New York Daily News (January 23rd, 2012)

CHRISTIAN BALE SAYS GOODBYE TO BATMAN WITH ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES,’ AND HE’S OKAY WITH THAT 

As if having to dress up in a latex and rubber Bat costume wasn’t surreal enough, try getting in costume in a room that’s right around the spot where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States.

That’s what went through Christian Bale’s mind as he suited up on the days when “The Dark Knight Rises,” the third and final movie in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, was filming on location at the Federal Hall monument in lower Manhattan.

“I’m sure George Washington could never have imagined,” Bale told the Daily News while promoting his latest film, “The Flowers of War”. “And I apologize to him, because it probably should have never happened.”

Bale, though, is glad that it did happen. He spent the last eight years as the Caped Crusader — and doesn’t regret a minute — but says he’s ready to hang up that cape for good.

“We need different rhythms in our life, don’t we, and to me it would be the wrong rhythm to jump into a franchise at this point,” he says. “For now, no, I’d be looking for new experiences.”

Bale is too polite to acknowledge what most moviegoers and fanboys would, that his take on Batman has long since surpassed predecessors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney.

“I wasn’t a 12-year-old that gave a damn about comics,” he says. “I had never been someone into comic books, it just didn’t interest me. It wasn’t my thing.”

It wasn’t until reading Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli’s seminal 1987 comic book miniseries, while prepping for the role that he really got the character. Before that he kind of thought Batman was a spoiled rich kid in tights.

“Suddenly, I found Batman has so many issues, he’s not a healthy individual, this is somebody that is doing good, but he’s right on the verge of doing bad,” says Bale.

“He’s got that killer within him that he’s desperately not trying to let off his leash. And that’s what I always return to.”

By Ethan Sacks.