Christian Bale has confirmed that "The Dark Knight Rises" will be his last appearance as Batman/Bruce Wayne on the silver screen in a recent interview, meaning he will be exiting the series along with Christopher Nolan now that the director's "Dark Knight" trilogy is complete.

“I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I’m taking that cowl [Batman hood] off,” said Bale in an interview with reporter Ruben V. Nepales of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it’s all done. Everything’s finished. It’s me and Chris – that will be the end of that Batman era.”

"Rises" marks Bale's third time out as the Caped Crusader after 2005's "Batman Begins" and 2008's "The Dark Knight", making him the actor to most frequently recur in the role since Tim Burton's "Batman" starring Michael Keaton was released in 1989.

Joining Bale in the franchise for the first time with this installment are Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane and Marion Cotillard as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate. Returning cast members include Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as police commissioner James Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Bruce Wayne's business manager Lucius Fox.

"The Dark Knight Rises" is slated to hit theaters on July 20, 2012. 

What do you think of this news? Has Bale's portrayal of the character been to your liking, or have you preferred one of the other actors who preceded him in the role?