A Batman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It looks like it’s going to happen.

This is not the Batman, or even The Batman but a guy who used to play Batman — Christian Bale. Perhaps you have heard of him, or his celebrated stint as the Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. Although Bale remains a DC icon, it looks like he’s about to jump ship to the distinguished competition at Marvel, as Collider reports he is “in talks” to join Thor: Love and Thunder, the upcoming fourth Thor film from Marvel Studios.

They do not have much more info than that. (Marvel gave Collider a ‘no comment’ on their report):

Tessa Thompson will reprise her Ragnarok role as Valkyrie, while Natalie Portman will return to the franchise as Jane Foster, who apparently becomes Thor in this movie. [Director Taika] Waititi will also be back to provide the voice of Korg, who became an instant fan favorite. Marvel’s Kevin Feige will produce the comic book movie after the last Thor installment grossed $853 million worldwide. Bale’s role is being kept under wraps.

The world moves so fast these days that Bale is already two movie Batmen ago; Ben Affleck concluded his stint as the Dark Knight in Justice League and now Robert Pattinson is just beginning work on The Batman with director Matt Reeves. Given his phenomenal success with Nolan’s movies, and the fact that he’s still so closely associated with the Bat-role, there’s no way he could do another DC movie in another part. But Marvel? That’s another story.

This is a total guess, but given that Thor: Love and Thunder already has Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as the new female Thor, and Taika Waititi’s Korg, it seems mighty unlikely Waititi’s going to cast Bale as a heroic character. But the movie needs a villain — and that might be the perfect spot for a former Batman famous for his onscreen intensity.

Gallery — Actors Who’ve Made Marvel and DC Movies:

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