Date: 15th September 2003

Batman is a Brit

Christian Bale is to become the first British actor to play Batman.

Welsh-born Bale, 29, who starred in American Psycho, will play the part in a new film focussing on Batman's early years.

Christopher Nolan, who made Memento, will direct the movie, which is set to begin filming in early 2004.

He said: "What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne. He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."

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.

Jake Gyllenhaal, of Donnie Darko, Dawson Creek's Joshua Jackson and Cillian Murphy, the star of 28 Days Later, were all thought to have screen tested for the new role.

Source: Press Release