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Christian Bale says he was just told one day that he would no longer be playing Batman.
The British actor was talking ahead of the release of his new racing drama Le Mans '66, the emotional true story of two friends who rocked the racing world.
Speaking to LADbible, the 45-year-old opened up about the end of his time as the Dark Knight, which he said wasn't really his choice.
When we asked him about how it feels to see someone else play the iconic role, he said: "That's why we're outside protesting, outside the movie theatres. There's also the fact that I had no choice in the matter.
"It's not like you go 'you know what, I'll hand it over now' and there's a ceremony, you get told 'oh, you're not it anymore', 'uh, oh really?', 'yeah, someone else is'.
"Ok, yeah it's not in our hands."
Le Mans centres around prickly racing outsider Ken Miles, who teamed up with American car designer and former F1 racer Carroll Shelby (Damon) to build a revolutionary Ford car to win the French endurance race and dethrone Ferrari as the king of the racing world.
The two friends must overcome their own differences and the pressure from the powers that be at Ford who are intent on dividing them, to create history.
Ahead of filming, Bale and Damon both researched their characters meticulously, speaking to their family and friends about who they really were so they could do the two men justice.
The American Psycho actor said: "I just felt an obligation to be transparent with the family members, as you have to do with any character you're playing who's real.
"Just an understanding that look, 'we're taking your story but we've got to put into two hours', so there's going to be some license taken - we're trying to get the essence of who the person is.
"And once they understand that, then trying to put absolutely as much as you can, but of course, there are treasure troves of wonderful stories, family stories, that you can just never include. It's a real tragedy."
Damon added: "As Christian said, the script was great, so it wasn't as if anything needed to change on the floor, it was very clear what we had to do, [we] showed up ready to work, loved the work, and got it done."
But if you're sat there thinking this is just a movie about racing, think again, the film's stars say there's much more to it than that.
Speaking on the red carpet at the film's Los Angeles premiere, Bale told LADbible: "It doesn't matter if you don't know anything about racing. That was what we really had to struggle with because you can get a film where you're devoted to beautiful shots of bumpers, engines, and all that, and any gear head is absolutely going to fall in love with it.
"But this essentially comes down to a story about this incredible friendship but told at 230mph."
Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line), Le Mans '66 also stars The Punisher Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon.
Le Mans '66 is in cinemas across the UK from today.
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.
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