Christian Bale didn’t take Batman seriously until he read Batman Year One.

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The Dark Knight star says Frank Miller’s graphic novel – which was used as a starting point for director Chris Nolan when he revived the Batman film franchise in 2005 – first got him interested in the role.

Bale – who last week was arrested and released on bail for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister – said: “My inspiration was clearly Chris Nolan’s ideas but also Frank Miller’s graphic novel Batman Year One and what he started with that – it was a far darker, more serious take, a more conflicted character that he had. That was the first time I had viewed it as something being worth portraying.”

The character Batman started out in 1939 as a comic book hero before being made into a TV series in the 60s.

Despite other actors including Michael Keaton, George Clooney and Val Kilmer playing the Caped Crusader, Bale insists he was determined to make the role his own.

Bale added to BANG Showbiz: “Well with all due respect to the other actors who have played Batman, I never felt like I was stepping into it – I felt like we were creating something different to anything I’d ever seen before.

“Because I’d never been a particular Batman fan or comic book fan, I was coming at it from a very different point of view. Although, I like the original series with Adam West in a spoofy fashion.”