BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!

Bale pic at Sundance, Freeman up for Lucius Fox?
Monday, January 19, 2004: Christian Bale--the new Batman--appeared at the recent premiere (1/18/04) of THE MACHINIST, and several pics were snapped of him. Bale is much bigger--obviously due to prepping for BATMAN--than the thin-as-a-rail Christian that showed up in public not long ago. Click here to check him out (Thanks to the MANY readers for the head's up!)....A new, but proven legit source sent BOF some info late last week. This source says that there may be something to the rumors of Morgan Freeman's involvement in BATMAN. This source claims that he may be--or was at one time--up for the role of Lucius Fox, and not a villain as rumored. BOF, and this source, says this should be taken as rumor and nothing more right now....And one last thing. I recieved some more plot confirmation. There are some "elements," if you will, from the "YEAR TWO" story arc. The Reaper doesn't appear, so don't go there if you are trying to guess. I am sure at some time what I am refering to will become public and you'll know what I am talking about. All you Bat-traditionalists will be happy.

Bat-rumors, casting calls, and more!
Saturday, January 17, 2004: Just keep in mind that this stuff should be taken strictly as RUMOR right now, OK? So, here goes....Now this has been going around since 1998, but I've been hearing Kurt Russell's name yet again in conjunction to Gordon. It seems that the director's/producer's choice--Chris Cooper--doesn't want the role. So, have they turned their eyes towards Elvis? (Russell played The King in the 1978 telepic "ELVIS.") While Russell might have been considered, BOF says that it ain't going to happen. Plus, as a few of my "insider" friends tell me, Kurt doesn't like to work outside the U.S. And this film is shooting in the U.K. for the most part. Do the math....It seems that Viggo Mortensen is no longer in the mix for this film. Sources tell BOF that he turned down whatever role--Ra's or The Scarecrow--that was offered. If true, here's hoping he'll change his mind....Here is a casting call to check out....On that note, is advertising for "...Tibetan men and women of all ages (Himalayan, Nepalese, Bhutanese or similar looking) for filiming on a big Feature Film about to start shooting. Those successful will need a passport and be available for filming abroad for about a week in Feb." In Iceland, perhaps? Interesting....The FX company for the film will be announced soon....Remember, I told ya'll that BOF would not run any big-time spoilers? Well, I'll remain true to my word. But, I have had more than one source tell me that The Batman's origin is "true to the comicbook version." I'll leave it at that for now--you figure it out. I'm working on more, so stay tuned. Late. (Thanks to "Ras2005" for part of this update!)

Lucius Fox, Gordon casting rumors
Tuesday, January 13, 2004: According to DARK HORIZONS, Nolan is considering Laurence Fishburne for the small, but important role of Waynecorp exec Lucius Fox. The deal is reportedly for 3 Bat-flicks similar to the one given to Micheal Cain, who is playing Alfred. The report goes on to say that the director is "doggedly pursuing Chris Cooper for Gordon," which the actor has already turned down....BOF has been looking into possible casting of the roles yet filled. I have some info, but I am not ready to run with it just yet. Look for something this week.

More BATMAN filming location info
Monday, January 12, 2004: According to DARK HORIZONS, U.K. Filming will include 6 days of shooting in London--which will double for Gotham.

More BATMAN production info
Sunday, January 11, 2004: LATINO REVIEW has some additional and more specific production info regarding the upcoming BATMAN shoot. The report goes into more detail of just where in Iceland shooting will take place. There is also some comfirmation regarding the filming in the Cardington hangars in Bedford as previously rumored. And the site's scooper tells them that Chris Corbould ("Die Another Day," "The Mummy," "Lara Croft 1 and 2") is the special effects supervisor on this movie. Click on the previous link for the entire article....From the U.K. in THIS IS LONDON, there is a small blurb on Cillian Murphy saying that he "has just been cast as the villainous Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming 'Batman' movie." It is starting to seem that Murphy is indeed Jonathan Crane in the film. WB has yet to make an official confirmation of Murphy's role....Even though the official PINEWOOD/SHEPPERTON WEBSITE lists the production as "INTIMIDATION GAME," sources tell BOF that the film's current title is BATMAN INTIMITDAION. As previously reported, Warner Brothers owns four variations of the "Batman Intimidation" domain, but doesn't own any combinations of "Intimidation Game(s)." I think that WB would have already secured the domain of a title of a movie, if they intended on using it....The same source who told BOF that WB is planning a press conference for BATMAN just prior to filming, says it could happen before the end of the month....According to another one of BOF's best industry insiders, don't expect a heavy hitter--like DeNiro, Pachino, etc.--to be cast as a villain in this film. "I don't think they want to take a chance on anyone overshadowing Bale. Obviously, Batman is the center of the film's story, and Nolan intends for Bale to be in the spotlight," says our source. One of the problems with the previous films is that Batman was almost reduced to a supporing character. Since Bale is not a household name--yet--it probably wouldn't be wise having a DeNiro, Pachino, or the like in the cast. It is probably a smart move hiring lesser-known, but good actors (i.e. Cillian Murphy) for the film. Michael Cain is a well-known, great actor, but I don't see him being bigger than the film itself. Even if Chris Cooper--who is an Oscar winner--does indeed end up as Gordon, he still won't leave Bale in his shadow. I don't know if that could be said if a true superstar was hired for the film. (Thanks to "Ras2005" for the lead!)

The Bat-Facts
Friday, January 9, 2004 (second update): Remember not too long ago, when I told ya'll that as this project got closer to filming, that more info will become available? Well, it is happening. BOF readers, I know what is going to happen in this film--pretty much. And I am not completely happy about it (Knowing what will happen, that is--I don't think the movie is going to suck!). I want to be surprised by what Nolan, Goyer, Bale and all the others bring to this film. So I have made a decision--NO plot details will be reported by BOF. We'll report about the cast, how things are going on the set, etc., but no spoilers. I have waited a LONG time for the ultimate Bat-movie, and I think that this is the one. And I want you all to go into the theater in July of 2005 with a bit of excitement because you don't know how things pan out at the end of this film. So with that said, you will not find any plot/story spoilers here at BOF....Confirmed today by a couple of BOF sources, DeNiro will not be in this film. The role will go to Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Bill Parcells, a New Jersey native....According to sources, everything that Garth Franklin reported over at DARK HORIZONS, is true....The Wayne Murders are not a "mob hit" as speculated....I was kidding about the Parcells thing....According to the Irish website, here's the role that Irish actor Cillian Murphy is up for....

Although already hailed as a major player, the 29-year-old Cork actor is set for worldwide fame when he appears as the villain in the next "Batman" movie. Beating "Lord of the Rings" superstar Viggo Mortensen to the role of Scarecrow, Murphy will begin filming one of the most expensive movies of the year after his Druid tour ends this summer.

While I am pretty damn sure of the plot and storyline, I haven't a solid clue about the cast. If Murphy is indeed Crane, who the hell is playing Ra's, Ducard (who I thought would go to Murphy), Falcone, and the remainder of the "major" players in this film?! That's what BOF is trying to find out....

Some BOF speculation, rumor
Friday, January 9, 2004: There is speculation by various BOF sources--due to rumors about the script, story, etc.--that the Wayne murders are the result of a mob hit. Could this "businessman that clashed with Bruces' father" be the one who ordered this hit? So is it Falcone or this Earle characer? BOF believes it is the former....I don't know how true this is, so keep that in mind. But some casting "scuttlebutt" has Robert DeNiro as a possilbility for the Falcone role....Cillian Murphy is most probably up for the Ducard role, while Viggo Mortensen is likely up for Ra's....Make sure to keep checking out BOF, as more news and details are surely to become available the closer the project gets to filming.

Yet even MORE BATMAN plot news!
Thursday, January 8, 2004: From DARK HORIZONS. DH is back with more details of the upcoming BATMAN film--this time with a much more legit sounding scooper. DH head-honcho Garth Franklin says he was sent a "full and in-depth synopsis of the shooting script," which he had verified as being legit. It does comfirm what BOF has said for months--that Ra's and The Scarecrow are the two major villians of this film. It also confirms the info given to BOF by another source that the film is a "true" BATMAN film by including characters important to the Bat-mythos--Gordon, Alfred, etc. And it is basically an origin film, which of course, has nothing to do with the previous four films. Here is a bit of the DH story (and please click on the previous link to read the entire thing). BEWARE! It does include some spoilers...

* All the characters mentioned so far are in it - Bruce Wayne/Batman, Alfred, Jim Gordon, DA asst. prosecutor Rachel, Jonathan Crane, and Ra's Al Ghul.
* Other characters include Ra's protege Ducard, Wayne Enterprise's Applied Sciene Dept. head Lucius Fox, mob boss Falcone, acting Wayne Enterprise head Earle, and various crims & law officials and a bunch of ninjas.
- There's no link or mention of the previous film's events, this not only ignores them completely but restarts the franchise as its essentially an 'origin' movie which changes elements such as the 'parents being shot' and 'how Bruce found the cave and took up the mantle' subplots.
* Despite the filming in London, almost all of the film is set around Gotham City (there's no mention of London) though there's numerous flashbacks to the past and early on the footage is set around a mountain monastery in China.
* A good first portion of the film swaps between flashbacks and the present. In the past we see stuff we're all familiar with from the comics and earlier movies - Bruce as a child with his father Thomas Wayne, the famous alley shooting of his parents, being cared for by a younger Alfred, meeting regular beat cop Jim Gordon, etc. In the present its Wayne mano-a-mano fighting with Ducard whose 'training/testing' him as such for his master Ra's Al-Ghul whose watching from the shadows. This is no doubt the sequence being filmed in Iceland at the start of production
* With Ra's Al-Ghul he does have insidious plans but there seems to be no mention of immortality, the Lazarus Pit, or Talia. His sub-ordinate Ducard is an interesting character with a clever connection to his master.
* One supblot has Wayne Enterprise head Earle trying to take over the company and using influence on public officials. Its revealed Gordon in the present is a Sargeant. There's also a small storyline about a mob boss whom Bruce has a personal score to settle with.
* One element I like is the discovery of the cave and its various entrances and the clever finding of the Batsuit described as "prototype spandex body armour". The Batman in full costume however doesn't appear for a while on screen (once he's there, he's there in force) which is a clever move and keeps one in anticipation.
* The Scarecrow is referred to only as Jonathan Crane who is the head of medicine at Arkham Asylum. There's a clever origin story to the fear toxin, and at certain points he covers his head in a sack/mask for protection.
* The second half (basically once the 'origin' elements are over) are more like a Batman movie we know but some cool new stuff and shots too which I won't spoil. Suffice it to say there's an elaborate plan which will wreak chaos on downtown Gotham. Key characters get drugged, Alfred pops in at the right time and place to save his master and offer wise counsel, and so on.
* Action fans will be happy with an extensive Batmobile chase through the streets, alleys and 'other surfaces' of Gotham. A decaying monorail system built by Thomas Wayne serves as the backdrop for some story elements.
* The coda includes mention of one of the Dark Knight's most famous villains--its pretty easy to guess which one.

I am glad that "The Scarecrow" is in this film, and there is no "Reaper" as speculated. But I wonder, is the "businessman that clashed with Bruce's father" going to be Falcone or--as a internet collegue suggested--this Earle character? And I must say that these details seem to indicate a fantastic Bat-film is on the way! Make sure to click on the previous link to read the entire story.

More BATMAN plot news?
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 (second update): From DARK HORIZONS. A scooper for the site tells Garth that he has had a peek at the highly guarded script and offers this....

From what I've read so far (a whooping three pages) it opens with a dream sequence of Bruce as a young child and then cuts to him in the Himilayas being tended to by an asian monk.
One interesting thing I did notice when flipping through the script was that The Scarecrow (always referred to as Jonathan Crane) appears a lot more than has been suggested. I'd say by thumbing through he looks to be in it for at least half, if not more, and Ra's Al Ghul doesn't appear to nearly midway in [the film].

The same DH spy also says that there are three possible titles for the film: BATMAN: INTIMDATION GAME, BEGINS, and GENESIS. I don't want to call BS on this report, but don't you think that WB would have secured the domains to those titles if they planned on using them? Well two of them are available and one goes to a certain website that wants to "hype" the upcoming Bat-film. You decide.

More Viggo in BATMAN news
Wednesday, January 7, 2004: According to spies for COMICCON.COM's "The Beat" section, the rumors that actor Viggo Mortensen will appear in BATMAN 5 are "100% true." His role however, was not mentioned.

More Iceland filming info. No Scarecrow?
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 (second update): A scooper for the LATINO REVIEW website, offered more detailed info on the Iceland BATMAN shoot....

-Filming takes place in Höfn, Iceland (South-east Iceland) near the glacier lake Jokulsarlon (where "Die Another Day filmed").
-Location is said to be both green and icy.
-Set construction has already started.
-Filming starts late February,for approximately 2 weeks, right into March.
-Location Manager is Finni Jóhannsson.

Now this is from a pretty good source--a longtime industry "insider" that BOF trusts....

I thought for sure that this character was in the film. I was convinced. But I am not any longer. The latest "script buzz," if you will, says that The Scarecrow is not in the film. Perhaps Nolan eliminated the character in rewrites. Could that explain why Christoper Eccleston's name is no longer attatched to the film? WB and Nolan will have to come clean soon, because filming is right around the corner....

Now that is interesting. Could WB and Nolan have just used The Scarecrow as a smokescreen to throw people off of the true villains and plot details of the film? Could he have been in the film, and then cut in rewrites? Is he actually in the film as long speculated? Frankly, I just couldn't see having all of these villains in the film: The Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, The Reaper, and whomever else. Something's got to give! But the source is right, we ARE about to find out soon enough! Stay tuned!

BATMAN to film in Iceland? Plot details?
Tuesday, January 6, 2004: According to a SUPERHERO HYPE scooper, the rumors of the production filming in Iceland are true. The scooper also let loose with some plot details....

A Superhero Hype! source - who shall be called 'Enigma' - has confirmed that filming will indeed take place in Iceland. As you may have read, the Warner Bros. production will shoot there for two weeks. What was not revealed was what will be filmed. We've got the exclusive scoop for you, but it's definitely spoiler material, so cover your eyes now if you'd rather not know... Still here? Of course you are. In the scene, Batman, played by Christian Bale, will be fighting on ice with Ra's Al Ghul's #1 pupil (who that is, you'll have to figure out). They won't be fighting for real, however, as it is more of a training exercise. We're also told by our source that "Batman: Intimidation" is a cross between "Year One" and "Year Two" and that it's interwoven very creatively. So start thinking about which characters appeared in each and you might get an idea. The film is also said to be very story-driven. Of course you want to hear about the costume. Let's just say that the costume concept the production is using is awesome! Just wait and see....

While BOF can't confirm or call BS on this new bit of news, I will say that solid BOF sources have maintained that Ra's is the main villain of this film, along with The Scarecrow in a smaller role. Rumors have been floating the The Reaper--a villain from the "YEAR TWO" story arc--could be in this film. BOF has yet to get a definative answer on that. Hopefully, WB will have that press conference as rumored soon and all will be cleared up.

BATMAN "kickoff" press conference?
Sunday, January 4, 2004: This in over the weekend. This is from a new source, so BOF can't vouch for the 100% validity of it. But this would make sense....

I work for Warner Bros. as a XXXXX (please don't reveal my position). While very few details about the new "Batman" film are available, I did hear this before the holidays. The studio may be planning a press conference soon with Nolan, Bale, and others involved with the film; much like the one prior to the filming of "Spiderman." And I don't think it will take place here in the U.S., so I am assuming it will be over in the U.K. where the film will shoot. Sorry, this is all the info I can offer you. The studio is keeping this thing under a TIGHT lock and key.

I hope this pans out. Perhaps then we will find out what characters will be in this film and who gets the roles.

WB secures more domain names
Tuesday, December 30, 2003: SUPERHERO HYPE! is reporting that Warner Bros. has secured yet more domain names related to the upcoming BATMAN film. Recently added domains are: ",","," and" There is growing speculation and whisperings that the film will be titled BATMAN INTIMIDATION--in the same manner as RETURNS and FOREVER.

The BATMAN cast?
Monday, December 29, 2003 (second update): According to a LATINO REVIEW scooper, this is the cast for the upcoming BATMAN film. BOF says to take this with a grain of salt....

There's two villains. There's one love interest. There's a young Comm. Gordon. There's a young Harvey Dent.

The cast are Christian Bale [Batman], Michael Caine [Alfred], Judson Caspian [Viggo Mortensen], Cillian Murphy [Harvey Dent], Katie Holmes [Rachel Caspian], Chris Cooper [Gordon], Elle Fanning [Barbara], Noah Emmerich, as of 11/29/03.

Now, some of this meshes with what BOF has heard--a young, pre-Two Face Harvey Dent is appearing in the film--and some doesn't--Judson Caspian/The Reaper. Right now, I'd just suggest that you take this report with caution....This from a pretty good, longtime BOF source. He warns that WB is putting out BS info regarding this film just to throw people--and sites like BOF--off. Says he knows this "for a fact." And I'll leave you with that.

Another Bat-filming location?
Monday, December 29, 2003: THE BEDFORD TODAY is reporting that Bat-director Chris Nolan is looking to shoot scenes at the giant former airship hangars at Cardington - the largest single enclosed research center in Europe. Here's a bit of the report:

A hive of activity has been glimpsed in one of the giant former airship hangars at Cardington, and it is believed the massive shed is being transformed into a film set.

Hollywood giant Warner Brothers is understood to have taken over the hangar once occupied by building research consultancy BRE and contractors are clearing part of it with machinery.

The massive structure was the largest single enclosed research centre in Europe until it went on to the market in 2001 and still contains towering blocks of flats built for tests.

No Eccleston, crew additions, and villain news
Wednesday, December 24, 2003: According to a scooper from the LATINO REVIEW website, actor Christopher Eccleston is not involved with the new BATMAN film. This news, per the LR source, comes directly from Eccleston's agent. While Eccleston may not be involved with the film at the present, BOF's sources indicated that he was at one time indeed up for a role of a villain in Chris Nolan's Bat-flick....This same LR source also "did some investegating" and found additions to the BATMAN crew: Lucinda Syson (Casting director, UK), John Papsidera (Casting director, US), Michael Murray, and Cliff Lanning (Assistant Directors)....Several BOF sources tell us that they continue to hear that The Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul are the villains in the Goyer script. Upon additional BOF investegating, it seems that The Reaper being a villain in this film is nothing more than speculation and the character is not in this film....Happy Holidays to all of you! Thanks your continuing support of BATMAN ON FILM.

Murphy talks BATMAN!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2003: (From BBC Online) Actor Cillian Murphy, who recently joined the cast of the new BATMAN film as a villain, spoke briefly about the upcoming project. There has been MUCH speculation and debate online regarding which role Murphy will be playing. Is it The Scarecrow? Or is it something else--a young, pre-Two Face Harvey Dent perhaps? Here's a bit of the Bat-blurb from the BBC:

With the script for Batman 5 being kept tightly under wraps, it's unclear what kind of silly costume Murphy will be wearing, and the actor doesn't give away much, saying: "The characters that are a bit darker, a bit more ambiguous, appeal to me." In other words: "I like the characters that are torn between good and bad."

Is The Reaper the villain?
Monday, December 15, 2003: More speculation regarding the main villain for the upcoming BATMAN film has popped up over at SUPERHERO HYPE. One of their scoopers--a new one according to the website--tells them that the main villain will be The Reaper. The source claims that he got wind of this info from a friend who works at "DC Marketing." BOF and other sites wondered last week if this villain--from the "YEAR TWO" story arc in "BATMAN" comics--could be the primary badguy rather than Ra's Al Ghul. SHH warns to take the rumor with a grain of salt. For the record, BOF sources have indicated that The Scarecrow and Ra's are in David Goyer's script as the villains, and have never mentioned The Reaper. This doesn't mean The Reaper is not in the film, or that Ra's is in it for sure. WB has deathgrip on this script, so info is hard to come by. We should soon find out just what evil-doers Nolan and Goyer have planned, as filming is set to begin early next year....Also last week, another name has been mentioned for a possible role in the film. DARK HORIZONS says that Chris Cooper is up for an unspecified role in the Chris Nolan directed film. Is he up for a villain, or is he up for Commisioner/Lt./Sgt. Jim Gordon? Cooper's film credits include Adaptation, The Patriot, The Bourne Identity, Lone Star, and American Beauty.

Caine speaks again!, More plot/villain speculation
Thursday, December 11, 2003 (second update): recently sat down with Michael Cain who will portray Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming BATMAN film. On prepping for the role of Batman's partner/butler, Caine says "Well, I’ve had butlers for 30 years. He’s going to be based on my butlers. Butlers always feel superior to you, the employer. They look down on you because they know more about everything than you do. They’re older than you, and in my case, I’m Batman’s guardian and I actually am with him....Instead of just repeating the franchise, they’re trying to make something of it," the actor says regarding what's in store for Bat-fans, "What they’re doing with Batman is making it as though it’s never been made before." Caine goes on to say that he has a three picture deal--obviously for this film and two sequels....BOF reader "theonlywoj" did a little research for us all, and here is what he sent:

Judson Caspian swore vengeance on criminals after the death of his wife and began to stalk them down and kill them across Gotham City. His actions were brutal, but did bring about a drop in the crime rate during the 1950s. Caspian eventually emigrated to Europe, and on his return discovered that Gotham was once more riddled with crime. He donned his scythes and armour once more, his actions bringing him into moral and physical combat with the Batman. He did not survive this encounter, and his role as the Reaper was later assumed by his daughter Rachel.

Could the main villain--"a businessman who clashed with Bruce's father, Thomas Wayne"--be Judson Caspian, and not Ra's? Could Katie Holmes' character "Rachel" be Rachel Caspian? Interesting....BOF reader "Edskizzorhands" attended a screening of Tim Burton's BIG FISH at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, hosted by Burton himself. In a Q&A session afterward, Burton confirmed that SE versions for the first three Bat-films--ones that he was involved with--are indeed in the works. The director said that he and Danny Elfman have already recorded their commentary tracks, done last year. While they would include deleted scenes, Burton says his two films would not be re-edited. However, there is a chance that BATMAN FOREVER might get a re-cut by Joel Schumacher.

Murphy joins Bat-cast; plot, villain speculation
Thursday, December 11, 2003: According to VARIETY, 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy--who screen-tested for Batman--has been cast as a villain in WB's new BATMAN film. Could it be for The Scarecrow? That role is most likely going to Chris Eccleston. I have heard that a young, pre-Two Face Harvey Dent might be in this film. Could Murphy be up for this role? We'll soon find out....I have recieved further information from a very reliable source that Ra's Al Ghul is indeed in Goyer's script....Now this is speculation. I thought about this yesterday after BOF ran the Holmes story. She's playing "Rachel," right? Could she be Rachel Caspian, daughter of Judson Caspian--who is the villain known as "The Reaper?" I believe in the "YEAR TWO" story arc, Bruce was once engaged to Rachel Caspian and Judson knew Thomas Wayne. And I don't think I was the only one who thought this, because BOF recieved many emails regarding this same thing. Again, just speculation, but something to think about.

Caine speaks!
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 (second update): Fresh off the heals of the news this morning confirming that Katie Holmes is indeed up for the female lead--a story broken by BOF several days ago--Michael Caine has spoken about the Bat-project to several sources.

Caine--who will play Alfred--tells CHUD that the budget for BATMAN will be around "$135 million. It's so nice to be in something like that." He goes into more detail:

"BATMAN is being made in England, but it's also being made quite differently," Caine advised CHUD's Smilin' Jack Ruby. "I had a long conversation with Christopher Nolan before I accepted the part. I only knew him from MEMENTO and I didn't know him personally. The short answer was, he wants it to be more natural. He regards – as I did anyway quite coincidentally – I find a lot of these comic book heroes boring because they are invincible. If you're bulletproof, where's the jeopardy for the hero? You can't gas him, you can't kill him, what's the point? And he is making a very, very natural Batman. I remember one phrase he said to me, I said, 'Well, he's very powerful and strong.' And he said, 'Yes, he is Michael, but not because of Kryptonite, it's because he does pushups.'"

Sir Michael spills even more beans to SciFI Wire, alluding to this film even being an origin film, and who might play the main villain! The actor advised them Nolan is considering casting LORD OF THE RINGS star Viggo Mortensen as an unspecified heavy in the film--described as a "businessman who once clashed with Bruce's father" by a very good BOF source. The rumor-mill has long suggested that Ra's Ah Ghul will be the big bad guy in Nolan's film.

Caine goes on to give a bit up on the plot:

"We start when Batman is a baby, so I'm more like a father. I'm a father who knows how to lay a table with the knives and forks in the right places." [Nolan] said, 'We're going to have a human hero in Batman," Caine added. "He's powerful because he does pushups. Where does he get all his weapons? Because he's a multibillionaire, and he's in the arms business, so he gets the secret weapons instantly. Why does he wear the bloody suit? To scare the s--t out of people, because he doesn't really want to fight.'"

The Sci Fi Wire story also says that filming will not start until April of next year.

Man! All of this sounds great! Can't wait for this thing to start filming!

BOF source correct: Katie Holmes up for Bat-role!
Wednesday, December 10, 2003: (From VARIETY) On November 30th, one of BOF's best sources informed us that Katie Holmes was in "deep talks" to play Bruce Wayne's (Christian Bale) love interest in the upcoming BATMAN film. Well what do you know....

Warner Bros. is zeroing in on Katie Holmes for the female lead of its next "Batman" film.

Holmes has been offered the role, subject to a screen test with Christian Bale that will be conducted by director Christopher Nolan. While Nolan considered many young actresses to play Batman's love interest Rachel, Holmes is the only actress who will do a screen test. It is considered likely that a deal will follow shortly after.

Holmes would be the third thesp cast. Nolan, who came aboard the film with his producing partner Emma Thomas, first set Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, and recently began negotiating with Michael Caine to play his butler, Alfred.

I would assume that the next major casting would involve Gordon and the main villain--which our source described as "a businessman who once clashed with Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne."

BATMAN Codename? Eastwood not into comicbook films?
Monday, December 1, 2003: Our friend "LSOK" has informed us that the new BATMAN film's codename is "Project Y;" according to the latest "EMPIRE MAGAZINE." Still no word on the official title of this film --BOF is sticking with BATMAN 5 for now....Another friend of BOF's, "Stax" from IGN FILMFORCE, dug up a recent quote by Clint Eastwood regarding his interesting in doing a comicbook-based movie. "I'm too old to make comic books. I like adventure films. I like a good adventure film as much as the next guy. But, it's not for me." As I said when the Eastwood rumor broke, I very much doubt he would actually do a BATMAN film....I am very curious if this main villain--"a businessman who once clashed with Bruce Wayne's father," as our respected BOF source told us--is Ra's AL Ghul or not. If so, is Katie Holmes up for Talia? Or is this some other villain all together? Very interesting to say the least!

The new Bat-film begins filming early next year.

BATMAN casting info
Sunday, November 30, 2003 (second update): With all the casting and "sequel/restart" rumors floating around, BOF has been trying to find out just what the hell is going on. This in tonight from what could be BOF's best industry insiders:

Your timing couldn't be better [I just emailed this guy with a bunch of Bat-questions, and he quickly responded--Jett].

I'm just packing up to head back to XXXXX following a couple of months here in L.A.

I'm not sure if it's a sequel or a restart, but here's some stuff FYI:

Katie Holmes is in deep talks to play Bruce Wayne's girlfriend; Christopher Eccleston is in deep talks to play what will presumably be "The Scarecrow"; no talks have been initiated for the role of "Sgt. (?) Gordon"; the other major villain is a businessman who once clashed with Bruce Wayne's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, yet no one is in talks for that role as of yet; and Michael Caine is in deep talks to portray "Alfred Pennyworth."

Hope this helps.

OK, so let's recap. This source confirms the Eccleston/Scarecrow and Caine/Alfred rumors. We now have a love interest for Bruce in Katie Holmes. The other "major villain," has no one attatched to the role as of yet. Just what could this "businessman" role be? Is it Ra's? And no one is in the mix yet for Gordon--Sgt. or Commisioner.

Eastwood up for Gordon?! More sequel/restart?
Sunday, November 30, 2003: So, there's this Clint Eastwood-as-mayor-of-Gotham rumor floating the net. BOF saw it as well, and inquired about it to some pretty good sources. One source--in which I really trust--had this to say about said rumor:

If he is up for any role, it isn't for the "Mayor of Gotham City." It would be either for Gordon or the main villain himself. And perhaps they [SKY NEWS--Jett] got it wrong, confusing "Mayor of Gotham" with Commissioner Gordon?

Frankly, it wouldn't be a bad choice--Eastwood as Gordon--despite the fact dude is 70 or so. However, BOF's take is to take this with a huge grain of salt. I don't think that Eastwood would take a role in this film, to tell you the truth....Also responding to a BOF question about the whole "sequel/restart" debate, was another pretty good industry "insider," who has become a friend of BOF. "WB just plans on making 'Batman' movies," says our source. "I don't think it is really a restart or a sequel, to tell you the truth. The fan can make their own determination."

WB registers BATMAN domain
Saturday, November 29, 2003: I have recieved several emails from BOF readers telling me that the domain, "," has been registered by WB. After checking it out, it has been confirmed that the studio secured that domain on September 9, 2003. So, what about "" Well, it is not owned by WB and was only registered just yesterday--November 28. It has also been reported here at BOF a while ago that "" is also owned by WB and does not expire until 2006. So what's the title going to be? I think you can perhaps rule out "Intimidation Game," since WB does not own that domain and obviously made no attempt to do so. Hell, maybe it is something else all together! We'll see soon enough as filming is set to begin early in 2004. Until an official title is confirmed, BOF is going to refer to it as BATMAN 5.

BvS script review!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003 (second update): First, I just wanted to say that BOF digs the choice of Michael Caine as Alfred--good work Nolan and co.! You are doing a fine job so far! Now, I don't know if the rumors are true regarding Daniel Day-Lewis as Ra's, but I think he would be a fine choice....My friend "LSOK" over at the SUPERMAN-V.COM website has written a simply fantastic review of the Andrew Kevin Walker/Akiva Goldsman BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN script. I highly recommend that you click HERE and read it. I agree with just about everything "LSOK" had to say regarding the script. Let me say just one thing regarding the Goldsman "rewrites;" they were not as sweeping as one may think and AKW's original storyline stayed pretty much intact. With that said, do head over there and check it out!

It's official: Sir Michael Caine is Alfred!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003: Geez, that was fast. Fresh on the heals of yesterday's update, in which a BOF source indicated that the role of "...Alfred will go to an actor in his 60's," VARIETY is reporting that British actor Sir Michael Caine--who is actually 70--has landed the role of Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, confidant, and partner, Alfred Pennyworth, in the upcoming BATMAN film helmed by Chris Nolan. Caine is the second actor that has officially signed on for the film, joining Christian Bale who will don the cape and cowl as The Batman. Micheal Gough played the role of Alfred in the Burton/Schumacher Bat-films, while Alan Napier was the Alfred in the 60's TV series.

Undoubtedly, casting is taking place. Bale has been on the project for a few months and Caine has just recently signed on. Rumor has it that Christopher Eccleston is up for the role of The Scarecrow, while Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis could be in the mix for villain Ra's Al Ghul--although BOF has some serious doubts that he would actually take the role.

Filming is set to begin early next year for a 2005 release.

Ra's actor rumor. More sequel or restart info
Monday, November 24, 2003: This in today:

I read some of your latest stories, and some of it seems to mesh with what I have heard myself. From the few bits and pieces I have come across, it looks like this film [B:IG--Jett] will be getting a "Bond" type of treatment: meaning that this film will not be a blatant restart of the series. But it isn't a sequel either. I agree with your other source that says this is just [Chris] Nolan's "BATMAN" film. However, I don't agree that Michael Gough and Pat Hingle are returning. From what I've heard, both the studio and Nolan want to go younger. I'd look for a 50ish actor cast as Gordon while Alfred will go to an actor in his 60's.

I recently came across a nice article in BROKEN FRONTIER that provides a nice rundown to of the history of BATMAN 5. Check it out--I think you'll find it a nice read....One name I've heard more than once associated with Ra's is Daniel Day-Lewis (GANGS OF NEW YORK) but please take this as strictly rumor right now. But yep, I've heard his name from more than one source...How 'bout them 8-3 Dallas Cowboys! Is Bill Parcells a GREAT coach or what? It's been a great year so far....Hope all of you in the States have a great holiday this Thursday. Late.

Sequel, or not?
Thursday, November 20, 2003: This in overnight:

I don't know about Gough and Hingle returning for this film--I wouldn't put too much stock into that one. But I wouldn't be shocked if they did return....Remember when I told you that this film wouldn't scream restart? That is looking more and more the case. If people want to go view this film as a sequel, they can. If they want to go watch the movie and believe that they are seeing a restart, they can do that as well. The film is going to look different than the previous four, no doubt. But it is my opinion that fans will be able to view this either way. There won't be a big disclaimer at the beginning saying "This is a restart" or "This is a sequel." It's just going to be Nolan's BATMAN film.

Gough, Hingle to return?!
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 (second update): Now, I heard this stuff when it broke earlier--couldn't post it on BOF due to the fact that I was at work--so I did email this to all of my sources. Now I am going to share this with you--something that I have heard for a while actually--but PLEASE keep in mind that it is only rumor. What my source told me is this:

"Tell all those BOF readers of yours that they shouldn't be suprprised if Pat Hingle and Michael Gough return as Gordon and Alfred repectively. Tell them not to be surprised in the least...."

Don't put much into that one. I guess we soon shall see! Late.

Scarecrow cast for B:IG?
Wednesday, November 19, 2003: For a long time now, BOF has been telling you--through our sources--that The Scarecrow was going to be in Chris Nolan's Bat-film. I believe that we were among the first to report this and have been adament about it. Well now, the great CINESCAPE website, is sort of confirming all of this. The Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, the whole deal we've been hearing about. If you want to read the entire scoop, click on the previous link, but here is a bit of it:

According to our source, the film's primary bad guy will remain R'as al Ghul, the immortal whose vision of a world without chaos reaches through centuries of time. But the idea is to introduce the Scarecrow early in the film to show audiences that this BATMAN movie is different than its predecessors; namely, that it's darker and scarier, and that the rogues that Batman face in Nolan's vision of Gotham City are far more dangerous than the ones seen in Joel Schumacher's BATMAN movies.

Our agent tells us that the idea is to show the Scarecrow terrorizing Gotham so Nolan's version of Batman (played by Christian Bale) can be introduced. After bringing down Scarecrow the plot would then move on to Batman having to leave Gotham City, possibly as a result of the actions of this opening segment, and travelling to London where al Ghul is located. There the majority of the film's story takes place.

The part is small and isn't like the previous three BATMAN [Four Bat-films in total--Jett] films which have seen the Dark Knight face two villains throughout the picture. There may be a possibility that Scarecrow could return in a future BATMAN movie but for now it's meant to be a one-time appearance and that's all [Which is just what BOF has been reporting--Jett].

"The person in mind to play [Scarecrow] is Christopher Eccleston," writes "Lucky Ace", our [CINESCAPE's--Jett] scooper. Eccleston is British and was most recently seen in Danny Boyle's post-apocalytic zombie movie 28 DAYS LATER as Major West.

Pretty consistant with what BOF has been reporting and hearing. But I will say that if Eccleston is indeed the choice for the role, Nolan did a hell of a job!

Hemming hire official
Tuesday, November 18, 2003: According to LATINO REVIEW, Lindy Hemming's hiring as costume director for BATMAN: INTIMIDATION GAME is official. Check out the link to the website to read the entire article....So what is the future of BOF? That's something I have been asking myself. As a lot of you longtime readers know, BOF has been around now for well over 5 years. That is a LONG time in internet years. BOF's goal has always been to make sure that nothing but the best BATMAN film be made. I wanted to make sure that WB knew that they made a HUGE mistake with B&R and something like that should NEVER happen again. Now, it's still a ways off until 2005 and INTIMIDATION GAME, but I think BOF has achieved its goal. I hope. So, is there still a need for BOF? This is something I have asked myself. The answer I came up with is yes--unitl the time the film is released in 2005. At that time, BOF will come out with a review for the film, and that'll be it--sort of. I plan to keep the site alive as kinda a history of the events that led to B:IG. Hell, I've put too much work into this thing since June of '98 to just let it go gently into that good night. Plus, I think there may be some interest in what happened between B&R and B: IG--I mean, there was A LOT of sh#t! I plan to keep the BOF FORUM up and running. But I will take a step or two away from BOF and no longer be regularly writing and reporting for the site. Nonetheless, you will still be able to find something Bat-movie related by clicking on BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM! Thanks for all your support, and let's get ready for the production news from the set of BATMAN: INTIMIDATION GAME!

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