BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!
NEWS ARCHIVES 26

Some YEAR ONE story details. More U.K. location info. Comm. Loeb cast? A Bat-producer talks!
Monday, March 15, 2004, 6:40 AM CST: I got a head's up on an interesting book by David Hughes titled TALES FROM DEVELOPMENT HELL (You can click on the link for info and to buy the thing if you want!) that features the details of the Aronofsky/Miller BATMAN: YEAR ONE project. And according to BOF reader "Andrew," here are a few of the details. And I think that you'll clearly see why WB did not go with this screenplay....

*Bruce Wayne is stripped of his status as "heir apparent" to the Wayne fortunes. Instead he is found in the streets after his parents murder, and is taken in by "Big Al" who runs a auto repair shop with his son.

*While working at the repair shop, he watches the coming and goings of pimps, johns and corrupt cops at a sleazy cathouse across the street., while a chain -smoking James Gordon struggles with corruption he finds throughout the Gotham City police force.

*At first, he disguises himself wearing a cape and hockey mask (WTF!--Jett). However, the costume evolves with both form and function, and Wayne acquires a variety of makeshift gadgets and weapons. Bruce, reconfigures a black Lincoln Continental into a make shift 'Bat-Mobile'- complete with blacked out windows, night vision driving goggles, armoured bumpers and a super charged school bus engine.

*In his new guise as "The Batman," Bruce Wayne wages war on criminals from street level and up the food chain to a Commissioner Loeb and Mayor Noone--as the executors of the Wayne estate search for the missing heir.

*In the end Bruce accepts his dual destiny as heir to the Wayne fortune and the city's saviour, and Gordon comes to accept that, while he may not agree with The Batman's methods, he cannot argue with the results.

*The comic and the script have many scenes in common--including Bruce Wayne's nihilistic narration, a heroic Gordon saving a baby from a hostage crisis, Selina as proto-Catwoman, the beating Gordon receives from his fellow cops as a warning to give up his war on corruption, his suspicion that Harvey Dent is The Batman, and the climatic battle in the tenement building.

Different, yes. But not my cup of tea to be frank. Could the Y1 script review that showed up online a few years ago--the feaured a "Jive-talking Alfred"--actually have had a bit of truth to it? As I said earlier, it is obvious to me just why WB never gave the greenlight to the script. Sorry, but it went too far away from the traditional Bat-mythos, while David Goyer and Chris Nolan nailed it. Thus, they got the gig rather quickly as opposed to Aronofsky, Miller and their Y1 floundering in "development hell" for years. Again, click HERE if you'd like to check out the book....More BEGINS filming location info. According to the THIS IS ESSEX, "Hollywood moguls are going batty for South Essex. Movie giant Warner Bros. has selected East Tilbury as a key location for the next multi million pound blockbuster 'Batman' film. Today engineers are busy transforming the 140 year old Coalhouse Fort into a ninja's secret lair." Obviously, this will used as the "homebase" of Ra's Al Ghul (Ken Wantanabe) and his League of Shadows. (Thanks to BOF reader "Craig" for the info!)....British thesp Colin McFarlane is mentioned as "...the police commissioner in the next Batman film," in a feature on the actor in BBC NEWS ONLINE. The role--Commisioner Loeb--is one of the many corrupt cops, politicians, etc. that have taken hold of the once great Gotham City in BATMAN BEGINS. The character of Loeb is Gordon's predecessor as police commisioner of Gotham.... CHUD's "Smiling Jack Ruby" was in on an interview with BEGINS producer Chuck Roven (who was doing the press circuit for SCOOBY DOO 2. And of course, talk turned to BATMAN....

Chuck: The whole concept of this "Batman" is that it will be different from the other "Batmans" because it's going to be much more reality-based in that everything that the character does, a living person today could evolve to do. Everything - all of the equipment - the plane, the car, the cape, everything has a real, scientific, practical reason for being and using and you're going, "Gee, that could happen today."

S.J.R.: Are Bale and Oldman signed for multiple movies like the Scooby cast?

Chuck: There are certain of the actors - certainly Christian is on for more than one Batman. A number of the cast - even though there's no guarantee, there's no script, there's no story for what the next incarnation of "Batman Begins" would be - there are certain actors that the possibility that they would be around if there was going to be one was talked about and those are the ones we negotiated sequels with and there are others that we have not.

Q: Would you do one with the Joker?

Chuck: You have to see this one to see what possibly will happen in the next one. All of the seeds - if there will be a next one - are there even though the exact story for the next one hasn't been worked out. But, we're doing "Batman Begins," so you can imagine that you find out the history of the character, why Bruce Wayne went on the journey to become this character of Batman - how he got there - and also the other characters within this story. They embark on their journeys and maybe become some of his biggest foes.

Various bits of Bat-news
Sunday, March 14, 2004, 7:00 PM CST (second update): LATINO REVIEW has a news BATMAN BEGINS update touching on a several Bat-topics. It's worth checking out....Got this from the LR, but I recieved so many emails about this, I'm going to post links to it here on BOF. If you are interested in being a part of the film, click HERE and HERE. And good luck!

Another Murphy to join the Bat-cast? Cillian speaks!
Sunday, March 14, 2004, 6:45 AM CST: This in overnight from a new source. With that in mind, I remind you to take this casting rumor with a grain of salt for now....

"I'm a long-time reader of your excellent website. Living in Ireland, I obviously don't usually have much to add to your news stories (we're hardly the movie capital of the world). However, last night, I had dinner with a friend of a friend of Irish actor Gerard Murphy, probably best known in the US for appearing in 'Waterworld.' Apparently Murphy tested for three different roles last week for 'Batman Begins.' It appears he was successful and will be cast as one of them but he won't be told which one until tomorrow, Monday 15th.

My same 'source' told me about Murphy being cast in 'Waterworld' before it made any newspapers over here. He also told me about the rumours on the set of that movie about Costner's hair being digitally thickened well before they hit the media (ah, those pre-net days!) So there may be something to this."

Neither I nor the source has any idea what role Murphy may have nabbed. Although the source suggests that since Murphy is Irish, perhaps he is up for "Chief O'Hara!" He was only kidding, BOF readers. Murphy is not related to Cillian Murphy who is playing the villain "The Scarecrow." (Thanks to "Cuchulainn" for the info!)

And speaking of Cillian Murphy, THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS has an interview with the Irish actor who--as we already know--is playing "The Scarecrow" in BATMAN BEGINS. Here's a bit of the interview....

After playing small roles in "Cold Mountain" (as a kindhearted Union soldier) and "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (as Scarlett Johansson's butcher-boy suitor), Murphy screen-tested for director Christopher Nolan for the title role in summer 2005's "Batman Begins." The part went to Christian Bale, but Nolan chose Murphy to play Dr. Jonathan Crane, alias Scarecrow. "I never really saw myself as Batman material, but it was very nice to be offered the other role. If anyone's going to reinvent the franchise, it'll be Chris Nolan," Murphy says of the "Memento" director. Details of the project are closely guarded, but he expects Nolan to focus on the dark side of the comic-book saga.
(Thanks to "E.B." for the lead!)

More U.K. filming info!
Saturday, March 13, 2004 (second update): This from a new source--who glosses himself "SpideyTracer"--sends in the following report....

"Just to confirm that filming at Canary Wharf has begun. I have a friend down in London who lives ten minutes from where they're filming, and has told me that you can't even get close to the site, since it's being filmed on private land and is off limits. He doesn't know exactly what they're doing down there, but the site is extremely busy. I don't know if you know this, but Michael Caine apparently has an apartment in this area too, which is convenient, since he's playing a certain Mr Pennyworth."

Brit filming has begun? Murphy talks BATMAN
Saturday, March 13, 2004: Lots of things to cover, so let's get to it....ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's current issue has a pretty big spread on BATMAN BEGINS (registration might be required). "Chaz" sent us a scan of the mag, which you can check out by clicking HERE. Of course, it contains nothing that you haven't already read here at BOF, but it is probably worth a quick read anyway....Cillian Murphy has finally talked about his role in BB. A small blurb appeared in USA TODAY that quotes Murphy as saying "We've got the best director we could get and an amazing cast." Although incorrectly saying the film is a sequel, the report does confirm that Murphy is "the evil Scarecrow," and that he begins work on BATMAN in April....THE Z REVIEW reports that filming began in London yesterday! Here's a bit of the story....

Batman Begins is filming in London's Canary Wharf TODAY. And even more importantly they are filming the Batmobile! They will be filming scenes in Excel Tower with scenes of the Batmobile possibly on a turntable. While I'm not sure what the scene is, could this be a scene of Batman getting a hold of the Batmobile for the first time?

I suspect that they are doing some location filming that doesn't involve any actors....On a related note, Brian from MOVIEMAN'S GUIDE TO THE MOVIES sent us a head's up he recieved regarding London filming. He says a recieved an email from a scooper saying "'Batman Begins' filming in east tilbury and tilbury docks. Have taken over an old fort in E. Tilbury." With filming complete in Iceland, filming in London should really be heating up soon....I have to say, summer 2005 can't get here soon enough! Late.

Iceland filming complete, a set pic, and more on Bale & the costume
Thursday, March 11, 2004: The LATINO REVIEW has a set pic from Iceland--and reports that filming there is complete. This is according to the Morgunbladid, an Icelandic newspaper....

"According to the Morgunbladid newspaper shooting has already finished. The only actors present were Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne) and Liam Neeson (Ducard) with director Christopher Nolan and a crew of 250 people. According to them 'Himalaya Scenes' were shot there at Öræfasveit,Vatnajökuls and Svínafellsjökuls. The 'Begins' crew will now move on to London for the main shoot."

You can click on the LR link to view the set pic....Another scooper has chimed in the the Bale-too-big-for-the-costume rumor that has been floating around. While not as blunt as yesterday's source, this scooper says that the story is simply an "over exaggeration." He also highly doubts that Bale had an "embarrassing moment" with the Bat-suit in front of the crew....I am working on an exclusive of something from BATMAN BEGINS. It is not a plot-spoiler, but if all works out, BOF just might be the first to reveal this on the net. Can't say more, as I don't want to jinx it. Stay tuned....Oh yeah, one more thing. I have been assured that BATMAN BEGINS "Most certainly [the film--Jett] will have a presence..." at that big comicbook convention that takes place in the summer in southern California.

More Chi-Town shoot info. And ANOTHER costume report!
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 (second update): SUPERHERO HYPE has yet another Bat-costume report that is consistant with what we have been hearing (and the reports given to BOF by three separate scoopers). Here's a bit of it....

Most of the reports you've read about the suit recently seem pretty on the money. The cowl, cape, boots and gloves are al black while the body suit is a dark charcoal grey. The belt is bulky with compartments not like the one in the other movies, it's also a much duller yellow than the belts before.

The symbol doesn't have the yellow oval, it's really big, taking up a good part of the chest. It's a smoother material than the rest of the body suit and slightly raised.

The gloves aren't quite armoured but the boots look like they have greaves and the soles look like they're designed to give good traction.

The cowl isn't as restrictive as the one from the other movies was, the guy in the suit was able to turn his head. The cowl is sculpted and I'm not sure if the material would move with the actor's face.

The material looks kind of like leather, it definitely has a texture to it, it isn't smooth like rubber or plastic. Also there's seams on the costume, up and down the arms and legs and on the sides of the body. I don't know if they're supposed to be there as they don't really show up in the darker shots of the costume.
(Thanks again to "The Only Woj" for the head's up on that one!)

And here is a bit more info regarding the Bat-filming in Chi-Town (which I love, btw). According to REELCHICAGO.COM, BATMAN BEGINS will start filming there sometime late July, and continue through August. The report seems to have their facts mixed up a bit, as they have Christopher Nolan as the screenwriter and David Goyer as the director--the site needs to mix in a little BATMAN on FILM, huh!? Anyway, BOF reported recently that most of major cast will be in The Windy City for the shoot.

About this Bale and the Bat-suit stuff...
Wednesday, March 10, 2004:...it's total BS. I saw it on some website yesterday (and thought it was BS then), so I sent an email to a good BOF source regarding the report. If in case you didn't know, there is this report that says Christian Bale tore up a Bat-suit trying to get it on, and had to have talcum powder applied to get into the thing. The BOF's sources response? "That's the biggest bunch of f***ing bunch of bull**** I've heard. The guy is filming in Iceland right now for crissakes! Batman doesn't even appear in the scenes being shot there. What a load of bloody crap!" Just as I thought. So all of you who emailed me can put your minds to rest.
(Thanks to all of you--and there were A LOT of you--who sent me the Bale report!)

The Bat-suit arrives!
Tuesday, March 9, 2004: Another report has again surfaced with a description of the Bat-suit. It seems to confirm the description given to BOF by three separate and unrelated sources: dark gray body suit, with a black bat-symbol accross the chest. The cowl, cape, gloves, etc. are black, or dark enough to look black. This latest report comes from DARK HORIZONS....

"The suit looks unusual but it's very confusing because they have the hero and stunt versions and the pieces were covered in plastic and labels, they haven't been assembled yet," says the DH scooper. "The inner bodysuit is definitely dark grey but leather and used looking, not shiny like in the last movies but a material that looks like a second skin. The chest area features a large black bat emblem that doesn't look like the one from the movies or the comics but looks very cool."

The report goes on to say that "...all the other pieces are dark grey/granite but so dark its almost black. The cowl looks small and may stretch to fit the wearer, complete with longish ears. ... They (Nolan, Hemming, etc.) are going for the 'Spiderman/Daredevil' look where Batman looks like a more agile human being rather than a guy in a bulky muscle suit."

Sounds great! The cowl description is also consistant to the report that BOF got a week or so ago. That report also said that facial wrinkles are cut into the cowl that will allow for Bale's facial expressions to be displayed through the cowl. You can click HERE to read the full report....BOF is still looking into the remaining casting that has yet gone public. A BOF source told us just a few days ago that all major casting was complete, so we should know who is playing Carmine Falcone, Mr. Earl, Flass, Loeb, and the others very soon.
Thanks to "The Only Woj" again for the lead!)

More location info. Chicago cast news. A Dent question.
Monday, March 8, 2004: Even more Bat-stuff in today, so let's get at it....A good BOF source has told us that Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, and perhaps Ken Watanabe, will be among the cast in Chicago for filming. The same source says that WB might be releasing publicity pics, info, etc. for BATMAN BEGINS this summer--perhaps around July or August....A SUPERHERO HYPE scooper told the site that London's Canary Wharf might be used as a location for BB, specifically as the site for the Wayne Industries building....This is just conjecture at this point, but might the "D.A. Finch" character that is in the script, be changed to Harvey Dent? BOF has heard that Dent might make a cameo in the film (as he is only mentioned in the script I read) and that Guy Pearce might take the gig. Could the "Finch" character be nothing more than a ruse, while Pearce goes uncredited as Harvey Dent in the film? I'm just wondering....Late.
(Thanks to "Stax" and "The ONly Woj" for the leads!)

Cast complete? The tagline for BEGINS is....
Saturday, March 6, 2004 (second update): News just in from one of our BATMAN BEGINS moles...."All major parts have been cast," says our scooper. And--shockingly--an "American" is included (tounge firmly inserted in cheek). The source speculates that it might be for Thomas Wayne, but that's just a guess on his part....Also, this same source says that he's neither seen or heard anything about the promo image that appeared recently on AIN'T IT COOL NEWS. But, he has heard--and this is strictly rumor--that the teaser poster will have nothing but the Bat-symbol and include the tagline: "Beginning Summer 2005." Not bad, IMO....BOF can now be accessed--in addition to www.batman-on-film.com--via www.BATMANBEGINS.info.

Dent/Pearce in a cameo?
Saturday, March 6, 2004: Two separate scoopers--one new, and one longtime source--emailed me today with the same rumor. And I said rumor, so take it as such. In the script, Harvey Dent is only mentioned, and he's never seen in person. Nonetheless, both sources said they heard that Asst. D.A. Harvey Dent could make a small cameo in BATMAN BEGINS. And Guy Pearce may play Dent in this scenario. This is hardly set in stone, but I will say that if Pearce agreed to the role, he could easily by inserted into the film. BOF's longtime source says that even if Pearce/Dent appears in the film, this does not mean that Two-Face will be in the sequel--or the one after....So what do people think of the title BATMAN BEGINS? I dig it, so who gives a damn! Just kidding. According to the current BOF "Bat-Poll," 28% of you all thinks it "kicks ass!" 44% thinks it is "OK." So, almost 3 out of 4 of y'all--on the average--like the title. Another 4% don't care, and only 23% thinks it sucks. Late.

BATMAN BEGINS has really begun!!
Friday, March 5, 2004: Hi y'all, Jett here. I'll cut to the chase about Larry Holden--seems there is talk that Holden is not in BATMAN BEGINS. I've heard he was in the film as Dist. Atty. Fisk, but I've never given him the "$" confirmation. I've heard from friends and sources that he's saying that he's not in it. Maybe he is, maybe he's not. An IGN FILMFORCE scooper has some info regarding Holden. Click on the previous link to read their report....Speaking of BATMAN BEGINS, DARK HORIZONS has a great report on the start of filming in Iceland....

"Day 1 - They've set up about ten small huts and apparently it's supposed to be a village in Tibet, with more huts to be added by CGI. Yesterday Batman and someone were fighting with swords on the glacier. Tomorrow a magnificent scene will be filmed with Batman and the bad guy fighting while crashing down a steep hill toward a very high cliff. Of course this will be done with some elaborate wire work".

This is legit, as it meshes with things in the script that I've read. Bruce does save, or attempt to save someone in that regard, but it is spoiler. And you know my postition on plot spoilers....

Day 2 - Liam Neeson has been spotted, he is sporting an Asian looking mustache with a one inch gap in the mustache under his nose. Also Christian Bale has a "one month beard". As far as I know he has not yet begun wearing the batsuit. He is wearing some leather clothes with a string belt. In one scene Christian Bale was being carried over the shoulder by someone. The buzz is that this is supposed to be the beginning of the movie. Oh and there is an buddist looking temple also"

They are filming the begining of film--Bruce doing his "soul searching." Wayne has been gone from Gotham for a LONG while and is--according to the script--sporting a beard. He's been in a prison for a period prior to searching for refuge--after release is set up by Ducard. And NEVER does The Batman appear in Himalayas, only Wayne--there's no Batman, yet. He is ONLY in Gotham.

Another--and GREAT--BATMAN BEGINS script review!
Thursday, March 4, 2004: I highly recommend that you click HERE and read a fantastic script review by "Stax" over at IGN FILMFORCE. No major spoilers or parts of the plot are revealed, but it will get you very fired up for this movie! And I can assure you that everything in the review is on the money. Trust me, I KNOW.

Gordon is cast: Gary Oldman!!! More cool info about the cape!
Wednesday, March 3, 2004: My friends at IGN FILMFORCE have cracked the nut that BOF couldn't--soon enough: just who in the hell will play Sgt. Jim Gordon in the upcoming BATMAN BEGINS!!!! It is an inspired choice to say the least! It is non other than 46-year-old British thesp Gary Oldman! A bit of an offbeat pick, but a very good one at that. Dude can act! Click on the previous link to read the complete story....A bit more on the cape--and what The Batman can do with it. The Bat will be able to fly in this film--sort of. The cape is made of some sort of advanced material that is super light, yet can become very stiff and tight when a electric current is run through it. The Batman, with a touch of a button, will be able to turn his flowing cape into "wings" and fly--or actually glide in the skys of Gotham!! Pretty cool, huh? And The Batman will be shown in some very "iconic" poses, with the cape really moving and flowing around him! Can't wait to see it on screen....I have it from a good source that Jonathan Crane will be shown with a "Scarecrow mask" in the film. Just don't expect what you would expect....Here's comfirmation on Oldman as Gordon, along with the official press release by WB....

"Batman Begins," director Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated film, has commenced production in Iceland, with Gary Oldman joining the all-star cast. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

In "Batman Begins," Oldman will play Lieutenant James Gordon, a detective on the Gotham police force. The film stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Michael Caine as his trusted butler Alfred; Katie Holmes as Rachel, a childhood friend of Wayne's; Liam Neeson as Wayne's mentor, Henri Ducard; Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a former board member and sidelined employee of Wayne Enterprises; and Ken Watanabe as the villainous Ra's Al Ghul.

Directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan, "Batman Begins" is produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Larry Franco. The executive producers are Ben Melniker and Michael Uslan. The film is based on characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics.

"Batman Begins" is scheduled to film in Iceland, London and Chicago.

The film, which explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham, will be released worldwide in Summer 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

More costume info, The official WB BEGINS synopsis!
Tuesday, March 2, 2004: Another LEGIT costume description from one of BOF absolute best industry insiders....

I have not seen it myself, but an old costume deptartment friend has been working on it and tells me that it is based on the Alex Ross designs from the graphic novels. Dark (very) grey bodice, black bat chest (with no yellow shield), tight-fitting mask (that moves - meaning, frowns and squints and so on - but do not hold me or my source to that as he/she? has only seen a 3rd level prototype of the cowl) with prominent ears, overall an extremely tight fitting outfit (presumably to show off Bale's gym work, or, from what I have been told, to finally make the point that Bruce Wayne is a gym junkie, not a rich dope in armour).

Fingers crossed, Jett-Man -- are they really going to make the first in a long line of great and honest Batman movies? That's what my numerous little birds tell me.

While many costume reports have found their way on the net here of late, several things are consistant: The body suit is a dark grey, and not spandex or rubber. There is no yellow oval--just the black batsymbol across the chest. The cowl, boots, gloves, and perhaps belt are all black, or a very, very dark blue. I really don't see much a lot of contradiction here with the suit....This is the official description of BATMAN BEGINS from scooper "D.S." via the Warner Brothers intranet....

Director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) and screenwriter David S. Goyer (the Blade trilogy) join forces for another action-packed chapter of the Batman saga!

As a young boy, Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire parents were slain in front of him--a trauma that leads him to become obsessed with revenge. But the opportunity to avenge his parent's deaths is cruelly taken away from him by fate.

Fleeing to the East, where he seeks counsel with the dangerous but honorable ninja cult leader known as Ra's Al-Ghul, Bruce returns to his now decaying Gotham City, which is overrun by organized crime and other dangerous individuals manipulating the system. Meanwhile, Bruce is slowly being swindled out of Wayne Industries, the company he inherited.

The discovery of a cave under his mansion, along with a prototype armored suit, leads him to assume a new persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong; he becomes Batman!!!

In the new guise, and with the help of rising cop Jim Gordon, Batman sets out to take down the various nefarious schemes in motion by individuals such as mafia don Falcone, the twisted doctor/drug dealer Jonathan 'The Scarecrow' Crane, and a mysterious third party that is quite familiar with Wayne and waiting to strike when the time is right.

(Thanks to "D.S." for the synopsis and to my longtime, scooper amigo for the costume report--you know who you are!)

Some juicy BEGINS details!!!
Monday, March 1, 2004 (second update): All what you are about to read is true--you can take it to the bank. As promised, this will be spoiler free. But if you want to stay in the dark as possible about this film, then don't read it.... Harvey Dent is not in this film--in person, that is. He is only mentioned as one of the Asst. DA's on the staff. Fisk (Larry Holden's role) IS the DA of Gotham ....According to a new source--but one that I know is legit, "filming has already begun, the cameras have started rolling, the stuff that is being shot at the minute is location shooting and will be carried out for a few weeks." So, BATMAN has, uh, begun....I have had another report on the Bat-costume from a scooper that I know is on the level. And he confirms the earlier reports from here and from DARK HORIZONS that there is no yellow around the bat-symbol. Just a big black bat across the chest armor....You all are REALLY going to dig what the cape can do in this film....Make sure you keep checking BOF as I could have some bigtime exclusives--spoiler free of course--in the next few weeks. Late.

More Bat-suit info, BATMAN BEGINS begins--maybe, and Wayne Manor?
Monday, March 1, 2004: Jett here. Back from Vegas and it seems that the Bat-news keeps rolling in....DARK HORIZONS recieved a scoop regarding the Bat-suit over the weekend. After reading it, it seems that this description is similar to the report BOF got a few weeks back. The DH report is said to be from someone who has seen the costume firsthand, while the BOF description was coming secondhand. But both reports claim the suit is dark gray, while the cowl, cape, boots, and gloves are black (or a very dark blue per the DH scoop). Also, both reports say that there is no yellow around the chest bat-symbol--and that it could be part of the chest armor. Here's a bit of the DH report....

"The Batsuit is currently being made at a secret location in Hampshire and will be delivered to Shepperton late April. The other description online [from BOF--Jett] was probably the dummy cowl with the same surface material which is being used for camera testing only, this one may be in the Bob Kane 1930s design as a joke. The genuine suit appears to be in seperate sections at the costume designer's Hampshire workshop, although the only parts missing were the utility belt and boots which weren't visible when I took a peek.

The body and sections are dark grey and rippled somewhat to look like real skin, imagine how they portrayed Spawn and you get the right idea. The Batsymbol is across the chest armour and not in a yellow oval. The cowl and cape are black or dark blue, the cowl looks like the skin material too and is thinner and has realistic human features like cheekbones and forehead.

The ears are fairly long like in the previous movies and the design of the eyes and jaw cutaways are similar. Overall the suit doesnt look as exaggeratedly muscular as it was before and the rubber like material is thinner."

SUPERHERO HYPE recieved a unconfirmed scoop that the BATMAN BEGINS crew--including Bale, Nolan, and Neeson--has arrived in Iceland with filming to begin soon. Click on the previous link to the site to check out the report....According to U.K. BOF reader "craig," the Mentmore Towers Buckinghamshire will double for Wayne Manor in BEGINS. BOF's scooper says that this news comes from a "local news report." Click HERE to check out the joint....IGN FILMFORCE has yet another interview with BATMAN BEGINS scribe David Goyer. Click on the previous link to check it out.

VARIETY: It IS BATMAN BEGINS
Friday, February 27, 2004: VAREITY is confirming that the title is indeed BATMAN BEGINS. Props to Patrick and the boys at CINESCAPE for being the first to say it is official.

As BOF said, it's going to be BATMAN BEGINS
Thursday, February 26, 2004 (second update): I told y'all that I have been hearing (Since around the 22nd of February) what the official title was going to be, right? Now, COMING ATTRACTIONS at CINESCAPE ONLINE is confirming that the title will indeed be BATMAN BEGINS. Which--as I said over a week ago--that I personally dig. I thought for the longest that it was going to be BATMAN INTIMIDATION, but that proved to be untrue. Then I started hearing the "BEGINS" rumors.... Alright, I got to go pack for Vegas. Y'all have a great weekend! BATMAN BEGINS...kicks ass and is to the point, IMO. Late.
(Thanks to "The Only Woj" for the lead!)

Goyer speaks again! Dist. Atty. Fintch?
Thursday, February 26, 2004: WIZARD's latest issue has an interview with BATMAN scribe David Goyer. Make sure to check it out by clicking HERE....Larry Holden is listed as "District Attorney Fitch" in the IMDB's BATMAN cast list. They could be mistaking "Fitch" for "Dent," as I have been assured that Dent is in the script. We'll soon see, obviously....If no new Bat-news comes in today, I will be out of the loop until Sunday evening. I am headed to Vegas boys! Sin City here I come! So if something breaks over the weekend, I'll probably know about it, but I'll be unable to report it. Late.

Holden, not Pearce, will be Dent?
Wednesday, February 25, 2004: As I said, Dent is Pearce's role if he wants it. I guess he doesn't. Looks like Larry Holden--who has worked with Nolan previously--will be Dist. Atty. Harvey Dent in this film. BOF is not ready to stand by this 100%--as I was with the Wantanabe scoop--but it looks like that is what is going to happen. BOF is still digging for info on the remaining casting, so stay tuned.

Official WB press release; Goyer talks BATMAN; Who's going to be Gordon?
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 (second update): Here is an official press release from Warner Bros. Pictures regarding the latest cast addition, Ken Wantanabe....

Oscar-nominated actor Ken Watanabe has joined the cast of director Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated film about the origins of the Batman legend. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Watanabe, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in "The Last Samurai," will play the villainous Ra's Al Ghul, alongside stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Michael Caine as his trusted butler Alfred; Katie Holmes as a childhood friend of Wayne's; Liam Neeson as Wayne's mentor, Henri Ducard; and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a former board member and sidelined employee of Wayne Enterprises.

Directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay by David Goyer, the film is produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Larry Franco. The executive producers are Ben Melniker and Michael Uslan.

The project is scheduled to start production in London in March.

The film, which explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham, will be released worldwide in 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Click HERE and HERE to read an AIN'T IT COOL NEWS interview with BATMAN screenwriter David Goyer. It is a good read....So who is going to be Gordon? If I was a betting man, I'd lay a little coin on Dennis Quaid. I first heard this guy's name mentioned in conjunction to the role last July (2003). I thought he was out of the running, but based on what I am hearing now, I think he is the front-runner. And one very good BOF source is digging into it for me and will let me know as soon as he knows. Then y'all will know....As for the remainder of the cast, we should know something very soon. Oh, by the way, Guy Pearce will be Harvey Dent--IF he wants to do it. Don't hold me to that of course. Later, loyal BOF readers!

BOF told ya: Watanabe confirmed for BATMAN!
Tuesday, February 24, 2004: The greatness of BOF's Bat-movie reporting skills never cease! Just kidding! Anyway, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and VARIETY are confirming what BOF told you all on February 20th--that Ken Wantanabe has been cast as Ra's Al Ghul in the upcoming BATMAN (BEGINS?) film directed by Christopher Nolan. I found out that I actually had this info as far back as the 15th of this month, but it was laying in BOF's old email account, so I missed out by 5 days. Anyway, expect the official word who just who will be cast as Gordon, Falcone, Earl, etc. soon. Like within days. More later today in a second update. Late.

Watanabe: I am up for BATMAN; Bale finally speaks!
Monday, February 23, 2004 (second update): Ken Wantanabe himself has confirmed what BOF told you all first: that he is up for a role in the new BATMAN film. "Ken Watanabe revealed that he is up for one of two roles in the next 'Batman' film, one a major villain," writes USA TODAY in a report about the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The role he is up for is Ra's Al Ghul. Nothing else, trust me....Christian Bale has finally spoken about BATMAN! Here's what he had to say in an interview in the German magazine BUNTE....

"I think Batman is probably more aggresive than most everybody I've ever played, you know. I wanted to take it, because, firstly, when I heard that there was a consideration of doing more of the movies, I just felt like I hadn't been quite satisfied with what I'd seen in the other movies. Certainly in the last two. And it seemed as though there was actually a real character here, that it wasn't just a bland kind of superhero, one-dimensional. With him there really was an interesting character to be played. I loved the kind of fantastical notion of the superhero, but at the same time being able to bring a psychologically interesting element to that. And then Chris Nolan is directing who, you know, is not a director I would have expected to do this movie. So that was ideal to me, I liked the fact that the people hiring Chris, hiring myself, were going with people who did want to reinvent the story and have it not just be a continuation."

Watanabe had to decline BATMAN role? Quaid to be Gordon!?
Monday, February 23, 2004: This in overnight from one of BOF's best and longtime sources. This person knows. I know how he knows, but I can't reveal anything more about him. Let's just say that he has been dead on regarding many things beforehand--most recently with a certain girl who was cast in this film....

Ken Watanabe was offered the role of Ra's Al Ghul, and declined over scheduling problems. Warner Bros. then offered him the role of Ducard. Watanabe desperately wants to be involved in the "Batman" film, and the offer is still, apparently, there. I have no idea how this impacts on reports of Liam Neeson being cast as Ducard. Perhaps the initial reports of Nesson being cast as Ra's are correct, but I can't confirm or deny as I don't know. Also, expect a big or, at the very least, up-and-coming actor to be cast as Jim Gordon. There is a short list which I will have access to shortly. And FYI: The rumors of Laurence Fishburne being offered the part of Lucius Fox were complete lies. Fishburne is way too big a star for such a small role. That was total fanboy fantasy.

From this and what I can gather, Wantanabe is trying to get his schedule in order for him to take the role of Ra's Al Ghul. We should know how all this shakes out--plus other casting (Gordon, Falcone, & Dent) very soon....Speaking of Gordon, according to CINESCAPE ONLINE, "Dennis Quaid is 'close' to being signed for the part of Jim Gordon, the Gotham City beat cop that will one day become police Commissioner." BOF broke the story a while back that Quaid's name had been mentioned in conjunction for the role of Gordon--as far back as July of '03. I hope this pans out as I'd love to see Quaid get the role. The report also says--as BOF reported yesterday--that there is talk of making the official title of the film BATMAN BEGINS. Plus, there is a additional infor regarding The Batmobile and a fight scene. And it seems that CINESCAPE is doing the same thing that BOF and DARK HORIZONS is doing: not giving up major plot spoilers.

Additional BATMAN crew/location info; title rumor; & Watanabe up for....
Sunday, February 22, 2004: Click HERE to go to a SUPERHERO HYPE article with a rundown of BATMAN crew additions....Click HERE to read a BBC ONLINE story regarding the hanger in Bedfordshire (in the U.K.) that will be used to house a huge indoor set--said to be one of the largest ever--for Bat-filming....U.K. BOF reader "Tom" sent me a report regarding The Batmobile. His "gf" works for a company that is "....So what is the title of this film? I'm hearing that BATMAN BEGINS is becoming a favorite of some of those in charge. This is strictly rumor right now....What role is Ken Watanabe up for? The BOF source that supplied me with information that Watanabe might join the Bat-cast, says that he is up for the role of Ra's Al Ghul. Not Ubu. Not anyone else. Ra's Al Ghul is the role....And that plot twist? I am NOT going to reveal it. I am not going to ruin this film for you all. And if you ever get the chance to find out what it is, don't. You'll be thankful I didn't let loose with this info in the summer of 2005. Late.

Watanabe to join cast? A MAJOR plot twist in BATMAN?
Friday, February 20, 2004 (second update): According to a new BOF scooper, actor Ken Watanabe (THE LAST SAMURAI) will soon be announced as a member of the BATMAN cast. And it is a MAJOR character--one that I won't reveal right now (Suggestion--go to the Cast/Crew section--Jett). I will say that is it a villain....This source also let me in on a HUGE plot twist that is cool as hell--and that I know to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt. And one that I wish I didn't know, to be frank with you readers. And I'll never reveal it (So DON'T email me and ask--the answer is NO!), because I respect this film....This same source has told BOF that a young Harvey Dent--not Two-Face--is indeed in the script as speculated. BOF has long reported that Dent was included in the screenplay by Goyer and Nolan. So, who is playing him? Well, if the guy they wants takes the gig, at least he's worked with Nolan before.

Neeson's Ducard, not Ra's!
Friday, February 20, 2004: I gotta admit, this was surprising to me. And to a lot of people--including some BOF sources. According to VARIETY (subscription required), Liam Neeson is playing Henry Ducard, not Ra's Al Ghul as everyone believed. VARIETY describes the role of Ducard as being a "mentor to Bruce Wayne." So, who the hell is going to play Ra's in this film? Could Viggo Mortensen--rumored earlier for the role--be the one that Nolan and company have in mind? Or is it someone else who's name has yet to pop up on the rumor mill? BOF is digging like heck to get to the bottom of this--stay tuned....Click on this link from THE WHARF which details the reservation of a restaurant over a weekend in March. According to the report, it will be the setting for a scene between Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Rachel Dobson (Katie Holmes).

Neeson, Freeman confirmed for Bat-cast!
Thursday, February 19, 2004: Looks like our BOF sources were right! First of all, a source told us last weekend to expect more official casting info this week. And now, VARIETY (subscription may be required) is confirming that both Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman are officially in the cast for BATMAN. "Freeman will play Lucius Fox, a respected businessman and the CEO of billionaire Bruce Wayne's mega-conglom, based in Gotham City." This confirms what many BOF sources have been telling us for a while now. Back on January 19th, BOF reported that "he [Freeman] may be--or was at one time--up for the role of Lucius Fox, and not a villain as rumored." The source was right. Neeson is now being confirmed as the villain Ra's Al Ghul. "Liam Neeson plays the villain, Ra's al Ghul, a wealthy international terrorist," says the VARIETY report. Which roles should we hear about next? Gordon and Falcone.

Another actor enters the Bat-mix!
Sunday, February 15, 2004 (second update): According to a SUPERHERO HYPE scooper, Irish actor Larry Holden is up for a unspecified role in the upcoming Bat-film. Two roles that Holden might fit would be Det. Sgt. Jim Gordon or Mob Boss Carmine Falcone. As a BOF scooper said in today's earlier report, official casting news could come this week. It certainly looks like that might be the case.

Bat-suit description?!
Sunday, February 15, 2004: A possible Bat-costume description from a reliable BOF source....

Now, I haven't seen the costume. And I know that very few people have actually laid eyes on it. But this is a bit of the buzz I've heard about it. It is made of silicone and a material similar to the "Spider-Man" costume. It has a armored look to it around the chest area. There is no yellow oval--the Bat symbol is like it is in the current comics. It may be part of the chest armor. The suit is dark, but not totally black. From the descrition that I got, it's dark gray. The cape, cowl, boots, and gloves are black. I've heard two descritions for the ears. One report said that they are shorter than they were in the previous films. Someone else told me that they are "Kane-style;" based on the orginal look of Batman back from 1939. I've also heard two reports on the eyes. I've heard it had lenses, and I've heard it didn't. I'm sure that costuming experienced with both. The utility belt will have pockets, but with a sleek look to it (nothing like what Adam West wore). Also black, I've heard. Now, if you use this, make sure to tell your readers that this is mostly rumor, but coming from people who would know.

Hear what he said? Take it as rumor. But it does sound pretty darn cool! I'd go with the retro, 1939-style ears myself. Not short, longer--sort of like those YEAR ONE concept drawings of the costume that leaked out last summer. But I like the shorter, "Jim Lee" style ears as well....

....Now this is nothing earth shattering, but another insider told BOF this weekend that more casting news should be coming this week.
(Thanks to "Stax," "The Only Woj," "Spiridoula," "Brandon," "Super85," & "Nick" for the lead!)

More possible Bat-titles; Iceland filming start date
Friday, February 13, 2004: I told y'all that things would be picking up as we get closer to filming, didn't I? Speaking of that, a LATINO REVIEW source tells them that filming will begin in Iceland February 25th and will film for about 10 days....And this just happened--because I have been checking daily--WB has secured more domain names. Which means that the final title of the film is still up in the air. Both batman-intimidationgame.com and .net have recently been secured by Warner Bros (Jan. 29, 2004). And it seems that producer Emma Thomas has secured both batman-begins.com and .net (Jan. 8, 2004). Looks like they are finally covering their bases as far as the film's final title is concerned. Geez! What the hell IS this film going to be titled? How about, uh I don't know, THE BATMAN? Actually, I kinda dig BATMAN BEGINS. It's sort of to-the-point of what this film is about.
(Thanks to "The Only Woj" and "Nick" for the lead!)

Casting of Neeson confirmed; Filming start date!
Thursday, February 12, 2004: According to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, actor Liam Neeson "...is in final negotiations to star opposite Christian Bale in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming 'Batman' movie." Final negotiations = It's a done deal. Still no official word on what role Neesom is taking, but the word it is that it is indeed the villain Ra's Al Ghul....A report in FILM JERK says that filming begins March 16 in the U.K. The site also says that "the production is looking to cast an 'enormous' Asian man, who will be involved in a fight scene. Producers are not specifying an age range for the character, saying it can be 'any age as long as he is enormous,' as well as looks dangerous and is able to speak in broken English." Ubu?
(Thanks to "The Only Woj" & "Nick" for part of this report.)

Neeson: signed, sealed and delivered for BATMAN?!
Wednesday, February 11, 2004: COMING ATTRACTIONS at CINESCAPE ONLINE is back again today with more Liam Neeson-in-BATMAN talk. CA claims that the actor is "...signed, sealed and delivered [for BATMAN--BOF]. All that awaits is the Warner Bros. announcement." Their source also says that Neeson is playing a villain in the film, although which one is not clear. As BOF said yesterday, it has to Ra's AL Ghul--an international crimelord and terrorist. The other villain in the film is said to be Dr. Jonathan Crane (aka "The Scarecrow") who is rumored to be depicted as some sort of drug dealer--perhaps straying a bit from his portrayal in "BATMAN" comicbooks...."Rob" is back with more info on the Chicago shoot. He says that Bat-filming will take place sometime in June and that Chicago's "El Trains" may be involved.

Neeson in the Bat-cast mix?
Tuesday, February 10, 2004 (second update): According to a scooper ID'd as "trustworthy," CINESCAPE is reporting that Irish actor Liam Neeson "...is either already in the cast of 'BATMAN' or he's teetering on the cusp of being in that film's roster of talent." The exact role is not mentioned. Possible roles include Jim Gordon, Ra's Al Ghul, or some other character all together (Carmine Falcone? Wayne Enterprises acting head/asshole Earl?) . Being the first time BOF has heard Neeson's name mentioned in conjunction to BATMAN, I would assume that he'd be up for the role of Ra's--but that is nothing but speculation on BOF's part. I have seen Neeson's name mentioned for Ra's by many a Bat-fanboy previously. As BOF has said before, this should all shake out really soon as filming begins in a matter of days.... I just did a short interview for MOVIE POOP SHOOT's "THE BOTTOM OF THINGS." The premise is why is BATMAN on the cusp of filming, while SUPERMAN is still in longime development hell? The author of the story is Mike Sampson and he offers a great look into the histories of both BATMAN 5 and SUPERMAN 5. Click HERE to read the article titled "Batman vs. Superman Lives!"

Caine: Chicago to double for Gotham
Tuesday, February 10, 2004: Last week (Feb. 10th), BOF was the first to report a rumor that BATMAN may be filming in Chicago. In a recent interview with 15 MINUTES MAGAZINE, Michael Caine--who will be playing Alfred--confirms that Chicago will used as one of the doubles for Gotham....

Is it true you’re in the new Christian Bale-Batman film?
Yes, I’m Alfred, Batman’s butler and guardian and the film is being done by British director Christopher Nolan who did Memento. That’s an incredible choice because instead of playing it safe with a run of the mill, plodding director as they usually do, they’ve gone for experimental. I think he’ll make a great picture.

Isn’t Batman a bit old hat now?
This one is different, less comic-booky, and it starts with Batman as a baby. I am not a guy who just runs around with cups and saucers. The movie will all be shot in England in a huge Zepplin hangar in Hertfordshire, with some days in Chicago which will double for Gotham.

(Thanks to "Nick" for the lead!)

Great report on Nolan's Bat-film, Part II!
Sunday, February 8, 2004 (second update): Again, from VARIETY (subscription required). The "3 Rings" of a BATMAN movie....

The company [DC COMICS--Jett] has what it calls a circle of "three rings" that make up the Batman universe.

There's the "aspirational experience," which Levitz says consists of how people react emotionally to the Bruce Wayne character, his traumatic childhood involving the death of his parents and how that leads the billionaire to use his riches to fight crime.

"It's all about making you feel that if you went through something traumatic, you'd rise to the challenge in the same way," Levitz says.

The second ring: "You go to a Batman movie expecting certain moments," Levitz says. "You expect to see the Batmobile, the Batcave, the Bat Signal, his utility belt, Batman swinging across Gotham City. That's your wow."

Another expectation is the prospect of seeing something that hasn't appeared in other Batman outings. "There's always the question of how do you give the audience something they haven't seen before," Levitz says.

The final ring deals with the creative interpretation that the director, writers and actors bring to the project.

"They each want to bring things that are unique, but they can't fight the other rings of the circle," Levitz says. "It would be unique to have Batman tripping over himself, but that wouldn't be good."

According to the article, neither DC COMICS or TIME-WARNER have final script approval. (Thanks to "The Only Woj" for the head's up!)

Great report on Nolan's Bat-film!
Sunday, February 8, 2004: This is by far the best "mainstream" story done on Nolan's Bat-film yet! It's from VARIETY (subscription required). Here's a bit of it (By MARC GRASER, CATHY DUNKLEY)....

It's one thing to reinvent a franchise after a few decades. It's another matter to resurrect a series that became overly stylized, even kitschy, and petered out only seven years ago -- and to convince the public that a new film could be something entirely different.

After a disappointing fourth installment, and three false starts at a fifth version, Batman will be born again. But don't call this the latest in the series. Consider it "Batman: Year One."

This time around, it's about the genesis of Batman: How billionaire Bruce Wayne makes a series of decisions that turn him into the Caped Crusader. Batman will be more realistic and less cartoonish. There are no campy villains. Wayne -- younger, more vulnerable, more human -- will be getting as much attention as his masked alter-ego.

"I felt like doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that's never been told before," says Chris Nolan ("Insomnia," "Memento"), who takes the reins of "Batman" from Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.

Humanity and realism, says Nolan, is the crux of the new pic.

"The world of Batman is that of grounded reality," he says. Burton's and Schumacher's visions were idiosyncratic and unreal. Nolan says, "Ours will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises."

Nolan, a self-confessed James Bond fan as a child, is keen on reinventing Wayne as more of a modern-day Bond than hapless playboy -- an action-adventure hero who has mythic qualities and battles the odds to save the world.

With "The Matrix" series over, Warner Bros. is anxious to whip up a franchise to rival Fox's "X-Men" and Sony's "Spider-Man." Since the old Batman quartet was running out of gas, the goal is to rethink the whole thing.

WB Pictures prexy of production Jeff Robinov says, "There's an emotional component to the film which grounds it and really tells us about Bruce Wayne's struggle."

While the new Bruce Wayne is getting emphasis, Nolan, scripter David Goyer and WB have focused on fixing problems that plagued the other pics. For example, Bruce Wayne was too dark and impenetrable and had lost the humorous side found in the comics. The character was basically just dead screen time until Batman appears -- which in the new film may not happen until 40 minutes after it begins.

"If we're successful, the thing that will be talked about a lot and on what we worked on the hardest is that the audience will really care about Bruce Wayne and not just Batman," Goyer says. It doesn't matter how much you spend on special effects -- if it feels hollow, no one gives a damn."

Nolan starts helming the film next month, and its summer 2005 release will prove whether WB has been able to breathe new life into the Caped Crusader -- and to rescue its biggest franchise outside of "Harry Potter."

WB's wants to tap into the "Batman" fan base and bring back audiences that wandered away from the original quartet. The 1997 "Batman & Robin" failed with critics, fans and the B.O., becoming the series' worst performer, with just $107 million domestically.

So the new, untitled "Batman" is getting a complete overhaul, backed by a roughly $150 million budget.

Rather than pit Batman against a new set of supervillains, the new film focuses on how billionaire Bruce Wayne becomes the Dark Knight.

"It's almost impossible to reinvent Batman," says Robinov. "Chris is reintroducing Batman, and it feels smart and cool and fresh. That's no disrespect to the other movies, but it's really Chris' vision of Batman, and that's what we're supporting."

Christian Bale will don the cape and cowl inherited from Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. Michael Caine (as Alfred), Katie Holmes and Cillian Murphy also star.

There'll be a new Batmobile, a new arsenal of gadgets, a new Batsuit (sans nipples) as well as a new musical theme.

Even Gotham City is getting a facelift. Previous pics made the city seem dark and claustrophobic or garishly stylized. Instead of lensing on sets built inside huge soundstages, the new film will be shot on locations in New York, London and Iceland, assembling pieces of each city to recreate Gotham as a modern-day metropolis.

"Gotham will seem like this great city in a contemporary world and will be created through various cities," Nolan says. "We are trying to avoid a villagey feel for Gotham, as it starts to get claustrophobic."

Goyer -- who penned the successful "Blade" series for New Line and was a former staffer at "Batman" publisher DC Comics -- adds: "As the Batman films progressed, they became increasingly more cartoonish and more like the campy TV show. We think the audience is tired of that, and it's at odds with the way Batman is depicted in the comicbooks over the last decade. Batman is a classic figure whose story is wrapped in tragedy."

Nolan jumps on that theme: "Few superheroes have the sense of purpose and destiny that Batman has. He is driven by an incredible sense of rage, sadness and grief because of the tragedy of his parents' murder at an early age. To me, Batman is the most interesting superhero because he doesn't have any superpowers. He is very human."

The casting of Bale, Nolan hopes, will not only give audiences a younger Batman to root for but also a weighty sense of his true character.

"Bruce Wayne is strong, and the things that are done to him to make him become Batman are all psychological and character-based," Nolan says. "We needed an actor capable of taking us along on this journey and showing the different psychological layers which inspire Bruce to become Batman."

Fans fearing that the new Batman has taken his passport and moved across the pond shouldn't fret, however. Nolan may be a fan of Bond, and the new installment may be made up of a mostly British cast, crew and locations, but Batman's remaining American.

DC Comics not only provided Nolan and Goyer with key elements of Batman's background, it also gave the filmmakers a list of what Goyer jokingly dubs "the 10 Commandments," a set of guidelines that should appear in every Batman story.

"Before they sat down with us, they had already done a tremendous amount of homework," says Paul Levitz, prexy and publisher of DC Comics. "Working with them has been a delight. We haven't been dealing with questions like, 'Is it "Bruce Wayne" or could it be "Bob Wayne" instead?'

"We started on the same emotional and intellectual level. We all want to make a movie that appeals to the most intense Batman fan as well as the person who's never seen a Batman movie or TV show before."

In terms of whether the movie will be too dark, Robinov says the film's more about conflict than darkness: about Batman's internal conflict and what drives him to suit up as a superhero.

The director's feeling the pressure to succeed. "It's an awesome responsibility," Nolan says, "because the fan base for Batman is extraordinary, and there's a lot of emotional investment in the character."

Warner Bros. also is understandably eager not to alienate or disappoint auds and hardcore fans with Batman's latest adventure.

A shroud of secrecy has surrounded the new pic since it was unveiled last year. Nolan and the new film's key creative team are reluctant to reveal too many details of the planned visuals or plot.

But daily updates and details of the new film's plot, characters and production designs are finding their way onto Web sites such as Ain't It Cool News, Batman on Film (Damn! BOF in VARIETY!!--Jett), Dark Horizons, Chud and Superhero Hype. (Finicky fans praised Bale's casting.)

The last thing Warners wants is a repeat of the early negative buzz that erupted on the Internet after Ain't It Cool News posted its scathing review of an early test screening of "Batman & Robin," which the studio said could have hurt the film's B.O. performance.

If the new film succeeds, WB's "Batman" franchise will have found a new direction for its sequels to take and compete with Sony's juggernaut "Spider-Man" and Fox's "X-Men" adventures.

Man, that is some really good stuff! A "realistic" Batman sounds fantastic! Finally, the REAL Batman will be seen onscreen! (Thanks to "Gill" for the head's up!!)

Various bit of Bat-news
Thursday, February 5, 2004: A few bits of Bat-news for you all....SUPERHERO HYPE! has some news regarding a possible site for Arkham....THE BEDFORD TODAY reports of the huge affect that the filming of BATMAN will have on that community....BOF recieved an email today from a new source suggesting that this film could be filming in Chicago for a few weeks. Can't confirm this, but I am looking into this story....I have it from several good sources--and this is really no surprise--that Cillian Murphy will indeed be playing Dr. Jonathan Crane (a.k.a. "The Scarecrow") in BATMAN INTIMIDATION....DARK HORIZONS has posted a nice story sypnosis worth checking out. (Thanks to "The Only Woj" for the head's up for part of this report!)

Cooper on turning down Gordon; Freeman close to accepting Bat-role?
Tuesday, February 3, 2004: THE SCARLET CARPET caught up with actor Chris Cooper, and told them he turned down the role of Jim Gordon in BATMAN INTIMIDATION. "I read the script and decided the substance of the script and the character was not up to what I expected,” said Cooper. BOF reported back on January 13th & 17th that Cooper had likely turned down the role. Cooper's quote pretty much confirms it....In related news, could Morgan Freeman be close to accepting a role in the upcoming Bat-film? And of so, just what role? "Morgan Freeman told us [THE SCARLET CARPET--Jett] he's considering signing on for a part." A BOF source speculated recently that Freeman was more likely up for the role of Lucius Fox, rather Jim Gordon--as the part of Gordon is written as a late 40ish Det. Sgt. in the screenplay....I have heard this before, but I've now heard it from a good source that I really trust: a character rumored to appear in this film, just indeed might. And an fairly well-known actor might take the part. I can't be anymore specific, but one of the major trades could break the story on this very soon. You'll know what I am talking about, once--and if--it pans out and it hits the trades. BOF has reported previously--more than once I believe--that this particular character from the Bat-mythos was rumored to be in the script....I did some checking, and this adds a little validity to the LATINO REVIEW script review from last Friday. And vice-versa. But, solid BOF sources told us--and it was reported here September 19, 2003, that "...this Bat-film will feature 'flashbacks.' The exact details are unknown, although there is speculation that The Batman's origin is a candidate for such treatment. This could involve Ra's as well." Spot on. Late.

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Material from BOF may not be reprinted without permission.
"BATMAN" artwork © DC COMICS.