Movies are meant to be an opportunity for audiences to put their real-world stresses behind and enjoy a story, an experience which midnight attendees of The Dark Knight Rises were robbed of when a gunman opened fire on the audience during the film on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. The shooting left 12 people dead and 70 wounded, as well as inspiring fear in many moviegoers who now think twice about attending any film screening. Additionally, even Batman himself, Christian Bale, can't bring himself to watch the film without thinking of the tragedy.
"Very sadly, I have not been able to watch that film since because of the whole tragedy of Aurora," Bale told the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "I have not been able to sit down and see it without thinking of that. I'd love to be able to, one day."
At the time, the shooting was the most deadly incident on U.S. soil, up until the Las Vegas shooting in October of 2017. The Aurora shooting also became the most deadly shooting in Colorado, surpassing the Columbine High School massacre of 1999.
What made the tragedy all the more horrific is that the gunman told authorities that he was "The Joker," as he had dyed his hair bright orange, clearly inspired by the popular Batman villain.
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is often lauded as some of the best superhero films of all time, yet Bale himself doesn't necessarily share that opinion.
“Mixed emotions about it,” Bale told Variety. “I’m always eternally grateful to [director] Chris [Nolan]. For instance, Rescue Dawn, Werner [Herzog] and I had been trying to put that together for a few years. American Psycho, Mary Harron and I had been trying to put that together for a few years. No one was interested. Why? Me. Suddenly everyone said, ‘Yeah, alright. We’ll go with him.’ It did change everything. It was the first time I had done a film of that magnitude. That was a real learning curve for me. I wrestled with it for a long time. I still do on occasions. But I’m just learning, hey, accept the good things.”
Bale's latest film, Hostiles, is out now.
[H/T Happy Sad Confused]