Christian Bale in Batman V Superman

Based on the trailers, the tone of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice couldn’t be further removed from Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight trilogy, because there is no way Doomsday or Wonder Woman would’ve felt right in Nolan’s reality. Director Zack Snyder is taking Batman in a new direction, which is why having actor Christian Bale in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice probably wouldn’t have been such a hot idea.

Snyder knew he couldn’t have Bale play the character again, but he would’ve loved to have had the actor play another role in his upcoming superhero epic.

Zack Snyder wanted an older, more cynical Batman. In all the footage we’ve seen for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s clearly established this is a new, more aggressive Batman. Snyder, Affleck, and all involved started from scratch with the character, but some folks at Warner Bros. wondered if it was possible to include a few cast mates from Nolan’s trilogy.

Snyder couldn’t get behind the idea, though. In an interview with Film Ink Magazine, the director says he wanted Christian Bale in the film, but maybe in a different role:

This is a total and opposite reality from the Chris Nolan movies. It’s another universe, so we couldn’t hire Christian Bale if we wanted to, because he doesn’t exist in our world. Maybe we could hire him to play another part. We did talk about that briefly. I just wanted to hire Christian to play another part to make that obvious. Christian could play, like, Alfred with age makeup. No! Of course not. But you know what I mean. Even people at the studio would say, ‘Who are you getting from the other movies?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, come on guys, let’s all understand, it’s a different world.’ In the Batman universe that Chris Nolan created, Superman would have a hard time existing. That that’s why we did a reboot on the universe, so we could allow these characters to exist together. We needed to do that to have Batman exist in this world.

It’s probably best Christian Bale doesn’t have a part in the movie. That kind of wink — there’s the guy that used to play Batman! — would’ve been a potential distraction, taking you out of the reality of Snyder’s movie. Then again, if it was for a legitimately good part, we’re talking about an Academy Award-winning actor probably capable of making you forget he once played the Caped Crusader.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters March 25th.

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