When a new actor takes over the role of Batman, they will be asked to perform a screen test for the role. This screen test will see the actor decked out in a Batsuit, so the director can see what they look like in costume.
An actor might sound convincing during an audition, but the true test is how good they look in the suit. To be the Dark Knight, the actor has to become the Dark Knight and if they don’t look the business then the role will go to someone else.
When Christian Bale was in talks to play the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), he performed a screen test, which saw him kitted out in a costume. But what was the costume he wore?
Christian Bale’s screen test Batsuit
When Christian Bale performed his screen test for Batman Begins, he wore a pre-existing Batsuit. A new suit did not exist at this point in time, so the production crew had to dust off a garment from Gotham’s past.
And the suit that Christian Bale wore came from Batman Forever (1995). The costume was the sonar Batsuit previously worn by Val Kilmer during the finale of the movie.
Bale wore this suit to deliver a few lines, and demonstrate he could be a fantastic Batman. And of course, as time would prove, Bale was indeed a great Caped Crusader, appearing in a total of three movies: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
What happened in Christian Bale’s screen test?
In Christian Bale’s screen test, the actor delivered a number of lines to a female actor and also to a male actor. These actors were mostly out of shot, so the camera could focus on Bale.
During the screen test, Bale uttered the lines: “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”, and “I’m Batman.” He sounded the part and of course, thanks to the Batsuit from Batman Forever, he looked the part too.
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