Many superhero fans believe Christian Bale offered the definitive version of Batman across three intensely dark films.

Ask the actor himself, though, and he seems he's not quite as happy with his performance in the trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan.

"I didn't quite manage what I hoped I would throughout the trilogy," Bale told Yahoo in a recent interview.

"Chris did, but my own sense of self is like, 'I didn't quite nail it'."


Bale believed Heather Ledger's Oscar-winning turn in the second film, 2008's The Dark Knight, trumped his performance as the caped crusader.

"Heath turned up, and just kind of completely ruined all my plans," Bale said.

"Because I went, 'He's so much more interesting than me and what I'm doing'."

He described Batman as a "dark, messed-up character," but said when he put on the suit he said it helped him get in character and allow "his true monstrous self to come out".

Ben Affleck's take on Batman will next be seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, due for release on March 24.