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Batman Begins (2005) Poster

(2005)

Trivia

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Christian Bale's active dislike of his uncomfortable Batman outfit helped his performance as the Dark Knight as he was perpetually in a foul mood when wearing it.
Although Christian Bale performed many of his own stunts, he wasn't allowed anywhere near the Batmobile.
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Christian Bale revealed in interviews in 2009 that in his first scene with Sir Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman (one involving Bale waking up in bed to find them waiting there), he fell asleep after getting ready for the scene. Bale described waking up to find Sir Michael Caine poking him in the ribs, saying "Look at that! He's bloody fallen asleep."
In an interview with Moviefone, Christian Bale said that he became interested in playing Batman after a friend of his loaned him the graphic novel "Arkham Asylum" (by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean) in 2000. After he read it, he told his agent that if anyone was making another Batman movie, he wanted in.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan is reputed to have been so fascinated with Cillian Murphy's bright blue eyes that he kept trying to find reasons and ways to have Crane remove his glasses.
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While shooting on the streets of Chicago, a person accidentally crashed into the Batmobile. The driver was apparently drunk, and said he hit the car in a state of panic, believing the Dark Knight's vehicle to be an invading alien spacecraft.
This movie inspired James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to reboot the James Bond film franchise, and reinvent the character of British secret agent James Bond and making him much darker, and more realistic, with Casino Royale (2006).
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The language used by Ken Watanabe is neither Japanese nor Tibetan, nor in fact any known language at all. It's supposedly some gibberish he says he made up himself for the role, though the subtitles list it as Urdu.
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Christian Bale decided early on in the audition process that he didn't want to play Batman straight, but to play him as a rage-filled monster, figuring that it might polarize writer and director Christopher Nolan. To his delight, Nolan was thrilled with his off-kilter interpretation.
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Heath Ledger was considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman during this movie's early development before Ledger and Nolan agreed he was not right for the role. After this, he was cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), a role that won him an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan decided that there would be no second unit, and so for the whole 129 shooting days, Nolan oversaw every shot of the movie personally.
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(at around 17 mins) When Christian Bale and Liam Neeson were fighting on the frozen lake, they could hear the ice cracking beneath their feet. The next day, the lake was completely melted.
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Before shooting began, writer and director Christopher Nolan invited the whole movie crew to a private screening of Blade Runner (1982). After the movie, he said to the whole crew, "This is how we're going to make 'Batman'."
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Much of Batman's gear and apparel, including his cape and suit, is based on real-life military technology.
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First live-action appearance by The Scarecrow, a villain dating back to Batman's earliest comic stories. While considered for the 1960s television series, he was never used, and was to be the main villain in the fifth Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher movie that was shelved.
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Christian Bale lost his voice three times during filming, after altering his voice while playing Batman.
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An unforeseen problem with the ninja training academy was that Liam Neeson towered over the rest of the men. This was swiftly solved by putting most of the ninjas on wooden blocks.
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Christian Bale's trailer didn't have his name on the door, but said "Bruce Wayne" instead.
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Since Alfred's sense of duty and loyalty towards Bruce Wayne reminded him of military comradeship, Sir Michael Caine based his character's voice on that of a Colonel he knew when he was in the Army as an eighteen-year-old.
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Due to his part in The Machinist (2004), Christian Bale was vastly underweight (about one hundred twenty pounds on his six foot frame) when he was under consideration for the part. After being cast, he was told to become as "big as you could be" by Christopher Nolan. Bale underwent a six month dietary and exercise regimen, and ending up weighing about two hundred twenty pounds (about forty pounds above his normal weight). It was decided that Bale had become too large (friends of his on this movie's crew dubbed him "Fatman") and he quickly shed about twenty pounds to have leaner, more muscular frame. Bale described the experience as an unbearable physical ordeal.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan originally didn't want to give The Scarecrow a mask. Screenwriter David S. Goyer was able to talk him into it.
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Only a few days before the role of Batman was cast, eight actors were asked to audition for the part. They were Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eion Bailey, Hugh Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Henry Cavill, and Jake Gyllenhaal. David Duchovny was once again considered to play the part of Bruce Wayne/Batman since he was considered for the latest movie which was Batman & Robin (1997). While Bale won the part, Christopher Nolan liked Murphy's audition so much, he cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane a.k.a. The Scarecrow. Part of the audition process involved the actors wearing a Batman suit (minus the cape which has been missing for some time) used by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995), which was brought out of storage for this purpose.
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None of the big name cast members were initially told that this movie was a Batman movie, as the script they were sent was titled "The Intimidation Game". Sir Michael Caine commented that when he first saw the title, he assumed the script was some kind of gangster movie.
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The cape was made with a technique called electrostatic flocking, taught to the crew by the British Ministry of Defense and normally used to decrease the night-vision visibility of objects. Nylon parachute fabric was brushed with glue and covered with fine hair-like material. An electrostatic current was then passed under the material, creating a dark sheen while maintaining the billowing appearance.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan generally filmed the fight scenes with the actors doing as many of the stunts as physically possible (in the case of Christian Bale and Liam Neeson, that was pretty much all of them). He would then shoot the same fight sequences with the stuntmen for coverage.
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Tim Burton and Michael Keaton, from Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), have said they were impressed by this movie.
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Contrary to the previous Batman movies, in which the Batcave was realized as a combination of a live set and matte paintings (done either by hand or computer), no visual effects were used in this movie to show the Batcave. The entire Batcave is instead a massive full-scale set.
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During interviews with Christian Bale while promoting this movie, he continued using the American accent he'd adopted to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. He explained that he didn't want potential moviegoers to be confused about why Batman, an American institution, was being played by a Welshman. However, this may not be the whole truth, as Bale rarely gives an interview in his native Welsh accent. It is believed that this is because Bale is always using whichever accent is required for his next role, which reflects his commitment as a method actor.
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The house which served as the setting of "Wayne Manor" in this movie was Mentmore Towers, the former Rothschild estate located in Buckinghamshire, England. The mansion served as the O'Connells' house in The Mummy Returns (2001), and has also been featured in such other movies as Brazil (1985), Slipstream (1989), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Quills (2000), Ali G Indahouse (2002), and Johnny English (2003).
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Hans Zimmer named the tracks in the soundtrack after types of Bats. The first letters of tracks 4-9 in the soundtrack, spell "BATMAN". ("Barbastella", "Artibeus", "Tadarida", "Macrotus", "Antrozous" and "Nycteris")
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Instances with just one or two bats in the shot (such as the single bat gone astray inside Wayne's mansion), uses real bats, but each scene with a flock of bats had to be done using CGI bats, since it was decided to be too difficult to control that many bats at once.
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Screenwriter David S. Goyer mentioned in an interview that his favorite pre-audition choice for Batman was Jake Gyllenhaal, but that he was won over by Christian Bale after seeing his test. Jake's sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal was later cast in The Dark Knight (2008).
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The first day of filming that Christian Bale tried on the Batsuit, he stayed in it all day, in an effort to get used to it.
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The 2006 "Forbes Fictional 15" ranks Bruce Wayne as the seventh richest fictional character, with a net worth of approximately $6.8 billion.
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According to DC Comics, Batman stands 6'2" and weighs two hundred ten pounds. Christian Bale stands 6'½" (according to his IMDb profile) and at the time of filming, weighed two hundred ten pounds.
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This marks one of the first times the Keysi fighting style has been showcased on film.
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A pair of Batman pajama bottoms can be seen hanging from the line in the scene where Batman talks to the little boy in the Narrows.
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At the time of this movie's release, Forbes Magazine did a breakdown of how much it would actually cost to become Batman. The magazine estimated that total expenses would be around $3.5 million.
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Ra's Al Ghul is Arabic for "The Demon's Head". This refers to his position at the height of the Brotherhood of the Demon, a.k.a. The League of Shadows. Al-Ghul translates to The Ghoul in Arabic, but generally is summarized as Demon.
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Sir Michael Caine signed on to play Alfred for the chance to work with the "clever" writer and director Christopher Nolan. He has now appeared in every Nolan movie since.
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The only Batman movie in the Nolan trilogy to utilize "flash fighting". Christopher Nolan has said that the idea was to convey Batman's strikingly fast fighting abilities and make him seem quick and a formidable opponent. It was not however, utilized in the sequels.
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This movie's marketing costs, $100 million, were, at the time, the most ever spent on one movie.
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On the set, the costumed Christian Bale constantly had two people trailing him to keep the Batsuit smudge-free.
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Unlike most characters in the movie, Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) doesn't exist in any DC Comics' series. She was created by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. The role was written expressly for Katie Holmes, with Claire Danes and Reese Witherspoon as back-up considerations.
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(at around 1h 8 mins) Bruce Wayne is shown arriving at a fancy hotel in a Lamborghini Murciélago. The word "murciélago" is Spanish for bat (although the car was named after a prized bull owned by Don Antonio Miura, who had nothing to do with bats).
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Despite this movie's darkness, Christopher Nolan wanted to make this movie appeal to a wide age range. "Not the youngest kids obviously, I think what we've done is probably a bit intense for them, but I certainly didn't want to exclude the sort of ten to twelve-year-olds, because as a kid, I would have loved to have seen a movie like this." Because of this, nothing gory or bloody was filmed.
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Marilyn Manson, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, and Jeremy Davies were considered for the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane a.k.a. The Scarecrow.
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"Batman" is said only ten times throughout this movie.
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The title went through many changes. First, when it was planned to take place in the same universe as the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films, it was known as "Batman 5". It became "Batman: The Frightening" for a while, with the Scarecrow as the main villain, reviving the Joker from Batman (1989) and the Penguin from Batman Returns (1992) as fear gas illusions. To prevent script leaks, they were titled "Intimidation Game" to throw off the public, before settling on "Batman Begins".
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Christian Bale had read some of the graphic novels long before he played Batman. He said that in 2000, a friend lent him a copy of the graphic novel "Arkham Asylum," which he thoroughly enjoyed, and made him wonder why that version of Batman hadn't been portrayed on-screen. In preparing for the role, Bale said he made a conscious effort to avoid watching the performances of previous Batman actors, so he could approach the character from a fresh perspective.
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The Batmobile, nine feet wide, and sixteen feet long, has a top speed of one hundred six miles (one hundred seventy kilometers) per hour, and can accelerate from zero to sixty miles (ninety-six kilometers) per hour in six seconds. The engine is a 5.7 liter V8 Chevy. It runs on unleaded gasoline, and can do about seven miles per gallon. It has four 44-inch tires at the rear, made by Interco Tire Corporation, while the front is covered in jagged plates of armor. It was designed and built by Chris Corbould and Andrew Smith at Shepperton Studios in England. This Batmobile was built from the ground up, and is estimated to be worth half a million pounds sterling. It was designed by mashing together several different off-the-shelf model kits. Its construction was so exacting to the model, that they even duplicated the blobs of excess glue.
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A quote from Christian Bale that some of the crew had on the back of their t-shirts (the wardrobe department did it as a joke) said: "It's hot, dark, and sweaty, and it gives me a headache."
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The license plates for the Gotham related cars were designed in the same style as the Illinois license plates. This was done to stay consistent with other vehicle license plates while filming the car chases in Chicago.
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Christian Bale's older sister, Louise Bale, portrayed Bruce Wayne's mother, Mrs. Wayne, in the short The Death of Batman (2003).
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Gary Oldman agreed to play Jim Gordon without even reading the script. He was the last actor cast, and he learned his lines on the flight to his first location.
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According to an interview with production designer Nathan Crowley, the waterfall guarding the entrance to the Batcave was originally meant to cover a solid rock wall, which Batman's enemies would slam into when attempting the jump in. The rock wall would have been opened with a button inside the Batmobile, but the sequence was cut before filming began.
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Christopher Nolan wanted to show Batman from the criminal's point of view, showing less of him. He says, "You would see him as more frightening. There would be more suspense."
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Over twenty prototypes of The Scarecrow's face were crafted before settling on the final piece.
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Christian Bale said that his main motivation about this movie was coming from his disappointments about previous Batman movies.
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(at around 3 mins) In the opening fight sequence, where Wayne and Ducard are debating the number of criminals Wayne was fighting, there are actually seven, meaning Wayne was right.
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Batman is never actually seen "hitting" anyone, most likely due to the "flash fighting" style/technique.
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In the previous Batman movies, the Oscar winners played the villains. In this one, the Oscar winners are on the heroes' side: Sir Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
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Christian Bale was the first actor to meet with writer and director Christopher Nolan about playing Batman.
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There were five Batmobiles made for this movie.
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Filming was temporarily delayed on the London soundstage due to the sound of amorous pigeons in the rafters above.
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Liam Neeson hesitated to do this movie. A Superman fan, he says he found Batman "scary".
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A full city block of Gotham, much of it based on the slums of Kowloon in Hong Kong, which were torn down in 1994, was built in a converted aircraft hangar.
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Bruce Wayne does not appear in full Batman costume until just over an hour into the movie.
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Ashton Kutcher was in heavy considerations for the role of Bruce Wayne and was reportedly the studio executives' choice for the same. Writer and director Christopher Nolan however, was not enthusiastic about the idea of casting Kutcher in the role, which prompted Warner Brothers studio heads to drop the idea. Kutcher's casting would have led to a controversy similar to the one that sparked the Batman (1989) movie when Michael Keaton, a comic actor, was cast as Batman.
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(at around 1h 21 mins) This is the only Batman movie (live-action and animated) to celebrate Bruce Wayne's birthday. He turns thirty. You can see a big "30" in the background when Rachel comes by to give him his present.
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Early work on the script and the production design was conducted in the back of Christopher Nolan's garage. During the writing process, Nolan and David S. Goyer sometimes took walks near the site of the original Batcave from Batman (1966).
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Liam Neeson had to hunch down during the final fight with Christian Bale due to the height difference between them, Neeson being 6'4", with Bale being 6'½".
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Christian Bale kept Batman graphic novels on the set for inspiration. He loved the imagery.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins was offered the role of Alfred, but declined.
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A significant portion of the main cast consists of European actors performing American accents for their parts. Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman) is Welsh; Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon) is English; Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane) is Irish; Tom Wilkinson (Carmine Falcone) is English; Rutger Hauer (Earle) is Dutch; Linus Roache (Thomas Wayne) is English; and Colin McFarlane (Loeb) is English. Sara Stewart (Bruce Wayne's mother) is Scottish.
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The "daylight" coming through the windows of Wayne Manor was created by a single 100,000-watt floodlight which weighed nearly 400 pounds.
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The wide shot of the house of the League of Shadows was entirely computer-generated.
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Initially, writer and director Christopher Nolan wanted to cast Gary Oldman as a villain, and Chris Cooper as Gordon. Cooper, however, wanted to spend more time with his family, so Nolan hit on the unusual idea of casting Oldman as a character who was not a baddie.
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The Gotham Police cruisers' color scheme is based on that of the New York Police Department. Gotham was meant by Bob Kane to be a caricature of New York City.
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The movie references the comic, "Batman Year One" by Frank Miller with Detective Flass, the corrupt cop, being partnered with James Gordon. It further follows the storyline by showing Gordon refusing to turn in the corrupt cops.
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Christian Bale is the youngest actor to play Batman, being thirty at the time he played the character. Michael Keaton and Adam West were thirty-eight-years-old when they played Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989) and Batman (1966); Val Kilmer and George Clooney were thirty-six-years-old for Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), respectively; and Ben Affleck was forty-four in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
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The writers considered having Harvey Dent in this movie, but inserting him would have been too unwieldy.
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Morgan Freeman admitted that he's read Batman comics since he was nine, but didn't know anything about Lucius Fox.
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Christopher Nolan cast Katie Holmes for her "girl next-door" quality.
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Although Henry Cavill auditioned for the role of Batman, he later played Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman in Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Justice League (2017).
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The first live-action Batman movie produced and released after the death of Batman co-creator Bob Kane in 1998.
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Laurence Fishburne was considered for the role of Lucius Fox.
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Christian Bale watched tapes of his fights so he could get through his training quickly. Bale's eidetic memory allowed him to memorize fight sequences easily.
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When Christopher Nolan asked Hans Zimmer to provide the score, Zimmer asked him if he could also bring James Newton Howard on-board. The two composers had been meaning to work together for some time, and this felt like the perfect project for two composers with its bi-polar lead character.
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A second stage Scarecrow look was created for the hallucination scenes, but was never shown on film. The mask was more organic and tighter around the actor's face.
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The name of Arkham Asylum was inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It was first incorporated into Batman's comic books in the mid 1970s.
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For the IMAX version, some of the theatres running older IMAX equipment, the credits for the movie wouldn't fit on the platters. IMAX and the theatres had to get special permission from Warner Brothers to show the movie without the credits.
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Christian Bale got headaches from the cowl and would use them to get into character. He says they made him fierce and impatient.
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This is the first Batman movie in which the name of Bruce Wayne (Batman) is not changed for the Spanish version to Bruno Díaz. The name Bruno Díaz has been used for the Latin American audience since the early Batman Comics that came to South America back in the 50s.
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Batman's journey to Tibet, and his ninja training, were elements introduced into the comic book by Writer James Owsley in Batman #431 (March, 1989). Series Editor Denny O'Neil made the issue part of the Batman Writers Bible that he would hand out to each new writer on the series, thus confirming the story's place in canon.
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The script was written by David S. Goyer in the seven weeks before he was due to direct Blade: Trinity (2004), which he also wrote. Christopher Nolan took over the writing chores from there.
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Viggo Mortensen turned down the role of Henri Ducard. Daniel Day-Lewis was also approached.
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Keanu Reeves was considered for the role of Batman, and even expressed interest in the press when the project was in development. He was also considered to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Forever (1995).
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Christian Bale had to perform sixteen separate fights in the course of this movie.
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Christopher Nolan was so impressed with Ken Watanabe that he cast him in Inception (2010).
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While filming on Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois, the filmmakers were so concerned for the care of the Batmobile that they told the stunt driver to take as much time as he needed to make any move. Therefore, when it came time to back the Batmobile up, they went so slow as to cause traffic jams that had to be reported on the news. Simply moving the Batmobile around Chicago took numerous police, as well as causing traffic jams wherever they went.
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With the exception of the pier scene in Batman: The Movie (1966), this is the first Batman movie in which Gotham City scenes were filmed on-location in an actual city, as opposed to on a set, or images via stock footage. While the on-location scenes were filmed in London and Chicago, Gotham City in the comics is based on New York City, and in fact the name "Gotham" is a colloquial for New York City.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan envisioned the Tumbler to be a combination of a Lamborghini and a Hummer.
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First live-action appearance by Lucius Fox, who was created in the comics in 1979. Prior to this movie, Fox had made appearances in the DC Animated Universe shows Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and The New Batman Adventures (1997).
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Screenwriter David S. Goyer said that Morgan Freeman was the only person who could play Lucius Fox.
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Wayne Tower is based on the Chicago Board of Trade Building.
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Stuntdriver George Cottle went through four Batmobiles during the making of this movie.
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The first movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan to be rated PG-13 in the United States. From this film forward, all of his films have been rated PG-13 as of 2019.
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On a converted parking lot at Shepperton Studios, the movie crew built an entire village of trailers where chemists and costume artists made neoprene and foam latex Batsuits. The place was dubbed "Cape Town".
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This is the only movie in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy that does not open with a criminal or supervillain committing some sort of crime.
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This is the only movie in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy to not feature supervillains that previously appeared in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher film franchise.
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During production, DC Comics commissioned well-known Batman artists to give their interpretation of the Dark Knight. The results were shown to writer and director Christopher Nolan and the cast to help give them a better idea of from where the comic artists were coming. Amongst the artists were James Jean, Jock, Tommy Lee Edwards, and John Paul Leon.
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The National Institute of Medical Research, which is based in Mill Hill, England, was used for the outside shots and images of Arkham Asylum.
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Christopher Nolan modelled the character Thomas Wayne after Theodore Roosevelt.
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Amy Adams read for Rachel Dawes during Christian Bale's screentest. She later played Lois Lane in Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Justice League (2017).
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A common idea in the comics is that Bruce saw a Zorro movie with his parents before they were murdered. Writer and director Christopher Nolan explained that by ignoring that idea, which he stated is not found in Batman's first appearances, it emphasized the importance of bats to Bruce, and that becoming a superhero is a wholly original idea on his part. It is for this reason, Nolan believes other DC characters do not exist in the universe of his movie; otherwise, Wayne's reasons for taking up costumed vigilantism would have been very different.
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David S. Goyer said that the graphic novels "The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory" by Jeph Loeb were a huge influence on his screenplay. When he was asked the question, "What about Frank Miller's 'Year One?'", he replied, "Our story is not 'Year One'." An early draft of Goyer's script leaked onto the Internet in April 2004.
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Before Christopher Nolan took over, director Darren Aronofsky was attached to make a Batman movie based on the graphic novel "Batman: Year One", and have author Frank Miller write the screenplay. By 2003, there was a first draft screenplay with story boards, which are properties of AOL Time Warner. Warner Brothers' decision for not producing the movie is unknown, but based on the details that have since leaked out, it would probably have to do with the screenplay, which strayed a considerable amount from the source material, making Alfred an African-American mechanic named "Big Al", the Batmobile being a souped-up Lincoln Towncar, and Bruce Wayne being homeless, amongst other things. This is all detailed in David Hughes' book "Tales from Development Hell".
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For the look of Gotham City, writer and director Christopher Nolan aimed for "New York City on steroids".
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Lana Wachowski (formerly Larry) and Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andy) were approached to direct, and even wrote their own treatment based on Frank Miller's graphic novel "Batman: Year One", but turned down the offer and made The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) instead.
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Broke opening weekend box-office records for IMAX theaters.
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The eighth biggest grossing movie of 2005 in the U.S.
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Nathan Crowley said that the design of the Batmobile was largely influenced from the design seen in Frank Miller's graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns". The incarnation of the Batmobile was given the nickname "The Tumbler", by filmmakers and Miller.
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While this is the second Batman movie to get a "thumbs up" from Roger Ebert, it's the first live-action Batman movie to get a "thumbs up" from him, since the first one was the animated movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993).
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Kurt Russell, Chris Cooper, and Dennis Quaid were considered for the role of James Gordon.
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This is the first movie to use the new DC logo.
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Crime boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone was a prominent character in Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's comic book Batman: Year One. His story was continued and resolved in Jeph Loeb's comic book epic The Long Halloween.
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Christian Bale never wanted to play Batman as Bruce Wayne in a Bat suit. For him, it's a completely different character.
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A possible influence (apart from "The Dark Knight Returns" graphic novel) in the Tumbler's design is the F-117 Nighthawk, sharing similar features, specifically the use of odd angles around the body used for stealth (although the Tumbler might use them to disperse kinetic energy from bullets and explosives) and almost jet-black color.
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Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rachel McAdams were considered for the part of Rachel Dawes.
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Christopher Nolan's and Sir Michael Caine's first movie together.
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(at around 12 mins) The opera that young Bruce attends with his parents is "Mefistofele", composed in the mid 1800s by Arrigo Boito.
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The average length of a shot is 1.9 seconds.
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Guy Pearce was considered for the role of Henri Ducard, but was deemed too young.
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Henri Ducard was created by Batman (1989) screenwriter Sam Hamm. The character was in the movie's original script, however was dropped. Hamm later (during his comic book writing debut on Detective Comics series) incorporated the character into the Batman mythos.
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With this movie, writer and director Christopher Nolan began the practice of showing all of his movie's credits at the end of the movie, including the title. Although Nolan's Following (1998) followed a similar practice of showing credits in the end, it showed the title of the movie at the start.
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The only movie in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy to incorporate the word "Batman" in its title.
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(at around 28 mins) The gun Bruce Wayne tosses in the river is a Brazilian six-shot Taurus.
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The cast includes four Oscar winners: Christian Bale, Sir Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman; and three Oscar nominees: Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, and Tom Wilkinson.
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The U.K. censors, the BBFC, viewed this movie at the request of the distributors during post-production. The sound mix was incomplete. Warner Brothers was keen to get a 12A rating (to match the U.S. PG-13) and the BBFC advised them that in order to avoid a higher rating, "care should be taken with the final sound mix so as not to play up the sound of blows and to avoid more bone crunching sound effects" in several scenes. Because the BBFC examiners did not advise the distributors to specifically reduce any of the sound effects, as the sound mix was incomplete at the time of the viewing, this movie was passed 12A with no cuts made. This same version was released worldwide, with the cuts discussed in full on the SBBFC website for students.
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In Brazil, dubber Márcio Seixas was the official voice of Rutger Hauer and Sir Michael Caine, and the regular voice of Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman. Plus, he provided the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman in many cartoons. For this movie, he only voiced Caine.
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For a perfect fit, a plaster cast was made of Christian Bale, and the Bat suit was hand cut from foam latex.
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The name of the Commissioner in this movie is "Loeb". However, this is not a reference to comic book writer Jeph Loeb, author of the graphic novels "The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory", but rather simply the canonical name of the Gotham City Police Commissioner when Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham. This was shown in Frank Miller's Year One, which influenced "The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory", and was published nearly ten years before either of these. Additionally, unlike the comics, Loeb is not a corrupt officer in this movie.
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This movie was inspired by director Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). Rutger Hauer, who played one of the replicants in Blade Runner (1982), also appeared in this movie as Mr. Earle.
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In the comics, the organization founded by Ra's al Ghul is called the League of Assassins.
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The key "combination" that Bruce plays on the piano to open the secret entrance to the Bat Cave is comprised of three pairs of notes, starting three octaves above middle-C. The keys he presses are D-E, D-E (up an octave), and G-A. However, the tones heard in the soundtrack are actually a half-step down from the correct tones for the notes he plays. This may simply be a post-production soundtrack adjustment or variance, but could also be that the piano was tuned a half-step down, which is sometimes done on older pianos to reduce the eighteen to twenty tons of string tension stress on their framing.
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Sir Michael Caine took his screen name from The Caine Mutiny (1954), which featured José Ferrer, uncle of previous Batman George Clooney, and the first actor considered for the role of The Joker in the 1960s television series.
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Christian Bale is the first Welsh actor to play the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
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The character Ra's al Ghul was co-created by comic book writer and editor Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams. O'Neil also wrote the novelization.
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The sets were built in the Admiralty Hangar No. 2 at Cardington, one of the largest hangars in the world. The floor area is the size of sixteen Olympic-size swimming pools. The No. 2 shed was assembled at the site, in 1928, to house the British airship R100.
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One of two comic book movies in which Rutger Hauer appeared, in 2005. The other was Sin City (2005).
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This is the first Batman movie to be shot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
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The only post-1989 Batman movie where none of Batman's vehicles are dismantled.
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M. Night Shyamalan was, at one point, considered to write and direct, but turned it down.
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On May 22, 2004, filming took place 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 City-style taxis and Gotham Police Department cars.
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In 1999, Warner Brothers hired Darren Aronofsky to write and direct Batman: Year One, which was to be the fifth movie in the Batman franchise. Aronofsky brought Frank Miller to co-write Year One with him. Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique was set as cinematographer. Also, he wanted to shoot the movie in Tokyo, doubling for Gotham City. Aronofsky wanted to cast Clint Eastwood for the role of Batman. However, Warner Brothers was not happy with the script, due to the differences from the source material, and did not greenlight the movie.
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Joe Pantoliano revealed in an interview that he turned down the role of Detective Flass, citing him as an unimportant character.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan, screenwriter David S. Goyer, and production designer Nathan Crowley set up shop in Nolan's garage to work on the screenplay. They had to vacate the premises on the day that the cleaner came, as the garage simply became too hot with the washing machine and dryer going.
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Contains four hundred visual effects shots.
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Batman's origin story in this movie (learning ancient arts in Tibet, going from a wealthy young man to a man with nothing to lose, learning to be a more noble and selfless person) has been called into question by comic book fans, because it is practically identical to the origin story of the Marvel character Doctor Strange.
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The only Batman movie in The Dark Knight trilogy to be made into a video game. A game based on The Dark Knight (2008) was planned, but was cancelled due to technical difficulties.
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Andrew Kevin Walker was interviewed by Christopher Nolan to write the script.
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The screenplay was so secretive that the executives who were going to greenlight the project were only allowed to read it in Christopher Nolan's garage.
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The Tumbler weighed 2 and a half tons.
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The origin sequence in Tibet, while present in some later 1980s comic books, ultimately derives from The Shadow's (Lamont Cranston/Kent Allard) Asian scholarship.
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Early in the writing process, Nathan Crowley was brought on-board to spitball ideas.
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan cited Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000) as an influence for this movie.
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Josh Hartnett turned down the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
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David S. Goyer was drafted in as a writer because Christopher Nolan wanted a comic book expert to help him craft the screenplay.
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Batman uses his famous weapon 'Batarang' during the Dockyard fight. It is the only time this weapon appears in Christopher Nolan's version.
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Sir Michael Caine believes Alfred represents the audience: "You amongst all the nutcases in the film."
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When Warner Brothers was considering "Batman: The Frightening" as the title, a script was released on-line that was widely believed to be official. Writers Terry Hayes and Rafael Yglesias were credited on the draft, but both denied writing it. The author was later discovered to be Brandon Gaines.
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Christian Bale and Jack Gleeson appeared in Reign of Fire (2002).
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Some die hard fans of the Batman comics had speculated this movie was a prequel to Batman (1989) and its three sequels, detailing how Bruce Wayne first became Batman, and not had realized it was a reboot, and the first installment of a trilogy.
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One of Sir Michael Caine's (Alfred Pennyworth) first starring roles was as the title character Alfred Elkins in Alfie (1966).
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With Katie Holmes playing Rachel Dawes in this movie, this movie marks the second time a wife of Tom Cruise has played a Batman love interest, after Nicole Kidman played Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever (1995).
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Writer and director Christopher Nolan planned his "Batman" reboot to be a trilogy. This is the first installment.
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Christian Bale signed on for the lead role before the screenplay was completed.
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(at around 31 mins) The homeless man that gets Bruce's coat was Rade Serbedzija. He is the same actor that played the father out for revenge in Taken 2 (2012), also featuring Liam Neeson.
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Gary Oldman's depiction of Commissioner Gordon was inspired by the character's appearance in Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One".
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Final theatrical movie of Alexandra Bastedo (Gotham Society Dame).
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The movie's fights employ the keysi method. "Keysi" means "from the heart".
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Dr. "Scarecrow" Crane's first name is Jonathan in the comics. It is never spoken in the film.
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Bruce's imprisonment, and Henry Ducard offering to train Bruce, was heavily influenced by The Mask of Zorro (1998). In the movie, Diego De La Vega (Sir Anthony Hopkins) meets thief Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), and he offers the thief to train him as Zorro, as Alejandro seeks to avenge his brother. The Zorro stories by Johnston McCulley was one of Bob Kane's inspirations behind Batman. Sir Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Alfred Pennyworth.
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The construction of Gotham City on a studio set took 10 months to complete.
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Morgan Freeman and Mark Boone Junior appeared in Se7en (1995).
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Gary Oldman (Jim Gordon) was married 1990-1992 to Uma Thurman, who played Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997).
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Liam Neeson's role in this movie is a similar role to his role in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Like Qui-Gon Jinn, Henri Ducard is mentor to Bruce Wayne, and is a member of the League of Shadows, which is a ninja cult, and Ducard trains Wayne as a ninja.
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A characteristic of Christopher Nolan's Batman is that when talking with Gordon, Batman suddenly disappears. The origin of this is trace back to All the President's Men (1976), from a scene in which Bob Woodward is in a dark parking structure at night speaking with his mysterious deep cover FBI informant ("Deep Throat"). In one instance, Woodward hears the squeal of car tires and when he turns back to continue to conversation, Deep Throat has vanished.
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Matt Miller (Gotham Car Cop #3) appeared throughout the Tumbler chase scene, including the crushed patrol car, roof top, and viaduct scenes.
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The license plate on Bruce Wayne's sports car is 375 4265.
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(at around 20 mins) Liam Neeson's character states that his wife was "taken" from him. Neeson starred in Taken (2008) and its sequels, where his wife and daughter are frequently in danger.
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Steven Pasquale was considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
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Sir Michael Caine and Katie Holmes appeared in Dear Dictator (2017).
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Liam Neeson's fellow Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) Jedi Ewan McGregor would eventually be cast as fellow Batman villain Black Mask in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020).
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Featured in "The A to Z of Superhero Movies: From Abar to ZsaZsa via the MCU", written by Rob Hill.
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The movie is not a prequel to Batman (1989). It is a reboot and takes place in a new timeline.
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Both Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes) and Nicole Kidman (Batman Forever (1995)'s Dr. Chase Meridian) are ex-wives of Tom Cruise.
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Cameo 

John Nolan: (at around 1h 45 mins) the uncle of Christopher Nolan plays the birthday party guest who tells Bruce Wayne that "the apple has fallen very far from the tree."
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Lucy Russell: (at around 1h 9 mins) the female lead from Following (1998), writer and director Christopher Nolan's first movie, plays a guest in the restaurant, and has the second most lines of any female in the movie, second only to Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes).
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Jeremy Theobald: (at around 2h) The male lead from Following (1998), Christopher Nolan's first movie, played the younger of the two Gotham Water Board Technicians.
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Larry Franco: One of the producers plays a police officer during the chase sequence.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the early minutes of each movie in the trilogy, the main villain (Ra's Al Ghul, The Joker, Bane) disguises himself as one of his own henchmen, and there is a conversation about said villain in each scene.
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(at around 19 mins) In a 2012 interview, Christopher Nolan admitted that he invented the line "rub your chest, your arms will take care of themselves", spoken by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) after Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) falls into the frozen lake, and that it has no scientific basis, adding that he imagined "Boy Scouts everywhere freezing to death" because they took the advice literally, thanks to Neeson's convincing delivery.
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(at around 2h 10 mins) The Joker playing card presented to Batman at the end of this movie is a replica of The Joker Card from the 1989 graphic novel "Arkham Asylum" by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. It carries an evidence label, this label reads that the officer who discovered it was a J. Kerr, one of The Joker's favorite aliases (Joe Kerr) in the comic books.
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During filming of the scene where Batman is being towed by a train through the streets of Gotham, so much steam was used that it would "rain" on the cast and crew for several minutes after each take.
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(at around 1h 40 mins) Ducard's line "But is Ra's Al Ghul immortal?" is an in-joke, since the comic book version of the character is over six hundred years old (and has been killed and resurrected many times) thanks to a device called the Lazarus Pits. Writer and director Christopher Nolan chose to abstain from all fantasy elements from his version of Batman.
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One of first movies in which Gary Oldman portrays one of the "good guys" instead of a villain. Conversely, it is also the first movie Liam Neeson portrays a villain rather than the protagonist.
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When the prisoners are all released from Arkham, briefly visible is Mr. Zsasz, a serial killer from the comics with tally marks scarred into his skin, representing each of his victims. Mr. Zsasz also appears in the courtroom in the beginning of this movie, where he is being transferred to Arkham Asylum by Dr. Crane.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) The only movie in Christopher Nolan's trilogy where Batman utilizes bats. Specifically, to overwhelm the S.W.A.T. Team to hinder their efforts in pursuing him.
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(at around 46 mins) Psychologist Dr. Robin S. Rosenberg commended this movie for portraying the psychological concept of "exposure" in the scene where Bruce Wayne is in a cave surrounded by bats. He first becomes scared and panicky and slowly calms down, and afterwards, his fear of bats is gone.
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Body count: 27
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In his autobiography, Rutger Hauer wrote that he chose to accept the role of Mr. Earle, the executive of Wayne Enterprises, because he saw Earle as the kind of man who would be ruthless in his dealings with others, but also quick to accept his defeat, which is what happens in the end.
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Despite not being "Year One", there are a few references to Year One. The line "You're a good cop. One of the few.", Batman using sonar (hidden in his boot heel) to call on the bats while being attacked by Police, and the ending (although done differently) where Batman's "next case" is The Joker).
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(at around 25 mins) The scene of Joe Chill's shooting, if paused at a certain frame, emulates the infamous photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. The frame is shown in the movie's visual guidebook.
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There is no reference in this movie to Ra's Al Ghul having any daughters. However, his daughter Talia is mentioned in the novelization by Ra's and Talia's creator Denny O'Neil, and she makes an appearance in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
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(at around 1h 18 mins) The Scarecrow's (Cillian Murphy's) and Batman's (Christian Bale's) first encounter is more like Batman: The Animated Series: Nothing to Fear (1992) than the comics. Both titles featured Batman trying to foil The Scarecrow's arson attempt, failing and being drugged by the villain's fear toxin.
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The Bat Symbol at the beginning of each movie in the trilogy foreshadowed something that happened later. In this case, the Bat Symbol is made up of bats, and it symbolizes Batman using the sonar to call them to distract the cops, while he escapes from Arkham Asylum with Rachel.
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(at around 2h 5 mins) In the shot of the newspaper. the story about Bruce Wayne's mansion burning down is credited to Julie Ochipinti, the name of the movie's assistant set decorator.
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A clue to Ducard's true identity is given by the fact that his twin mustaches are the same shape as Ra's Al Ghul's trademark goatees.
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The ultrasonic "bat caller" that Batman used in his escape from Gotham Police in Arkham was another reference from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Batman: Year One series. In the issue, Batman mentions it's a shame he can't patent it, it would be worth a fortune.
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In the comics, Ra's Al-Ghul is Middle Eastern. However he is portrayed by Ken Watanabe (who is Japanese) and Liam Neeson (who is Irish).
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(at around 1h 35 mins) Batman rescues Rachel Dawes, and is evading the police with the Batmobile/Tumbler on I-17 in Gotham City. The city and highway fictitiously exist on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The real I-17 is one hundred forty-six miles long, and exists entirely in the state of Arizona, linking Phoenix to Flagstaff.
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(at around 20 mins) Ducard mentioned to Bruce that he had a wife, foreshadowing the revelations about his family in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
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In each part of the trilogy Batman/Bruce Wayne has either a friend who turns into the villain or vice versa. In this one, Ra's Al Ghul trains Bruce Wayne, then turns against him.
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(at around 1h 45 mins) In Wayne Manor, Ra's Al Ghul says that Jonathan Crane doesn't know the plan, and that Crane thinks the plan is to hold the city for ransom. In The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Bane publicly holds the city ransom for the League of Shadows.
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(at around 1h 40 mins) When Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul reappears at Bruce's party, their debate about destroying Gotham or not, is somehow similar to the debate between Abraham and God in Genesis 18:22-33, Ducard acts like God, who want to eliminate all evils, and Bruce acts like Abraham, that still has hope in Gotham's people, and doesn't want to kill innocent people in the city. Unlike Ducard, however, God set angels to evacuate Lot and his family.
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Lieutenant James Gordon is one of the few Gotham City police officers not on the take from mob boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. However, in Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), Gary Oldman portrayed a corrupt police officer who not only accepts bribes from, but does bidding for, a Mafia Don named Falcone.
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(at around 1h 3 mins) During Batman's first appearance in the suit, crime boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone asks "What the hell are you?", to which Batman replies "I'm Batman." In Tim Burton's Batman (1989), when Batman first appears, a villain asks "What are you?", to which Batman replies "I'm Batman."
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(at around 57 mins) When Bruce Wayne test drives the Tumbler in a huge white room that is the interior of the Excel Exhibition Centre in East London. The separating walls have been pulled back to allow the Tumbler to drive around, but you can still see the hall numbers as they drive by them (N4, N5, et cetera).
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At 2:05 Bruce reads a newspaper article about the burning of his home. The author of the article is Julie Ochipinti who worked in the art department for the movie.
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Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) tells Bruce that "you always fear what you don't understand", while intimidating him in the bar. Kevin Costner in Man of Steel (2013) (produced by Nolan) echoes a similar line to Clark/Superman when explaining to him why he has to keep his identity a secret.
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The Lazarus Pit doesn't appear in this movie. In the comics, The Lazarus Pit is a vat of green liquid which Ra's al Ghul uses to heal and regenerate, allowing him to cheat death. It is presumed the pit is omitted in favor of a more realistic approach towards the character's claim to immortality that keeps in line with the movie's tone and style.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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