Christian Bale Almost Played Superman Before Batman in Batman vs. Superman Movie
03.16.10 by BJSprecher
Back in 2003, Warner Bros. was desperately trying to figure out how to bring two of their most iconic characters back to the big screen. The Batman franchise had crumbled beneath the neon campiness of Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin five years earlier and there had not been a new Superman movie in theaters since the equally terrible The Quest for Peace in 1987.
The answer to Warners' dilemma seemed to be to combine both characters in one spectacular movie: Batman vs. Superman. The title alone is enough to make many comic book movie fans quiver in anticipation. And, with Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) working on the screenplay and Wolfgang Petersen (Troy) attached to direct, the movie seemed like a sure-fire blockbuster.
Fast-forward seven years and we now have director Christopher Nolan's brilliant Batman Begins and
The Dark Knight, as well as the mediocre Superman Returns, Bryan Singer's homage to the original Superman, but no Batman vs. Superman. So, whatever happened to the team-up movie? In a recent interview with MTV, Petersen said that it came
"pretty close" to being made.
And then the studio got a single Superman script I think from J.J. Abrams
at that time, and [Warner Bros. chief] Alan Horn was so torn – because it’s such a fascinating concept to do a Batman versus Superman film. And I still think it would be to do that. But the studio decided to try separate versions of Superman and Batman, and then maybe think about down the road if you want to bring them together in one film.
It's long been known that Warners had been pursuing Josh Hartnett for the role of Superman. What was not known before now is that the only other actor in serious contention for the role was Christian Bale, who stars in Nolan's Batman movies as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Considered for Superman and now playing Batman? Obviously, Bale has "superhero" written all over him.
For his part, Petersen has no regrets about Batman vs. Superman falling by the wayside. Warners offered him the job directing Troy shortly thereafter, and he has nothing but praise for Nolan's take on Batman.
I loved Dark Knight! I was completely sucked into it, blown away by it. I thought right away it deserved an Academy Award for Best Picture, and I was really disappointed that it didn’t get it. I thought Heath Ledger was just phenomenal. I am a big fan of that movie.