12 things that you (probably) didn't know about Batman Begins

  • 12 things that you (probably) didn't know about about Batman Begins

Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy is regarded among the best onscreen portrayals of Batman, if not the best ever.

To celebrate the anniversary of the release of Batman Begins this week all the way back in 2005, here are 12 things about the film which kickstarted everyone's love of comic book movies.

1. A drunk driver was terrified that the Batmobile was a UFO

While shooting in Chicago, one night a driver that appeared to be drunk crashed into the side of the Batmobile.

The driver said that he hit the car in a panicked state after he believed that Batman's car was an invading alien spacecraft, or so he told police officers.

2. It almost had a really goofy name

Before Batman Begins was settled on, the project was first known as Batman 5, then went by the extremely cheesy Batman: The Frightening, fortunately the more grounded and impressive Batman Begins won through.

To prevent script leaks, the scripts were sent out to everyone - including the big name cast members - as The Intimidation Game to throw off the public.

When Michael Caine first saw the script entitled The Intimidation Game, he thought it was a gangster movie.

3. The frozen lake that Christian Bale and Liam Neeson fought on was more precarious than they realised

While Henri Ducard is training Bruce Wayne in all ninja-y, they take to a frozen lake for a bit of a scrap and Bruce falls through the ice, while the actors were fighting on the frozen lake they could hear the ice cracking as they walked on it.

The next day they discovered that the lake had completely melted. It's a good job they had finished shooting on the frozen lake.

4. Liam Neeson's height proved a problem

Standing at 6' 5", the gigantic Liam Neeson towered over the rest of the men in the ninja training academy.

All of the ninjas had to stand on wooden blocks so they would be a similar height to the Northern Irish giant.

5. It was Blade Runner, but with more bats

Before he began shooting, Christopher Nolan screened Blade Runner for the entire crew.

Once the film had finished, he said to everyone: "This is how we're going to make 'Batman'" - if you compare the two, the similarities are striking.

6. It was an eight-way split as to who would be Batman

It was only days before the role of Batman was cast that eight actors were asked to audition, they were: Christian Bale, Joshua Jackson, Eoin Bailey, Hannibal actor Hugh Dancy, Billy Crudup, Cillian Murphy, Jake Gyllenhaal and future-Superman Henry Cavill.

Gyllenhaal was the pre-audition favourite of co-writer David S. Goyer, but it was Christian Bale that wowed the executives and Nolan.

Part of the audition process involved the actors wearing the Batman mask that was worn by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever.

The studio executives' choice to play Bruce Wayne was Ashton Kutcher, but Nolan was against the idea as it would have caused a controversy similar to when comic actor Michael Keaton was cast as the Dark Knight in 1989.

7. Cillian Murphy's Batman audition and beautiful blue eyes got him the part of Scarecrow

Christopher Nolan liked Cillian 'it's pronounced Kill-ian' Murphy's audition, but thought he didn't suit the caped crusader so cast him as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow.

Nolan was so in love with Murphy's impossibly blue eyes that he would try to find any reason to have Crane remove his glasses.

8. Christian Bale wanted Batman to be a 'rage-filled monster'

Ever the character actor, Christian Bale chose to play Bruce Wayne and Batman as two separate characters and early on in the audition process; he didn't want to play Batman straight, but as a rage-filled monster.

Bale wasn't sure that he should thinking that Nolan might not like the idea, but Nolan loved the off-kilter interpretation and it's one of the reasons he was cast.

9. The Batsuit helped Christian Bale deliver his performance

Being in the Batsuit made Christian Bale angry and miserable, it was claustrophobic, hindered his breathing, the cowl's tightness gave him headaches and made him feel like he was going to have a nervous breakdown from wearing it.

All of this unsurprisingly put Bale in a stinking mood which he channelled into his performance as the Dark Knight.

10. Many directors worked on hare-brained crazy Batman film ideas before Nolan took over

Before Christopher Nolan was hired to direct the untitled Batman film in 2003, there were a few well-known directors in the frame to come up with a new reboot for the caped crusader.

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky presented his idea of a new Batman to Warner Bros. in which Bruce Wayne was a homeless orphan who was borderline psychotic, and Alfred is instead a mechanic called Big Al.

Warner Bros. weren't keen on such a departure from the Batman story, especially such a mental one.

Aronofsky also suggested casting Clint Eastwood as an elderly Batman living in Hong Kong, which was also refused by Warner Bros. for being too far from the source material.

After the success of The Matrix The Wachowskis were approached, and offered full control, to direct a new film, they got as far as writing a treatment based on Frank Miller's comic Batman: Year One, before they moved on to make the Matrix sequels.

Fresh off the success of The Sixth Sense, studio executives approached rising star M. Night Shyamalan to write and direct a new Batman film, but he turned it down and made Unbreakable instead.

11. Forbes worked out how much it would cost to be Batman

Forbes Magazine did a breakdown of the cost of all the elements and equipment needed to become the Dark Knight.

They estimated that it would cost $3.5 million - including $140,000 for the Tumbler, plus $1,500 to paint it black - plus all of the Bruce Wayne lifestyle costs, such as paying Alfred a $262,800 yearly salary.

It'd wouldn't put too much of a dent in the Wayne bank account as Forbes also calculated that Bruce has a net worth of $6.8 billion, putting him seventh on their fictional list, below The Simpson's Mr Burns, Richie Rich and Scrooge McDuck.

12. Christian Bale got really into playing the part, of course

Renowned for his method acting approach to his film roles, Bale had the name 'Bruce Wayne' on his trailer door, and while promoting the movie, used his American accent that he'd used throughout the film.

The big weirdo.

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