Christian Bale has apparently revealed that his superhero alter-ego Batman gets to confront his past in The Dark Knight Rises.
The Oscar-winning actor, who reprises his role as the Caped Crusader in the upcoming third - and final - instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, explained that Bruce Wayne will explore the "loss" he has been running away from since Batman Begins, according to AceShowbiz.com.
"It's time for Bruce Wayne to face the pain that has always stirred his life," he said.
"We agreed that Bruce Wayne is absolutely sincere as Bruce Wayne, and as Batman utterly sincere. But Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a pure facade, it's a lie he has, somehow, to control one side of your soul that's not really under control. In fact, only Alfred knows who he is."
He added: "How long will you let the pain and loss define your life? Walking around chasing bad guys is very heroic and attracts attention, but at the end it all accounts for, as a means to deal with the pain of a huge loss."
Christian - who next stars in Zhang Yimou's politically-charged The Flowers Of War - admitted he would miss the superhero.
"It's like saying goodbye to an old friend. When you have the opportunity to be a character so many times, you develop another relationship with him, a more profound one," he explained.
The Dark Knight Rises, which also stars Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is set to open in July 2012.