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Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Actor Bale lands Batman role
Christian Bale
Bale made his name as the young star of Empire of the Sun
American Psycho star Christian Bale is to become the new caped crusader after landing the role of Batman.

Bale, 29, beat a host of young actors to become the latest in a line of famous names to play the role.

The film, directed by Christopher Nolan, will focus on the early crime-fighting career of Batman. "What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," said Nolan, who directed the movie Memento.

"He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."

Bale, who was born in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, made his name in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, playing a young boy in a Japanese-run prisoner of war camp in China.

He has had roles in a number of other films but it was his portrayal of a yuppie serial killer in the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho that launched him back into the big league.

Christopher Nolan
Director Christopher Nolan will direct the next Batman
The Warner Bros studio is attempting to revive the Batman film franchise, following the disastrous 1997 movie Batman and Robin, starring George Clooney as the hero.


Tim Burton's hugely successful 1989 film starring Michael Keaton, had put the character back into the limelight after Batman had become unfashionable.

Keaton starred once more as Batman, before handing the mantle to Val Kilmer in 1995's Batman Forever.

The first four Batman films took more than $1bn (641m) at cinemas around the world.

A number of Hollywood's hottest actors were thought to have screen tested for the latest project, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Dawson Creek's Joshua Jackson and Cillian Murphy, the star of British horror film 28 Days Later.

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