(CBR) Christian Bale knew what it took to portray the Dark Knight before he ever donned the cape and cowl — more specifically, Val Kilmer’s cape and cowl.

Arriving in stores Tuesday, "The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition" includes a cornucopia of extras from director Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster films, including footage of Bale’s screen test for 2005′s "Batman Begins" — he read opposite eventual Man of Steel star Amy Adams — while wearing Kilmer’s costume from 1995′s "Batman Forever".

“Christian, somehow, figured this out before the screen test, that you could not give a normal performance, that you could not give an ordinary performance,” Nolan recalls. “You had to project massive energy through this costume in order to not question the costume. So it’s about feeling and a voice, and I think Christian’s voice was a big part of the impression he made in the test.”

Be sure to stick around to the end to hear Bale utter, “I’m Batman.”

(via Batman News)

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