Batman (film series)

Batman (film series)

Infobox Film
name |

caption = Poster for "Batman" (1989)
director =
producer =
writer =
starring =
music =
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = 20th Century Fox (1966);
Warner Bros. (1989-2008)
released = 1966 – present
runtime =
country = USA
awards =
language = English
budget =
gross = $2,597,560,813
preceded_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id =

The "Batman" film series currently consists of seven superhero films based on the fictional DC Comics character of the same name, portrayed by Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale respectively.

The first film, known simply as "Batman" or "Batman: The Movie", directed by Leslie H. Martinson and produced by 20th Century Fox, was a theatrical spin-off of the TV series, produced by William Dozier, that was running at the time and was a quasi-comedy rather than a serious superhero movie. Warner Bros. hired Tim Burton to direct the 1989 version, which had no connection to the 1966 movie and is often considered the first "definitive" Batman movie. The series continued with "Batman Returns" (1992). Joel Schumacher was hired to direct "Batman Forever" (1995), and "Batman & Robin" (1997), with various proposals for another installment being cancelled after the critical failure of "Batman & Robin". Christopher Nolan rebooted the film series with "Batman Begins" (2005) and "The Dark Knight" (2008), completely starting over with a new series of films that have no connection to the previous installments. Throughout the films, Batman has fought with several of his famous villains.

Though the 1966 movie was the first feature length Batman film, two previous efforts had been shown in cinemas in a serial format, 1943's "The Batman" and 1949's "Batman and Robin". These were produced on extremely small budgets and featured none of the comic book series' regular villains. Batman was played by Lewis Wilson in the first serial and Robert Lowery in the sequel.

Development

The first feature-length film based on Batman was developed by William Dozier and 20th Century Fox out of the television series that starred Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Burt Ward as Robin/Dick Grayson. Both West and Ward reprised their roles for the film. Produced between the first and second seasons, the film was just as campy as the series, with its comic relief. It was a moderate success at the box office. When the series ended, no other film based on the series was produced. However, the original "Batman" film has become a cult classic and has since been issued on DVD as the only incarnation of the television series to be so released.

The Warner Bros. films took a far different approach than Fox's original. Michael Uslan had recently gained fame for convincing the Dean of Indiana University to start a course on comic books. DC Comics was impressed enough with his work to invite him to their offices. Uslan, a fan of the Batman character, was able to acquire the film rights to the property in April 1979 through a newly formed partnership with Benjamin Melniker. CBS at that time was developing a "Batman in Outer Space" film, though DC had no intention of granting film rights for that concept. The prevailing perception of the character was still that of the campy 1960s TV series. Uslan was always fascinated with Bill Finger's and Bob Kane's early stories from 1939, and wished instead to produce the film in that style. For his presentation to studios, Uslan wrote a short story titled "Return of the Batman" so as to show the studios what exactly he was aiming for. The treatment anticipated the tone that would later be taken in Frank Miller's "".cite news|author=Bill "Jett" Ramey|title=An Interview With Michael Uslan - Part 1| publisher=Batman-on-Film|date=2005-11-08|url= http://www.batman-on-film.com/interview_muslan_2.html| accessdate= 2007-11-22 ]

As Uslan and Melniker unsuccessfully pitched the film to many studios,cite video | title = Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight| format = DVD | publisher = Warner Bros. | year = 2005] Uslan started searching for writers. He felt "Superman", "James Bond", and "Star Wars" were the three most successful film franchises at the time. As such he approached Richard Maibaum to write the script, with Guy Hamilton to direct. Both were well known for the various Bond films they had collaborated on, though the two would eventually turn down the opportunity. Tom Mankiewicz was settled upon, who had recently co-written "Superman" and in the past was involved with three James Bond films. Mankiewicz started writing his script sometime in 1980, and was able to finish in June 1983, going under the simple title of "The Batman".cite news|author=Tom Mankiewicz|title=The Batman: Revised First Draft Screenplay| publisher=ScifiScripts.com |date=1983-06-20|url=http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/batmanscript1.txt|accessdate=2007-11-23]

The script showcased the origins of both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson and included the Joker and Rupert Thorne as the main villains (with a brief cameo from the Penguin). Silver St. Cloud appeared as the love interest. Several elements from the script ended up appearing in future film installments, such as The Joker being responsible for Bruce's parents' murder (though Joe Chill was the hired gun), and Batman being framed for crimes he didn't commit (see "Batman Returns"). Similarities for "Batman Forever" had Dick Grayson's origin being practically the same (as well as stumbling upon the Batcave), and Dick saving Bruce's life before becoming Robin.

While Mankiewicz was writing the script, Uslan and Melniker were still seeking a deal with a studio. Uslan recounts many stories, "At Columbia, the head of production said to me, shaking his head after I pitched my heart out, "Come on, Batman will never be a success as a film because our movie "Annie" didn’t do well." I looked at this guy dumbfounded. And I asked him what did the little red-headed girl who sang "Tomorrow" have to do with Batman!? And he said, "Michael, they are both out of the funny pages." At United Artists, Uslan recounted a similar story. "An exec said to me that a film with Batman and Robin would never work as a film because "Robin and Marian" wasn’t successful. Now that was about an aging Robin Hood and Maid Marian with Sean Connery! I just picked up all my materials, didn’t say a word and walked out of the room."cite news|author=Bill "Jett" Ramey|title=An Interview With Michael Uslan - Part 2| publisher=Batman-on-Film|date=2005-11-10|url=http://www.batman-on-film.com/interview_muslan_3.html| accessdate= 2007-11-23]

It was in late 1981 that Uslan announced a 1983 release date, with a budget of $15 million, though the project continued to languish in development hell, causing repeated delays.cite news|author=Alan Jones|title=Batman in Production| publisher=Cinefantastique|date=November 1989|url= http://www.batmanmovieonline.com/behindthescenes/articles/batmanproduction.htm|accessdate=2007-11-23 ] Uslan and Melniker were finally able to team with Peter Guber and Jon Peters in 1982. The four producers were able to convince Warner Bros. to finance the film after Universal Studios declined the offer. Uslan then announced in 1983, the year Mankiewicz finally completed his script, that the film would be released in 1985 and have a budget of $20 million. Joe Dante and Ivan Reitman were briefly involved as directors though both would take on other projects instead ("Gremlins" for Dante, while Reitman opted for "Ghostbusters"). Uslan wanted a distinguished unknown actor as Batman, with William Holden as Commissioner Gordon and David Niven as Alfred Pennyworth. Even at this stage, Jack Nicholson was the choice for the role of The Joker.

In the meantime, more scripts came about that included the basic premise of The Joker, Rupert Thorne, Silver St. Cloud, and Robin. All scripts were positioned as an adaptation of Steve Englehart's "Dark Detective" series. [cite news|author=Bill "Jett" Ramey|title=Interview: Steven Englehart|publisher=Batman-on-Film|date=2006-11-27|url= http://www.batman-on-film.com/interview_steveenglehart_jett_2006.html|accessdate=2007-11-25] Warner Bros., however, began to push for the project again to center on the campy tone of the "Batman" TV series from the 1960s, citing Bill Murray as Batman and Eddie Murphy as Robin as their primary casting choices, over Uslan's objections. After the success of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns", the studio reconsidered, and decided to depict the film the way Uslan had wanted to since the beginning, though still choosing a comedy director, after the surprising success of "Pee-wee's Big Adventure", Warner Bros. handed the director's position to Tim Burton.

Burton took "Batman" and "Batman Returns" as opportunities to pay homage to the classic German Expressionist Horror film genre. Burton's influences included "The Phantom of the Opera", "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", "Dracula", "The Bat", "The Man Who Laughs", "Frankenstein", "Bride of Frankenstein", "Nosferatu", and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". cite video|title=Batman (1989) Audio Commentary by Director Tim Burton|format = DVD|publisher=Warner Bros.| year=2005]

Burton/Schumacher series

After this long development history, all of the Batman films were distributed by Warner Brothers. They were directed by Tim Burton. This does not count the animated film, "" (1993), released to theatres during this era--that film was based on the mythos of the Warner Brothers , produced around this time.

"Batman" (1989)

Millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) begins his run as the shadowy vigilante known as "The Batman." Gotham City is in the grip of mob boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance), and is only met with worse fears with a corrupt police department. Reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) investigates the mysterious Batman, and is eventually taken in by Wayne's charms. The situation becomes further worse when Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), former right hand man of Grissom, hideously transforms into the psychopathic Joker. Bruce Wayne must confront tragic moments from the past as the homicidal maniac starts his deadly plans against the citizens of Gotham.

"Batman Returns" (1992)

A mysterious "Penguin-like" man (Danny Devito) appears out of the sewers of Gotham and is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt to destroy the reputation of Batman (Michael Keaton) as a crime-fighter. However, the Penguin secretly schemes to kidnap the children of the wealthiest families of the City. Then, when Max's secretary Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), is transformed into the mysterious and sensual Catwoman and allies herself with the Penguin, The Dark Knight must attempt to clear his name, save the children of Gotham and decide the fate of Selina/Catwoman.

"Batman Forever" (1995)

Former District Attorney Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones) incorrectly believes Batman (Val Kilmer) caused the courtroom accident which left him disfigured on one side. As the psychotic 'Two-Face', he then unleashes a reign of terror, and assisting him is Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey), a former employee of Wayne Enterprises looking for revenge, who becomes The Riddler. As The Riddler perfects a device for draining information from all the brains in Gotham, including Bruce Wayne's knowledge of his other identity, Batman must stop this fight for the good of mankind with the help of his new sidekick Robin (Chris O'Donnell) and psychologist Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman).

"Batman & Robin" (1997)

Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) must protect Gotham City from the threat of Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Meanwhile, a young woman named Pamela Isley (Uma Thurman) witnesses illegal genetic tampering and is, apparently, killed. She is resurrected as Poison Ivy, a woman who has the ability to control and mutate all botanical life and a poisonous kiss that instantly kills her victims. She takes the first person to be genetically experimented on by her former employer as a bodyguard, Bane (Robert Swenson). They arrive at Gotham, and aid in Mr. Freeze's escape. Meanwhile, Alfred (Michael Gough) is dying with the first stage of a disease that Mr. Freezes wife suffers from and Wayne must find a cure, while dealing with troubles with Robin, and receiving help from Alfred's niece Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), a new hero of Gotham.

Unsuccessful projects

After the critical disaster of "Batman & Robin", Warner Bros. was still intent on delivering yet another Batman film. Since "Batman & Robin" did poorly (financially and critically), the next Batman film was to have an atmosphere that veered in the opposite direction. It took roughly seven years to get the fifth Batman film greenlighted, over the course of various developing titles.

"Batman Triumphant"

Warner Bros. hired Mark Protosevich to write a script for the fifth Batman film, titled "Batman Triumphant", cite news | first=Brian | last=Linder | url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/034/034018p1.html | title=Rumblings From Gotham | publisher=IGN | date2000-07-27 | accessdate=2006-11-13 ] even before the theatrical release of "Batman & Robin". Joel Schumacher, George Clooney, and Chris O’Donnell were still contracted for another film. [ cite news | first=Dave | last=Karger | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,288644,00.html | title=Big Chill | publisher=Entertainment Weekly | date=1997-07-11 | accessdate=2006-11-13 ] The Scarecrow was to be the main villain and through the use of his fear gas, Scarecrow would cause Batman to confront his worst fear: the return of The Joker. Harley Quinn was in the script and shown as the daughter of Jack Napier.

Due to poor results from "Batman & Robin", "Triumphant" was cancelled and Warner Bros. commissioned more scripts. cite news | first=Bill "Jett" | last=Ramey| url=http://www.batman-on-film.com/opinion_jett_b5history.html | title=A History of BATMAN 5: What It Is and How It Came To Be | publisher=Batman-on-Film | date=2005-02-04 | accessdate=2006-11-13 ]

"Batman: DarKnight"

In 1998, Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise pitched the idea for a fifth Batman movie to Warner Bros. Vice President Tom Lassally. It was to be called "Batman: DarKnight" (not to be confused with "The Dark Knight") and included the Scarecrow and Man-Bat as the new villains, with the studio being most impressed with the characterization of Man-Bat. cite news | first=Bill "Jett" | last=Ramey| url=http://batman-on-film.com/interview_lshapiro.html | title=Interview: Lee Shapiro| publisher=Batman-on-Film | date=2005-07-28 | accessdate=2006-11-13 ] Fear was to be the initial theme (much like the main one for "Batman Begins") and according to Shapiro, with Scarecrow being true to the source material. Within three months, Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise sent their first draft to Warner Bros. Joel Schumacher was still signed to direct but dropped out only weeks after the first draft was completed. cite news | first=Bill "Jett" | last=Ramey| url=http://batman-on-film.com/interview_lshapiro.html | title=Interview: Lee Shapiro| publisher=Batman-on-Film | date=2005-07-28 | accessdate=2006-11-13 ] The story went as:

Bruce Wayne is in self-imposed seclusion from life, because he feels he has lost his greatest weapons in the fight against crime: his mystique and his enemies' fear. Dick Grayson attends Gotham University, trying to discover who he is apart from his guardian and unwilling to return as Robin without him. Meanwhile, Dr. Jonathan Crane uses his position as professor of psychology at Gotham University and as resident psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum to conduct his experiments in fear. During a vengeful confrontation with a colleague, Dr. Kirk Langstrom, Crane unknowingly initiates Kirk's transformation into the creature known as Man-Bat. The unsuspecting denizens of Gotham scream for Batman's head, believing the Man-Bat's nightly hunts to be the Dark Knight's bloodthirsty return to action. Bruce dons cape and cowl once more to clear his name and solve the mystery behind these attacks. Eventually, Dick ends up in Arkham Asylum under Crane's unsympathetic watch, and Kirk struggles with his "man vs. monster" syndrome as he longs to both reunite with his wife and get revenge on Crane.

The script for "Batman: DarKnight" sat at Warner Bros. and languished in development hell up until late 2000. Shapiro stated that "DarKnight" was in the running the longest as the next Batman movie compared to the other Batman projects in development.

"Batman Beyond"

In October 1999, the website "Ain't It Cool News" reported that Warner Bros. was seriously considering a live action "Batman Beyond" movie, based on the animated series. In January 2000, "Ain't It Cool News" reported that Paul Dini and Alan Burnett would be writing the script, both of whom are well known for their work on The DC Animated Universe. In August 2000, it was confirmed that Dini, Burnett, Neal Stephenson, and Boaz Yakin were to all write the script, with Yakin to direct. A script was written and turned into Warner Bros., though the project was canceled in favor of the "" project. [cite news | author = Rob M. Worley| title = Batman Beyond Live Action Movie (Archives)| publisher = Comics2Film| date = 2001-10-18 | url =http://www.comics2film.com/BatmanBeyondLAArch.shtml| accessdate=2007-09-13]

"Batman vs Superman"

In August 2001, [cite news|author=Brian Linder| title=More "Batman", "Superman" Insanity at WB|publisher=IGN|date=2001-08-09|url= http://movies.ign.com/articles/302/302177p1.html|accessdate=2008-02-04] Andrew Kevin Walker pitched Warner Bros. an idea titled "Batman vs Superman", attaching Wolfgang Petersen as director. J. J. Abrams' "Superman" script was put on hold,cite news| author = Brian M. Raftery and Nancy Miller | title = Dynamic Duel | publisher= Entertainment Weekly |date = 2002-07-22 | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,321972~1~0~holyfranchiseinsidebatman,00.html | accessdate=2007-10-30] and for reasons unknown, Akiva Goldsman was hired to rewrite Walker's draft which was codenamed "Asylum". [cite book|author=David Hughes|title=Tales From Development Hell|id=ISBN 180239914|publisher=Titan Books|pages=p.205|year=2003]

Goldsman's draft (dated June 21, 2002), had the premise of Bruce Wayne trying to shake all of the demons in his life after his five year retirement of crime fighting. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is down on his luck and in despair. Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon are all dead, as Clark just recently has divorced Lois Lane. Clark serves as Bruce's best man at his wedding to the beautiful and lovely Elizabeth Miller. After Elizabeth is killed by the Joker on the honeymoon, Bruce is forced to don the Batsuit once more, tangling a plot which involves Lex Luthor, while Clark sways a romance with Lana Lang in Smallville. [cite news|author=Akiva Goldsman|title="Batman vs Superman" 2nd Draft|publisher=Daily Scripts|url=http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/asylum.pdf|date=2002-06-21| accessdate=2007-10-11]

Filming was to start in early 2003, with plans for a five to six month shoot. The release date was set for the summer of 2004. [cite news|author= Brian Linder|title="Batman vs. Superman" in '04|publisher=IGN|url= http://movies.ign.com/articles/364/364349p1.html|date= 2002-07-09| accessdate=2008-02-04] "Batman vs Superman" was to relaunch both the "Batman" and "Superman" franchises respectively, with both sequels being reboots.cite news| author = Brian M. Raftery and Nancy Miller | title = Dynamic Duel | publisher= Entertainment Weekly |date = 2002-07-22 | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,321972~1~0~holyfranchiseinsidebatman,00.html | accessdate=2007-10-30] Within a month of the studio green lighting the project, Petersen left in favor of "Troy" (2004). [Hughes, p.207] Warner Bros. could have easily assigned a new director, but chose to cancel "Batman vs Superman" in favor of a recent script submitted by Abrams for "Superman: Flyby". [Hughes, p.208]

"Batman: Year One"

A film based on the graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller was to be directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by both Aronofsky and Miller. The project never received the greenlight by Warner Bros. because they found it to be too violent. Ultimately the project was something of a precursor to Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins".cite book | author=David Hughes | title=Tales From Development Hell | id=ISBN 1-84023-691-4 | publisher=Titan Books|year=2003|authorlink=David Hughes]

After the death of his parents young Bruce Wayne remains lost on the street and is taken in by Big Al, owner of an auto repair shop with his son Little Al. We are then introduced to detective James Gordon as he struggles with the corruption he finds endemic among Gotham City police officers of all ranks.cite news | author = Frank Miller| title = Batman: Year One Screenplay| publisher = "Leon Scripts"| url =http://leonscripts.users5.50megs.com/scripts/BATMANYEARONEscript.htm| accessdate=2007-10-31]

Bruce's first act as a vigilante is to confront a dirty cop named Campbell, but Campbell ends up dead and Bruce narrowly escapes being blamed. Realizing that he needs to operate with more methodology, he evolves his costume concept, acquires a variety of makeshift gadgets and weapons, and re-configures a black Lincoln Continental into a makeshift "bat-mobile." As "The Bat-Man," Bruce Wayne wages war on criminals from street level to the highest echelons, working his way up to Police Commissioner Loeb and Mayor Noone, even as the executors of the Wayne estate search for their missing heir. In the end, Bruce accepts his dual destiny as heir to the Wayne fortune and the city's savior, and Gordon comes to accept that, while he may not agree with "the Bat-Man"'s methods, he can't argue with the results.

No casting ever took place, though Val Kilmer (who had previously played Batman in Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever" from 1995),cite news| author = Brian Linder | title = Rumblings From Gotham | publisher= "IGN"|date = 2000-07-27 | url = http://movies.ign.com/articles/034/034018p1.html | accessdate=2007-10-31] Ben Affleck, [cite news|title=Movie Preview: The Sum of All Fears| publisher=Entertainment Weekly| date=2002-04-18|url= http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,231910,00.html| accessdate=2007-10-22] Keanu Reeves, and Christian Balecite news|author = Michael Mason | title = Bale On Batman...vs. Superman, Year One | publisher = "Comics2Film" | date = 2002-08-16 |url = http://www.comics2film.com/index.php?a=story&b=1536| accessdate=2007-10-31] all expressed interest for the role of Batman. Bale would end up being cast for the lead role in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins".

Nolan series

"Batman Begins (2005)"

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) begins his vigilante career as Batman. Meanwhile, Gotham City, in the hands of crime boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), is in danger of being destroyed by hallucinogenic gases smuggled into the water supply by the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy). With the help of James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), Batman fights off Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), the mastermind behind the plan, and saves Gotham City.

"The Dark Knight (2008)"

The 2008 sequel to "Batman Begins" has Batman (Christian Bale), Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) forming an alliance to take down the rise in organized crime in Gotham City brought about by Carmine Falcone's imprisonment in Arkham Asylum, as well as trying to battle a homicidal criminal mastermind known only as the Joker (Heath Ledger).

Future

Though news on a possible sequel has been limited, according to a Wall Street Journal article from August 22, 2008, a third Batman film is one of the four main focuses of Warner Brothers over the next three years. The article is based on information from Warner Brothers Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. [cite web|url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121936107614461929.html?mod=2_1168_1 |title=Warner Bets on Fewer, Bigger Movies - WSJ.com |publisher=Online.wsj.com |author=Lauren A.E. Schuker |date=AUGUST 22, 2008 |accessdate=2008-10-09]

Nolan is not committed to another sequel, explaining that he does not normally line up projects after completing a film. Gary Oldman is confident Nolan will return, [cite news | author = Rob Allsletter | title = The Dark Knight's Future | publisher = Comics Continuum | date = 2008-06-30 | url = http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0806/30/index.htm | accessdate=2008-07-01] and Bale said he would return if Nolan did. [cite news | author = Charlene Chang | title = Christian Bale talks 'Dark Knight' follow-up and 'Terminator Salvation' | date = 2008-06-30 | url = http://ifmagazine.com/new.asp?article=6436 | accessdate=2008-07-01] Oldman hinted in the third film Gordon would have to hunt down Batman. [cite news|author=Stephanie Sanchez|title=Interview: Gary Oldman Talks THE DARK KNIGHT|work=IESB|date=2008-07-08|url=http://www.iesb.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5175&Itemid=99|accessdate=2008-07-15] He has also speculated that the villain of the upcoming film may be the Riddler. [cite news | title = Will Chris Nolan Recast the Joker for Batman 3 or Will the Riddler Take His Place? | publisher = MovieWeb | date = 2008-06-29 | url = http://www.movieweb.com/news/18/29618.php | accessdate=2008-07-01] Nolan explained that as long as he is directing, he is not including Robin in the franchise because Bale is still portraying a "young Batman", which meant "Robin's not for a few films". Nolan jokingly listed Frankie Muniz as a potential choice, if the studio forced him to cast. [cite news | url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/batmannews.php?id=3189 | title=Nolan on Robin in "Batman" Sequels | publisher=SuperHeroHype.com | date=2005-06-23 | accessdate=2006-07-31 ] Bale joked "I'll be chaining myself up somewhere and refusing to go to work" if Robin is introduced. [cite news | title = Batman Bale Says No To Robin | work = Starpulse.com | date = 2008-07-02 | url = http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2008/07/02/batman_bale_says_no_to_robin_ | accessdate=2008-07-03]

In addition, Nolan considered the Penguin difficult to portray on film, explaining, "There are certain characters that are easier to mesh with the more real take on Batman we're doing. The Penguin would be tricky." [cite news | author=Matthew Belloni | title=Q+A: Christopher Nolan | publisher=Esquire | url=http://www.esquire.com/features/qa/ESQ1106_qanolan_1 | date=November 2006 | accessdate=2006-10-13 ] . This would presumably also rule out Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Clayface, and Man-Bat. Kate Beckinsale has expressed interest in playing Catwoman. [cite news | author = Jen Yamato | title = Beckinsale On Catwoman, Wonder Woman, And Her Bond Girl Offer | publisher = RottenTomatoes | date = 2007-08-03 | url = http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/comic_con_2007/news/1659804/] Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman in the Batman series from 1966 to 1967, has suggested Angelina Jolie for the role. [cite web|url=http://backseatcuddler.com/2008/07/31/angelina-jolie-is-catwoman-in-dark-knight-sequel/|publisher=Back Seat Cuddler|title=Angelina Jolie is rumored to play Catwoman|accessdate=2008-10-05] David Tennant wishes to portray The Riddler. [cite news | author = Ben Rawson-Jones | title = David Tennant craves 'Batman' villain role | publisher = Digital Spy | date = 2007-09-26 | url = http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cult/a76431/david-tennant-craves-batman-villain-role.html?rss | accessdate=2007-09-27] [cite news | author = Jennifer Vineyard | url = http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/08/12/from-90210-to-gotham-city-brian-austin-green-makes-pitch-for-riddler-casting/ | title = From 90210 To Gotham City? Brian Austin Green Makes Pitch For Riddler Casting | work = MTV | date = 2008-08-12 | accessdate = 2008-08-17] Prior to the release of "The Dark Knight" in 2008, David S. Goyer said in an interview that characters like the Penguin or Catwoman will be unlikely to appear in a future film, which may instead use villains that have not been portrayed on the big screen. However, he did not rule out any characters that have been featured in previous Batman films. [ cite web|first=Erik|last= Amaya|title= Write The Dark Knight: The Writers|url= http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=17036|work= Comic Book Resources|date= 2008-06-30|accessdate= 2008-07-10] On July 23, 2008, Aaron Eckhart said he would return for a sequel to "The Dark Knight" if asked, [cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0265713/|title=Eckhart Agrees To Third Batman Film|date=2008-07-23|publisher=IMDB] although he later confirmed that he is not signed on for another Batman film and that his character is currently considered dead by Nolan. [cite web|url=http://www.superherohype.com/news/featuresnews.php?id=7641 |title=Aaron Eckhart on Two-Face - Superhero Hype! |publisher=Superherohype.com |date= |accessdate=2008-10-09] Michael Caine commented that a studio executive was interested in casting Johnny Depp as the Riddler, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. [cite news|author=Casey Sejias|title=Michael Caine Says Johnny Depp Is The Riddler, Philip Seymour Hoffman Is The Penguin|work=MTV Splash Page|date=2008-09-08|url=http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/09/08/exclusive-michael-caine-says-johnny-depp-is-the-riddler-philip-seymour-hoffman-is-the-penguin/|accessdate=2008-09-08] Hoffman later denied the rumor. [cite web|url=http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/09/09/dark-knight-update-philip-seymour-hoffman-responds-to-casting-rumor-i-dont-know-if-id-be-a-good-penguin/|title=‘Dark Knight’ Update: Philip Seymour Hoffman Responds To Casting Rumor, ‘I Don’t Know If I’d Be A Good Penguin’|author=Casey Seijas|date=2009-09-09|accessdate=2009-09-11|publisher=MTV]

IGN listed Bane and Black Mask on its list of the best Batman villains ever. [http://comics.ign.com/articles/622/622304p1.html] Both are popular choices among fans, along with Hush and Hugo Strange. [http://www.amazon.com/tag/batman/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxAUBRKAOLV1HW&cdThread=Tx3270SSM80DT73&displayType=tagsDetail]

It has been recently reported that Christopher Nolan is going to make a Batman 3/Dark Knight 2. Nobody knows why, but he's going to release the movie by 2011. Pre-production may started in late 2008 or early 2009. [cite web|url=http://movies.ign.com/articles/902/902060p1.html|title=Batman 3 to be released by 2011?|publisher=IGN |accessdate=2008-10-11]

Cast and characters

Reception

Box office performance

Critical reaction

References

External links

* [http://current.com/items/89113724_timeline_batman Humorous look at the history of Batman] by Current TV's infoMania
* [http://movies.ign.com/articles/036/036038p1.html Script review of "The Batman"] at IGN
* [http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/asylum.pdf "Batman vs. Superman" script draft] by Akiva Goldsman


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