Bale has said that he would be open to reprising the role – but only if Christopher Nolan directed.
“No one’s ever mentioned it to me. No one’s brought it up,” he told Variety about a possible return.
“Occasionally people say to me, ‘Oh, I hear you were approached and offered all this.” And I’m like, ‘That’s news to me. No one’s ever said that.’”
“I had a pact with Chris Nolan. We said, ‘Hey, look. Let’s make three films, if we’re lucky enough to get to do that. And then let’s walk away. Let’s not linger too long.’
“In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, ‘You know what, I’ve got another story to tell.’ And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.”
Bale and Nolan worked together on three Batman films: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. All in, the films grossed around $1bn at the box office and propelled the superhero genre to a new era of popularity.
But keen as Bale is to return to the Caped Crusader, that doesn’t mean he’s taking notes on his replacements.
“I still haven’t seen it. I will see it,” he said of The Batman, which came out earlier this year and stars fellow Brit Robert Pattinson in the lead role.
“Listen, mate, it’s amazing how few films I see. Every director I work with, I’ve seen a couple of their films and they’re always looking at me going, ‘Are you kidding?’ I like to really savour films and I don’t watch too many. But I will, I certainly will.
“Robert is an absolutely wonderful actor. We bumped into each other, talked a little bit about it ahead of time, and I heard wonderful things.”
Bale is currently set to appear in another superhero film – but this time as the villain.
Speaking at a press conference to promote the film, Bale explained that there was a “great pleasure in playing a villain… Everyone is fascinated with bad guys, immediately."
"The beauty of it is that Taika can make it bloody hilarious – and then really moving as well in this story. I don’t know if it’s pushing it too much to say sympathy, but certainly, you sort of understand maybe why this guy is making awful decisions, and he is a monster and he is a butcher.
“But there is possibly a little understanding of why he came to be that way."