Christian Bale: ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Calls Back To Batman’s 1939 Origin

'He was quite a dark character back then,' Bale tells MTV News of how Bob Kane's original concept of Batman relates to Christopher Nolan's vision.

For Batman, things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get any better — and that’s saying something for a hero who has been outcast as a villain, broken physically and spiritually in the aftermath of “The Dark Knight.”

But for actor Christian Bale, the darkness his character Bruce Wayne goes through is not just critical to the story Christopher Nolan decided to tell in his final installment of the “Dark Knight” trilogy. It’s also a callback to the Batman comics of old, as far back as the original stories told by Bob Kane in the late 1930s.

“Chris has always done such a great job of blending in topical moments. Not banging you over the head with it, but if you wish to look a little deeper, you can. I think that was the origin [of Batman], really,” Bale told MTV News at the “Dark Knight Rises” premiere in New York City. “When Bob Kane created Batman in 1939, World War II was beginning in Europe. And there was a notion of what can an individual do, and feeling useless. He was quite a dark character back then, and in many ways, it felt like we were returning to that original concept.”

For Bale, the actor himself kept returning and returning to the “Rises” hero on the page. It took him several hours to get through the top-secret script, all while locked away in Nolan’s own home, the actor admitted.

“It took [me] an awful long time,” he said. “I read it a number of times. I read it and reread it and went back again. Chris kept walking in and couldn’t believe how slow a reader I was. His family had lunch and dinner, and I’m still there, and they were like, ‘We need to go to bed!’”

“It was a good [script]. It was bittersweet, that we were finishing,” he added of Nolan’s story. “But hey, he and his brother [Jonathan Nolan] and David Goyer came up with a really great story, so here we go again. It was going to be a good one.”

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