With all eyes on Hugh Jackman's upcoming "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" debut this week, it's easy to forget about one comic book icon that has already proved his weight in box office gold. Christian Bale, Jackman's co-star in "The Prestige," kicked clown-faced butt and accepted loads of moviegoers' hard-earned cash in last summer's "The Dark Knight" -- but does the on-screen Bruce Wayne have a third "Batman" left in him?
"It's got to be the right story," Bale told TotalFilm. "You can't make something like 'The Dark Knight' and then come out with something disappointing."
Bale is an actor of extreme dedication, clearly evidenced by the massive weight loss for his role in "The Machinist" and his subsequent weight gain for "Batman Begins." With that kind of personality, it's not surprising that Bale wants to rise to the challenge of making an awesome "Batman 3."
"I would like it if people say, 'You'll never make a good third movie,'" says the actor. "I say, 'OK, let's make a third movie in that case, let's prove them wrong.' But that's just me."
Even putting his competitive nature aside, Bale's further "Batman" involvement is almost a certainty -- it's one of his very important collaborators, however, that might be left behind in the cave.
"The fact is, I have to [make a third movie]," exclaims Bale. "I've signed up! Chris [Nolan] doesn't. So I'm in a bit of a fix if he says he doesn't want to!"
Whether Nolan decides to return to the "Batman" property remains up in the air, but one thing's for certain -- it won't be the director's next movie. Nolan is hard at work putting the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring "Inception" together for a summer shooting date. But with veteran Gotham City residents Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine aboard the cast of Nolan's new film, it's hopefully just a matter of time before the director starts going batty all over again.
Do you think Chris Nolan will direct "Batman 3"? What are the odds that he brings Leo aboard as a villain, and who would he play? Let us know your ideas in the comments!