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Christian Bale Talks "End Of That Batman Era" & Casting Of The Film

In a recent interview, Warner Bros.' reigning Batman, Christian Bale, confirmed that Christopher Nolan's upcoming The Dark Knight Rises will be his final turn in the superhero's cape.

"I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I'm taking that cowl off," Bale said in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "I believe the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it's all done. Everything's finished. It's me and Chris - that will be the end of that Batman era."

Nostalgia aside, Bale also discussed the fresh faces Batman fans will be seeing when The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20, 2012.

He gave his stamp of approval to Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman in the film.

“I had plenty of scenes with Anne,” said the actor. “And I was there when we did the screen test for her. The thing that I said to Chris that day was that there were many very accomplished actresses who had read for the role. I’m terrible at auditions, so I’m very impressed when somebody really seems to acquire an ownership of a character without having worked on it or prepared for some amount of time.”

He also believes she had the biggest shoes to fill. "In many ways, she has the hardest job," said Bale. "There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne’s role as being the toughest job of any of us. In my case, I’ve stopped referencing outside sources. I now reference Chris’ own world of Batman as a guide to what I will continue doing.”

But it wasn't just his feminine counterpart that the actor talked about. He called Tom Hardy (who plays the villain Bane in the film" a 'phenomenal actor," saying, " I like working with him a great deal. He goes the whole hog. I know that Bane has been seen in movies before. But, in my eyes, Tom is essentially creating Bane for the first time so there’s great freedom for him to be able to do so.”

As for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who reunites with Nolan after appearing (along with Hardy) in his 2010 Inception, Bale says the actor is "somebody who truly seems to love acting. He’s a good, smart guy. He did a very good job in the movie.”

The Dark Knight Rises is being made with a budget of $250 million -- the highest of all three films.

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