Batman Begins is a 2005 film directed by Christopher Nolan. It was co-produced by Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Larry Franco. The screenplay was co-written by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer based on Goyer’s story featuring characters from the comic books by DC Comics. Batman Begins stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe and Morgan Freeman.
The storyline follows billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne who following the deaths of his parents relocates to Asia where he is mentored by Henri Ducard and Ra’s Al Ghul in how to fight evil. After learning about the plot to wipe out evil in Gotham City by Ducard, Bruce prevents this plan from getting any further and heads back to his home. Back in his original surroundings, Bruce adopts the image of a bat to strike fear into the criminals and the corrupt as the icon known as ‘Batman’.
After a series of unsuccessful projects to resurrect the Batman series following the critical failure of Batman & Robin (1997), Nolan and Goyer began working on the film in early 2003, aiming for a darker, more realistic tone.
Principle photography began in the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland which stands in for Bhutan. The crew built a village and the front doors to Ra’s’ temple, as well as a road to access the remote area. However, the weather was problematic, with 75 miles per hour winds, rain and a lack of snow. With Nolan using inspiration from Superman and other blockbuster films of the late 1970s and early 1980s, he based most of the production in England, at Shepperton Studios.
Interestingly despite the darkness of the film, Nolan wanted the film to appeal to a wide age range. He said, “Not the youngest kids obviously, I think what we’ve done is probably a bit intense for them but I certainly didn’t want to exclude the sort of ten to 12-year olds, because as a kid I would have loved to have seen a movie like this” and because of this, nothing gory or bloody was filmed.
When Batman Begins was released it received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds a 84% rating with the consensus ” Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes”.
Roger Ebert, who gave mixed reviews to the previous films, and claimed in his review for Batman Returns that he did not believe noir worked in superhero films, wrote this was “the Batman movie I’ve been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for”. Giving it four out of four stars, he commended the realistic portrayals of the Batman arsenal – the Batsuit, Batcave, Tumbler, and the Batsignal – as well as the focus on “the story and character” with less stress on “high-tech action”.
Commercially, Batman Begins was a huge box office success. Produced on an estimated production budget of $150m, it took $48,745,440 on its opening weekend release in the US. It went on to take $374,218,673 in total worldwide box office receipts. Batman Begins received numerous nominations and awards and in total received 71 nominations in various categories and won 14 of them.
Year of Film
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Thriller
Budget: $150,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $48,745,440 (USA)
Gross: $374,218,673 (Worldwide)
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