News broke that Ben Affleck has been cast as the Batman for the upcoming sequel to blockbuster hit, "Man of Steel." Announced by Warner Bros. Thursday, Affleck will replace Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne alongside Henry Cavill as Superman. In addition, Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Diane Lane (Martha Kent) will reprise their roles in the Zack Snyder directed sequel of "Man of Steel." The "Argo" director will be the eight actor to play Batman, however most fans agree that Bale was the best at portraying the iconic comic book character. Thus we are left questioning, why did Christian Bale stop being Batman?
Bale was much sought after to reprise his role as the "Caped Crusader," Warner Bros. was keen on having Bale play Batman in the still untitled "Man of Steel 2." This will be the first time that Batman and Superman appear together on screen, therefore the studio was hoping to rely on Bale's prestige from Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy to ensure fans return to the box office for another comic-book series. Bale at 39 also fit's the part, producers are looking to build a more jaded Batman, much like the superhero portrayed in Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns." Miller's 1986 graphic novel tells the story of Superman intervening in Gotham after a cynical and merciless Batman returns to his city after coming out of retirement.
Warner Bros. was so dedicated to Bale's portrayal of Batman that the studio offered him $50m to return to the role. The salary speculation comes from a new book by Vincent Russel entitled, "Beyond Batman: The Unauthorized True Story of Christian Bale and His Dark Knight Dilemma." The book added, "Sources close to Christian Bale have reportedly begun expressing their suspicions that Bale now views the Batman films in the same light that Robert Downey Jr. views the Iron Man films."
However it seems that Bale as Batman is really a thing of the past. The actor has said it himself. Bale admitted to Entertainment Weekly, that while he has enjoyed being Batman, he always took each movie one by one, never considering the next installment before finishing the current project. "We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three. That's enough. Let's not get greedy," he said. "Chris always said he wanted to make it one film at a time. And we ended up sitting there looking at each other, saying 'We're about to make the third.' We never really knew if we were going to get to be there, but if that was how it was going to be, this was where it should end as well."
Bale, who seems sure in his decision to end his run as Batman on a high note, also admitted that he is ready and willing to pass along the role to another actor. "It's a torch that should be handed from one actor to another," he said. "So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with." Now that Ben Affleck has been cast as the next Batman, the film is scheduled to start shooting in 2014, and has been slated for a July 17, 2015 release.