Despite the voice, Christian Bale is widely considered to be the best big screen Batman to date, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star Ben Affleck has a lot to live up to after the British actor's superb take on the iconic DC Comics superhero in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Talking about his upcoming movie with Sir Ridley Scott (Exodus: Gods and Kings) in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, Bale was asked how he felt to learn that Gone Girl's Ben Affleck had been cast as the superhero in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel follow-up, it sounds as if he was as shocked as the rest of us!
"I've got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, 'Oh go on... Let's do another.' So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour."
It's not clear whether the offer was ever there to return in Batman v Superman or if he's referring to another movie with Nolan, especially as there were always rumors that Bale was being looked at to reprise the role (despite the continuity headaches that would have caused).
"But I'm 40," he adds. "The fact that I'm jealous of someone else playing Batman...I think I should have gotten over it by now. I haven't spoken with Ben, but I emailed him offering bits of advice that I learned the hard way. I would imagine he is doing everything he can to avoid anything that I did."
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25, 2016.