Christian Bale has admitted that the success of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, has come as an "incredible surprise".

Speaking at the European premiere of the film in London's Leicester Square last night Bale joked that he was usually referred to as "box-office poison" and that "most of the movies that I've done have bombed".

Bale was joined by Sir Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and the film's director Christopher Nolan on the red carpet on Monday night.

The stars were almost upstaged though by a giant Batmobile being driven through Leicester Square which drew large cheers from the waiting crowd.

Gyllenhaal, who plays Rachel Dawes in the film, claimed she was "so glad to be part" of the success of the film.

"When I first started making movies I didn't care if anyone saw them, and now I realise I don't want to make movies for the ten people who feel the same way about the world as I do," she said.

There was also considerable praise for Heath Ledger who plays the Joker in The Dark Knight.

"He did an incredible job with the Joker… I enjoyed watching him perform," Bale said.

Ledger died of an accidental drugs overdose in January at the age of 28.

The Dark Knight has so far taken a record $158 million (£78 million) in the US and is released in the UK on July 24th.

22/07/2008 10:15:52