A/V Room









Batman Begins - Preview

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 the project.

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,, 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 the series.

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.

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