Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Gary
Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger
Director: Christopher Nolan
Opening Date: June 17, 2005
After the critical and box office disaster known as
Batman & Robin, this potentially lucrative
celluloid superhero franchise was practically killed off. Except, well, it
wasn’t such a box office disaster - even though one would have wanted it
to – which is probably one of the reasons why the bean counters at Warner
Bros. actually considered Batman & Robin director Joel Schumacher
to direct a fifth installment in this increasingly lame and camp series!
Anyway, eight years - can it really have been that
long?! - and endless Internet rumors later a fifth installment titled
Batman Begins (is that a threat?) will hit theatre screens with an
all-new star and director in an attempt to revive this franchise, and
hopefully steer it into a new direction closer to Tim Burton’s darker and
more brooding Batman Returns away from the day-glo
camp of Batman Forever . . .
new director is Christopher Nolan, of Memento fame (yay!) and the new
Batman/Bruce Wayne is Christian Bale. Bale kicked off his career as a
child actor in Steven Spielberg’s ill-fated Empire of the Sun, but
in recent years made a memorable lead turn in American Psycho
(buffing up for the role) and his potential as action hero was showcased
in the underperforming Equilibrium.
Bale has shown that he can be the new Arnie (sans the
Gestapo officer accent, of course) but does Nolan have what it takes to
direct a big-budget Hollywood epic. Memento was a neat and clever
crime thriller, but will Nolan be able to pull off exciting action
More importantly for its studio, Warner Bros., is
whether Batman Begins can bring back the “superhero crown” back to
DC Comics. For years DC Comics characters such as
Superman and Batman has gotten the Hollywood
big budget treatment (and box office success) while Albert (Knights,
Cyborg) Pyun directed a no-budget version of
Marvel’s Captain America and so on.
In recent years the process has been reversed: suddenly
Marvel Comics characters such as X-Men, Blade
and Spider-man ruled the roost (okay, that’s
excluding the Hulk fiasco here) while DC Comics
had . . . Catwoman.
Me? I would have preferred to see someone film Kevin
Smith’s clever Superman Lives with someone other than Nicholas Cage
as the Man of Steel. However, perhaps we should be glad that the
Superman franchise hasn’t been revived yet:
Hollywood probably would have botched it. I mean, what were they exactly
thinking seriously considering Nicholas Cage as Superman!?!
Still, at least the Batman
franchise is out of the hands of Joel Schumacher and screenwriter Akiva (Lost
in Space) Goldman – all of which is good news! (Screenwriting credits
instead go to regular Blade scribe and
Blade III: Trinity director David Goyer.)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: the plot is an “origins”
story and nothing shouts “we’d like you forget everything you remember
about the previous four films!” quite like that . . .
Photo gallery # 1:
(Click on images to enlarge
Photo Gallery # 2:
Plot Summary for Batman Begins:
As a young boy, Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire
parents were slain in front of him--a trauma that leads him to become
obsessed with revenge. But the opportunity to avenge his parent's deaths
is cruelly taken away from him by fate. Fleeing to the East, where he
seeks counsel with the dangerous but honorable ninja cult leader known as
Ra's Al-Ghul, Bruce returns to his now decaying Gotham City, which is
overrun by organized crime and other dangerous individuals manipulating
the system. Meanwhile, Bruce is slowly being swindled out of Wayne
Industries, the company he inherited. The discovery of a cave under his
mansion, along with a prototype armored suit, leads him to assume a new
persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong;
he becomes Batman!!! In the new guise, and with the help of rising cop Jim
Gordon, Batman sets out to take down the various nefarious schemes in
motion by individuals such as mafia don Falcone, the twisted doctor/drug
dealer Jonathan 'The Scarecrow' Crane, and a mysterious third party that
is quite familiar with Wayne and waiting to strike when the time is right.
about Batman Begins:
Before Christian Bale was cast as Batman,
many other actors were considered for the role including Guy Pearce,
Ashton Kutcher, David Boreanaz, John Cusack, David Duchovny and newcomer
Marilyn Manson was once considered for the
role of Scarecrow.
A very large number of directors were
considered to direct the film. For some time, despite the fourth movie's
failure, Joel Schumacher was attached to direct the film based on the
Batman: Year One saga. After he left, among others, the producers opted
for an even darker approach, and officially asked David Fincher to
direct the film, who declined. At one point, following the Dark Knight
saga, producers considered an older Batman, with Clint Eastwood taking
the director duties as well as donning the cape. In 2002, producers
planned to make a Superman vs. Batman movie with Wolfgang Petersen at
the helm, but Petersen instead opted to make Troy (2004) for
Warners. Finally, Christopher Nolan took over the project in 2003.
Before Chris Nolan took over, director
Darren Aronofsky was attached to make a Batman movie based on the
graphic novel "Batman: Year One" and have the author Frank Miller write
the screenplay. As of 2003 there is officially a first draft screenplay
with story boards, which are properties of AOL Time Warner. Warners'
decision for not producing the film is unknown.
Only days before the role of Batman
Begins was cast, only eight actors were asked to audition for the
part. The actors were Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, Hugh
Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Henry Cavill, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Christian Bale got the part. However, Chris Nolan liked Cillian Murphy's
performance so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.
Christopher Eccleston was rumoured for the
role of Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow before Cillian Murphy was
Chris Cooper turned down the role of James
Viggo Mortensen turned down the role of
Ra's Al Ghul, the main villain in the film. 'Daniel Day Lewis' was also
approached for the role.
Kurt Russell, and Dennis Quaid were
considered for the role of James Gordon.
The title went through many changes.
First, it was known as "Batman 5". It became "Batman: The Frightening"
for a while and was then confirmed by Shepperton Studios' website as
"Batman: Intimidation Game" before settling on "Batman Begins".
The movie restarts the Batman franchise,
having nothing to do with the previous four films, namely Batman
(1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and
Batman & Robin (1997).
Anthony Hopkins was offered the role of
Alfred but declined.
Laurence Fishburne was considered for
The Batman costume was so tight, it took
three squirts of talcum powder to get Christian Bale to fit it.
Filming was temporarily delayed on the
London soundstage due to the sound of amorous pigeons in the rafters
The crime boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone
was a character from the comics. He was Gotham City's last "old school"
gangster. He was killed, and his empire wiped out, when Batman's
familiar rogue's gallery came into prominence.
Filming began on 22 May 2004 at Senate
House (a property belonging to the University of London, just off
Russell Square). The front of the building was made up as the Gotham
City courts, complete with New York-style taxis and Gotham Police
Christian Bale's trailer didn't have his
name on the door, but said "Bruce Wayne" instead.
A full block of Gotham city was built
based upon the towering slums of Kowloon, Hong Kong before 1994.
The Batmobile has four 44-inch Humvee
tires at the rear, while the front is covered in jagged plates of
On the set, the costumed Bale constantly
had two people trailing him to keep the Batsuit smudge-free.
On a converted parking lot at Shepperton,
the film crew built an entire village of trailers where chemists and
costume artists made neoprene-and-foam-latex Batsuits. The place was
dubbed "Cape Town."
This Batsuit has no nipples, unlike the
one George Clooney wore in Batman and Robin.
Cameo: [Tim Booth] the ex-lead singer of
British rock group James appears as a thug.
The script was written by David S. Goyer
while he was also writing and preparing to direct Blade: Trinity