706"]Catwoman costume[/article], Bale had nothing but praise for his co-star.
"When Chris watched the screen test, he agreed that Anne did a wonderful job. In many ways, she has the hardest job," he said. "There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne's role as being the toughest job of any of us."
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."