Batman Begins (2005)

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer
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 . . .

The 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 sequences?

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:


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Photo Gallery # 2:

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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.

Trivia 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 Hugh Dancy.
  • 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 eventually cast.
  • Chris Cooper turned down the role of James Gordon.
  • 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 Lucius Fox.
  • 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 above.
  • 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 Department cars.
  • 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 armour.
  • 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 (2004).



Teaser Trailer:




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