Recently, rumors ran amok about the possibility of Christian Bale returning to the DC universe. It all started with a Kevin Smith quote, which was originally spread as if Warner Brothers desperately wanted the Oscar winner to do a Cameo for The Flash. However, the Clerks filmmaker quickly put those rumors to rest by correcting the journalist on the actual statement he made about the situation.
Given the reports that Warner Brothers reshot the ending for the latest DCEU film, anything is possible. Bale stated in the past that he was open to returning to playing the dark knight if Christopher Nolan was attached to the project. Multiple Batmen appear in The Flash, yet it still didn’t do well at the box office. Would Christian Bale’s appearance have made The Flash more enticing for modern moviegoers?
The Dark Knight Trilogy Is Highly Regarding By Modern Audiences
Whenever you hear the term “best” superhero film, then The Dark Knight trilogy is quickly brought into the conversation. The entire Christopher Nolan saga was a benchmark on what superhero films could be. The filmmaker himself has stated that the trilogy was never meant to be a part of a larger universe. It was a grounded take on the popular DC hero.
The thing about Batman, in general, is that his character is the most realistic out of most comic book heroes. Villains like Poison Ivy or Mr. Freeze exist, but there are more than enough characters to take a realistic approach with the dark knight. Batman perfectly suits the pulp, neo-noir, grim atmosphere. It’s the biggest reason Nolan’s trilogy works so well.
Most notably, The Dark Knight itself remains a masterclass in the genre entirely. It represents the notion that superhero films can be more than just your average popcorn blockbuster. The feature had strong themes, yet Nolan understood that it was still a superhero film at its core and organically integrated incredible action set pieces within its engaging story.
Every DCEU Film After The Dark Knight Trilogy Was Clearly Inspired By Nolan’s Work
It’s clear that Nolan’s trilogy inspired the blueprint for the DCEU live-action films. In truth, that was a mistake. The dark, grim tone works for names like The Suicide Squad or Joker. However, not every one of the DCEU heroes excels in such a bleak and dour tone. DC and Zack Snyder should’ve moved away from Nolan’s vision because no other film matches the greatness of the Dark Knight trilogy.
It could be argued that The Batman and Joker certainly did, though neither of those stories is connected to the main DC universe. By oversaturating audiences with Nolan’s style, audiences grew tired of the lackluster films that compared to the masterpieces that Nolan produced. Not every DCEU film was bad, but there was clearly more hit than misses.
Warner Brothers should’ve embraced their huge roster and not tried to copy both Marvel and Nolan. Rushing to make a DC universe showcased that the studio cared more about money than quality. That was the opposite of Marvel Studios’ first four phases. Had the studio produced a string of separate entities that had their own style and tone, it wouldn’t have been stuck in the shadow of superior films. Plus, it would’ve also allowed the uniqueness and creativity of the DC characters to shine through better.
A Christian Bale Cameo Wouldn’t Have Saved “The Flash”
Even if Nolan would’ve made the reported cameo, it’s highly doubtful that the Oscar winner would’ve generated more ticket sales. James Gunn’s biggest mistake was announcing a reboot without including any of the current DCEU characters. Since this is a soft reboot, these names could’ve appeared in Gunn’s phase one plan.
However, Gunn essentially told audiences that The Flash, Shazam, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman didn’t matter. Of course, there are other reasons why The Flash didn’t fare too well at the box office. It makes one wonder whether Blue Beetle and Aquaman will do much better in theaters.