20 Things You Didn’t Know About “Batman Begins”

Interesting factoids about the first film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Because you’re not already excited enough to see “The Dark Knight Rises.”

1. “Ted” Theodore Logan, Donnie Darko, Pacey And Superman Were Almost Batman

Keanu Reeves, Jake Gyllenhall and Joshua Jackson ware all considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne for the reboot, as was Henry Cavill, who would eventually go on to play Superman in “The Man of Steel.”

2. Ras Al Ghul Is Osama Bin Laden

According to Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan and co-writer of “Batman Begins,” Liam Neeson’s character was based on Osama bin Laden. Nolan says Ras al Guhl, much like the deceased al Qaida leader, is a crusader who uses terror as a method to “heal the world.”

3. Batmobile IRL

The Batmobile in the Dark Knight Trilogy, known as the Tumbler, was envisioned by Christopher Nolan as a cross between a Lamborghini and a tank. The Tumbler is a functioning vehicle with a real jet engine and can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour. The defense technology company BAE Systems was very impressed and admitted that a prototype for one of their robotic tanks was directly inspired by the Batmobile in “Batman Begins.”

4. The Batrix

The Wachowski Brothers were approached to make the Batman reboot, and even wrote a script treatment based on Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” but passed so they could make the Matrix sequels.

5. You Really Have To Be A Millionaire Playboy To Become Batman

Upon the release of “Batman Begins,” Forbes Magazine did a breakdown of how much it would actually cost to become Batman. They estimated that, between the high tech combat suit and Batmobile, it would cost around $3.5 million.

6. Batrunner

Christopher Nolan invited key production members to a private screening of “Blade Runner” before shooting started on “Batman Begins.” Inspired by the film’s gritty urban realism, Nolan told the crew, “This is how we’re going to make Batman.”

7. Alcohol Vs. The Batmobile

A drunk driver collided with a parked Batmobile during filming of “Batman Begins” in the streets of Chicago. The driver reportedly hit the Tumbler in a panic, initially thinking it was an alien spacecraft.

8. Method Acting

Christian Bale’s trailer for “Batman Begins” did not have his name, but that of Bruce Wayne.

9. Batman 5: Bat Harder

Alternate titles for “Batman Begins” were “Batman 5” and “Batman: The Frightening.” The alias for the script and the production, in order to thwart media interest, was “Intimidation Game.”

10. Batman Was Almost Robin

Christian Bale was almost cast as Robin in “Batman Forever.” The role eventually went to Chris O’Donnel.

11. The Dark Roosevelt Rises

Christopher Nolan partially based his version of Batman on Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt was born to wealth and privilege, worshiped his father, lost two loved ones on the same day (his wife and his mother), disappeared for several years to remake himself (in the Montana badlands) and directed his rage and grief into a force for good (through public service that ultimately led him to the presidency).

12. Marilyn Manson, Dr. Who And Obi Wan Were Almost The Scarecrow

Marilyn Manson was considered for the role of the Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane. Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor were also up for the part.

13. Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Cowl

Christian Bale had very little neck mobility in his costume for “Batman Begins,” constricting his head to the point where he suffered from terrible headaches. He says he redirected that pain into his performance. Bale said the suit was so heavy and claustrophobic when he first tried it on that he almost quit the movie.

14. Street Fighting Batman

The Batman of The Dark Knight Trilogy uses the fighting technique known as Keysi. It is a relatively recent method, developed in Spain in the 1950s, focusing on real-world street fighting in the modern world.

15. Baby Blues

Cillian Murphy was originally considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne before the part went to Christian Bale. Christopher Nolan was so impressed with Murphy’s audition as Batman, in particular enamored with Murphy’s piercing blue eyes, he cast the actor as the Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane. So the audience could get a better look at Murphy’s eyes, Nolan took every opportunity to get Murphy to take his glasses off in “Batman Begins.”

16. Mind Your Footing

The sword fight between Liam Neeson and Christian Bale was filmed on a frozen lake in Iceland. Both Neeson and Bale said they heard cracking beneath their feet while they filmed on the ice. The next day the lake thawed and all of the ice was gone.

17. Fatman Begins

Christian Bale was cast as Batman shortly after he completed filming on “The Machinist.” Bale dropped nearly 60 pounds for the part of a psychologically tortured man and weighed only 120 pounds at the time. He underwent a breakneck weight routine over the course of 4 months and gained almost 100 pounds in muscle. His routine was too successful, however, and Christopher Nolan was concerned Bale looked too bulky to be the agile Batman at 220 pound. Bale scaled back to around 190 pounds for the rest of the shoot, but not before crew members jokingly dubbed him “Fatman.”

18. Movie Magic

Much of “Batman Begins” was filmed on massive sound stages in England. The Narrows and the base of the monorail were built in an airship hanger in Cardington. The Batcave is entirely constructed at Shepperton Studios, with the production using molds of real caves for authenticity.

19. Game Of Gotham Thrones

The little boy who talks to Batman in the Narrows, and is protected by Katie Holmes’ character during the chemical attack, is played by Jack Gleeson, who would go on to play Joffrey in “Game of Thrones.”

20. Greaser Teenage Clint Eastwood Batman

“Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct the Batman reboot, but his vision of Batman as a homeless, teenage punk working in a Gotham City garage was deemed too revisionist by Warner Bros. Aronofsky also floated the idea of casting Clint Eastwood as an elderly Batman and substituting Gotham City for Hong Kong. Warner Bros. politely declined that pitch as well.

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