I do not talk about myself on this website very often. I like using this website as a place to write about movies and, occasionally, promote things I’ve written that aren’t on this website. (Go buy The Moonborn if you haven’t yet, please.)
I currently find myself needing to write about myself, in trying to explain why this website has the weird name that it has and why it no longer has anything to do with Christian Bale. In order to do that, I have to tell the story of how this website evolved to the state it is in now.
I started this website in 2009. Over a decade ago. The website has changed since then—like the world has changed, like I have changed, like the world of entertainment has changed. And yes, like Christian Bale has changed.
A brief history of this website
At the beginning, there was one very simple concept for this website: hypothetical reboots starring Christian Bale. It didn’t even have the same name it has now. It was called What Should Bale Do. Oh, wait, to go even further back: the first version of it was a Blogspot called What Should Bale Do (before I moved it to WordPress, which I think was in 2011) and even before that I had a different Blogspot, which at some point I deleted, on which I wrote about hypothetical Christian Bale reboots and other dumb stuff. If that doesn’t make sense, read it again and it might.
A few examples of the blog posts I wrote on this website (or, really, the other website, What Should Bale Do) in its early days:
- Mr. Potter, in which I pitch a Harry Potter dark and gritty reboot about James Potter (played by Christian Bale) taking vengeance on the assassin who murdered his family. No wizards or magic.
- No Window, a remake of Rear Window from the murderer’s point of view. Murderer played by Christian Bale.
- The Sound and the Furious, a prequel to The Fast and the Furious that’s also a darker, grittier adaptation of The Sound and the Fury, but with racehorses. Bale as Jason Compson. I wrote about this twice. I still think it’s a good idea. https
- Blank Check 2. The rare non-dark, non-gritty sequel I pitched on this blog, where Bale plays a grown-up version of the kid from the first Blank Check but it involves a politician or something. (It now ranks for Blank Check 2, which people google weirdly a lot.)
- The Braver Littler Toaster. What it sounds like.
- A dark remake of The Waterboy
- A dark sequel to The Great Gatsby, called The Greater Gatsby.
- A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot focused solely on Casey Jones, called Casey Jones or maybe just Jones. Bale as Jones.
There were others too, but I don’t need to list all of them. You get it.
At a certain point, the joke got tired. Then, I tried something new, which is when the blog got even more tired. I tried writing things about Christian Bale, like suggesting that Bret Easton Ellis should write his Twitter account (that did not age well), some ramblings about him getting his Oscar, something suggesting that Christopher Nolan’s regular casts should be called The Bat Pack, and blah blah blah.
Then I wrote my first fan theory, not realizing how much it would end up changing my life. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. Writing fan theories changed my life.
It was called What Ever Happened to Bruce Wayne. It wasn’t very good, but a few weeks later I wrote my next fan theory, which had no connection to Christian Bale. This was first time I wrote something on this website with zero connection to Bale. It was called I Am Jack’s Fight Club Fan Theory and it was a fan theory about Tyler Durden being a real person. It’s kinda dumb but whatever.
Then somewhere along the lines the website went quiet again. I tried to find Bale-related things to write about. Didn’t write much. Wrote basically nothing until one day, in 2014, a friend of mine texted me a link to this article, asking “is this you?”
Here’s that article: 5 ‘Fight Club’ Fan Theories That Still Make Your Head Spin 15 Years Later
This mattered for a couple reasons:
- Someone had read something I’d written
- Someone had decided not to only read about something I’d written, but to write about it themself
- It was something I’d written entirely unrelated to Christian Bale
So I responded to this the only way I could think of: I wrote an exhausting double header of blog posts about Jon Snow and The Sun Also Rises, called The Snow Also Rises. This was the beginning of a new phase for the blog: abandoning the idea that it would be in some way about Christian Bale, but I did try to lean into the idea that it was still somehow related to dark and gritty reboots.
Okay, but let’s get to the point. Here’s what I really realized: the entire premise was tired, and it was only getting more tired. I kept writing stuff and some of it is stuff that I don’t feel great about. So let’s round up the real lessons for why this blog isn’t about Christian Bale OR dark-and-gritty reboots anymore.
Dark-and-gritty reboots aren’t funny anymore
They’re everywhere. And hypothetical ones aren’t very funny when, well, they’re everywhere. It’s that simple.
Celebrity worship is increasingly dangerous
I can keep this simple: while this blog’s name, What Would Bale Do, still seems very celebrity worshippy, I don’t want it to be that. But I am going to keep the name because, well, it seems like it would take a lot of effort to change it. There isn’t anything more dangerous than tying a brand to a celebrity you don’t control—or in my case, don’t even know—but whatever, I’m going to keep it as is.
Christian Bale’s career is pretty unrelated to dark and gritty reboots now
I mean, he was in the new Thor.
Fanboys are also dangerous. At times, literally.
I don’t need to elaborate here.
I really couldn’t come up with enough Bale-specific content
I have a lot of other stuff I wanted to write about and it’s more fun writing about it if I don’t have to connect it to Christian Bale.
Anyway, that’s why this blog isn’t about Christian Bale anymore. At least not most of the time. But I do think I’ll write something about American Psycho some time soon.
And I will say that by writing this blog post, I feel as if I’ve freed myself to write more about whatever I want, including when I have an occasional Bale-related idea.
Now go buy The Moonborn.