When director Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins first released, there was no way filmgoers could anticipate the excitement that ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy would generate. In fact, after a spate of disastrous movies on the caped crusader, many people had written off Batman forever. Until ‘Batman Begins’ released in the US on June 17, 2005 and completely transformed the character and then made history with ‘The Dark Knight’ in 2008 and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in 2012. Here’s a look at ten facts that you may not know about the series.
1. ‘Batman Begins’ was originally titled ‘Batman: The Frightening’.
2. Christian Bale was not the first choice to play Batman. Other actors considered for the role included Joshua Jackson, Henry Cavill, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cillian Murphy and a few other actors. Warner Bros wanted Ashton Kutcher to play Bruce Wayne but director Christopher Nolan declined the offer. Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal eventually got the role of Rachel Dawes in ‘The Dark Knight’ after Katie Holmes played the role in ‘Batman Begins’.
3. The Batman reboot was initially offered to the Wachowski brothers and they even wrote a script treatment based upon Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. However, they passed it on to concentrate on the Matrix sequels.
4. Co-writer of the trilogy and director Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonathan Nolan has said that Liam Neeson’s character in ‘Batman Begins’, Ra’s al Ghul, is based on Osama Bin Laden. Like Osama, Ra’s al Ghul uses terror to heal the world in the film.
5. Marilyn Manson, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston were shortlisted for the role of Scarecrow/ Jonathan Crane. However, Christopher Nolan was impressed with Cillian Murphy’s audition and offered him the role.
6. Christian Bale almost quit the series after putting on the Bat suit for the first time as it restricted his neck movement and gave him terrible headaches. Bale is reported to have been in an irritable mood whenever he was wearing the suit.
7. Heath Ledger designed the make-up of The Joker himself. He also spent six weeks in a ramshackle hotel to get into character as The Joker.
8. Christopher Nolan wanted Sean Penn to play The Joker. Names like Paul Bettany, Steve Carell, Adrien Brody and Robin Williams were considered but Nolan only considered Heath Ledger after Penn declined the role. Similarly, Matt Damon was offered the role of Harvey Dent/ Two Face. Hugh Jackman and Ryan Philippe were also considered for the role before Aaron Eckhart finally took it up. As for John Blake, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ryan Gosling were considered for the part before Joseph Gordon-Levitt took it up. Finally, Natalie Portman was considered for Catwoman before Anne Hathaway.
9. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was originally supposed to be about The Joker standing trial while Two Face goes on a rampage through Gotham city. Heath Ledger’s untimely death changed all that and brought Bane into the picture.
10. In The Dark Knight trilogy, Batman uses a relatively modern method of street-fighting known as Keysi that developed in Spain in the 1950s. The series’ dark tone also finds an echo in the recent James Bond movies as producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are huge fans of the trilogy.