Oscar winner Christian Bale already did his time saving the world as the Caped Crusader of Christopher Nolan’s hit Dark Knight films, so it’s no wonder he’s a little reluctant to play yet another larger-than-life hero.
“I’m good,” he laughed, contemplating a return to spandex during a chat about The Big Short, Paramount’s based-on-a-true-story dramedy about the global nightmare that unfolded when the American financial system crashed in 2008. “My days of wearing capes are over.”
Bale and Nolan have been at the center of hypothetical James Bond rumors for years. In an interview with The Daily Beast last year, Nolan said producers for the Bond films had been in contact with him about helming one. “I love James Bond and I’ve talked with the producers over the years, but nothing’s ever worked out,” Nolan said.
Rumors flew that Bale had even been offered the Bond role before the torch eventually passed on to Daniel Craig—speculation Bale flatly denied last year to Esquire while also squashing chatter that he’d been offered the Batsuit again for Batman v. Superman.
But 007 fatigue has seemingly sent Craig into early MI6 retirement, as evidenced by his downer of a Spectre press tour. “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,” Craig told Time Out. “That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”
Although it’s notched $324 million and counting internationally, and despite the fact that he’s got one more flick on his contract, Craig has hinted heavily that Spectre will be his final Bond film.
Bale’s name has been a constant on fans’ wish lists alongside the likes of Damien Lewis and audience favorite Idris Elba, who’d make for a spectacularly groundbreaking black 007. Even former Sony head Amy Pascal—the studio that distributes Bond—was onboard with a double-0 Elba. The Daily Beast uncovered an email she wrote on Jan. 4, 2014, that read, “Idris should be the next bond.”
Although the Welsh-born English star said he’d politely decline offers to don Bond’s tux, he cast an enthusiastic vote in the 007 debate.
“You know what?” he said, smiling. “Let’s have bloody Idris Elba as the next James Bond!”