Preview by: Jack Foley
SPIDER-Man may be dominating
the super-hero Box Office, but he might not have things his own
way for much longer, if advance word on the new Batman movie is
anything to go by.
For while Peter Parker dusts off the cobwebs of many a Box Office
record as he fights Dr
Octopus, a certain Bruce Wayne is waiting in the wings to
give him a serious run for his money.
Batman Begins will be the fifth film in the franchise, but is
set to return to its dark roots, following the critical derision
which greeted the Joel Schumacher directed abominations that were
Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
Having been forced to learn their lesson, however, Warner Bros
look set to come back strongly, having employed the talents of
Christopher Nolan and a stellar cast of quality actors to ensure
a healthy revival for the franchise.
Nolan, of course, is the talent behind such films as Memento
and Insomnia, while the cast includes
the likes of Christian Bale, as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine,
as Alfred the Butler, and a veritable who's who of quality cinema.
Check this out for a support cast - Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson,
Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson
and Rutger Hauer, to name but a few who have been connected to
Although much of the film's plot is a closely guarded secret
for the moment, what is known is that the film will take the form
of a prequel, looking at how Wayne became the caped crusader.
According to movie website, Movies.com, the film will find a
A 25-year-old Bruce Wayne (Bale) returning to Gotham City to find
that his family's business, Wayne Enterprises, has been taken
over by shareholders, and the company's chief inventor, Lucius
Fox (Freeman), has been fired.
Eager to avange the death of his parents, Wayne enlists Fox to
help him create an alter ego when a villain, named Scarecrow (Cillian
Murphy), unleashes a plot to poison the city.
But while the plot may seem fairly routine, viewers are promised
a much greater emphasis on characterisation than has previously
been seen, which had largely been lacking from latter movies in
Certainly, Nolan seems to understand the importance of getting
it right, saying in an interview with Newsweek: "Batman is
an absolutely iconic character, one of the great figures in pop
culture, really, but there has to be a reason for making this
film as opposed to just renting Tim Burton's version."
Hence, the movie will attempt to answer the question of how did
this guy, who has no superpowers, acquire all of these capabilities?
It will also be shot in a gritty, realistic style, with a full
city block of Gotham, based loosely on the towering slums of Hong
Kong's Kowloon, having been built in a converted aircraft hanger
north of London.
The starting point for the new look came with the Batmobile,
however, which marks something of a radical departure from the
sleek vehicles of Burton's and Schumacher's era.
One only has to check out various Batman sites to see that the
vehicle's rear is stacked with four, 44-inch Humvee tires, while
the front is covered in jagged plates of armour.
It is certain to cause one of many talking points among fans
as the June 2005 release date draws closer.