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    Bigger Paycheck For Batty Christian Bale?

    The Dark Knight, Christian Bale Warner Bros. Pictures

    Batman sources are confirming—as is Warners—that hothead Christian Bale, as expected, is back for his third Batman pic, once that flick starts filming, ideally for a 2011 release. And despite the fact that I'm told Bale's very interested in increasing his paycheck for this particular segment, "he has to do the movie," said a supertight C.B. crony. "He's bound contractually for another film."

    But before that third baby can even come to fruition, the Burbank powerhouse studio is currently making another flick, Inception, with Bale's Batman director, Chris Nolan.

    (Ironically, many suspicious Batman snoops think Inception could possibly be a cover for the third Batman film itself, as the plot's currently ultra hush-hush; stay tuned on that subplot.)

    Undoubtedly, Nolan, too, will be back for the comic book franchise that's made over a billion dollars on the last installment alone. That was The Dark Knight, 'course. Batman Begins made a paltry $300 million, friggin' cab fare by comparison. But will it all be an easy-as-pie sequel to put together?

    No.

    Sources with close ties to the parties above tell me money may very well be an issue. Even though everybody may be happy talking about another installment now, not only is there supposedly still no script, but the money's not on the table yet, a question mark which might end up changing everybody's mood.

    "That [current niceness] could change, once checkbooks start opening," quipped a Batman-connected source. "Because money talks and once the pens start writing the extra 0's, everything is fair game."

    Jeez, what idiot wouldn't want part of a flick that's suddenly made that kind of money? Reps for Bale and Warners would not comment.

    Oh, and what about that famous temper of Bale's? Could that be even more of a sticking point than the Brit star's supposedly keen interest in more cash? Are Mr. Bale's bosses at all gun-shy?

    "[Bale]'s been known for being very intense and focused on movie sets, but the blow-ups will not stop Warner Brothers from having him finish what he started," added the Batman deep-disher.

    Which is really just too funny. Because when I called around over at the legendary studio itself, asking if those exec-type folks were at all scared of a potential meltdown with the famously exacting star, I was told, "No way, Christian's a pro. You should hear the nasty stuff that comes out of [Warners producer] Joel Silver's office. Every day."

    True that. Screamers are right and left in this town. But, if you're in front of the camera, God, or a really good attorney, be with you.

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