Christian Bale Hasn’t Seen “Dark Knight Returns”

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Christian Bale has apparently not been able to watch his performance in The Dark knight Rises since 2012, due to the tragic shooting that occurred on the movie’s opening night.

Bale played Bruce Wayne/Batman in the film, which was the third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy that began with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The latter in particular is considered by many to be one of the best superhero movies of all time.

The Dark Knight Rises is generally considered to be the weakest of the three, but is nevertheless a head above many other comic book films, retaining the others’ thoughtful deconstruction and examination of the genre’s tropes. It was also the first film to be shot with IMAX cameras and the first superhero flick to gross $500 million domestically and $1 billion globally.

Unfortunately, the opening of the film on July 20, 2012 was marred by tragedy. At a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman named James Eagan Holmes set off tear gas during a midnight screening of the movie, and then proceeded to shoot into the crowd, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. It was the 17th deadliest mass shooting in American history and the worst in Colorado since Columbine.

“Very sadly, I have not been able to watch that film since because of the whole tragedy of Aurora,” Bale explained. “I have not been able to sit down and see it without thinking of that. I’d love to be able to, one day.”

It is understandable why Bale might have difficulties with that film, given the tragedy attached to it. It is also unclear how much choosing that particular movie mattered to Eagan. He was apparently a fan of the Batman franchise, with paraphernalia decorating his apartment; some also believe that the gas mask he wore during the shooting was meant to make him look like Bane, the villain of the movie. He comes off almost like a wannabe supervillain himself, apparently seeing his actions as some kind of nihilistic manifesto: “The message is, there is no message,” he said at one point.

Bale also mentioned that he has not seen Ben Affleck’s take on the Dark Knight in any of the DC Extended Universe films, though he hopes to at some point in the future.

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