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Batman Begins Development

In January 2003, Warner Bros. hired Memento director Christopher Nolan to direct an untitled Batman film, and David S. Goyer signed on to write the script two months later. Nolan stated his intention to reinvent the film franchise of Batman by "doing the origins story of the character, which is a story that's never been told before".

Nolan said that humanity and realism would be the basis of the origin film, and that "the world of Batman is that of grounded reality. It will be a recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises."

Goyer said that the goal of the film was to get the audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Nolan felt the previous films were exercises in style rather than drama, and described his inspiration as being Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman, in its focus on depicting the character's growth.


Also similar to Superman, Nolan wanted an all-star supporting cast for Batman Begins to lend a more epic feel and credibility to the story. Nolan's personal "jumping off point" of inspiration was The Man Who Falls, a short story by Denny O'Neil and Dick Giordano about Bruce's travels throughout the world.

The early scene in Batman Begins of young Bruce Wayne falling into a well was adapted from "The Man Who Falls". Batman: The Long Halloween, written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, influenced Goyer in writing the screenplay, with the villain Carmine Falcone as one of many elements which were drawn from Halloween's "sober, serious approach".



Batman Begins Filming

As with all his films, Nolan refused a second unit; he did this in order to keep his vision consistent. Filming began in March 2004 in the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland (standing 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.

The weather was problematic, with 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) winds, rain, and a lack of snow. A shot Wally Pfister had planned to take using a crane had to be done with a handheld camera. In seeking inspiration from Superman and other blockbuster films of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Nolan based most of the production in England, specifically Shepperton Studios.

A Batcave set was built there and measured 250 feet (76 m) long, 120 feet (37 m) wide, and 40 feet (12 m) high. Production designer Nathan Crowley installed twelve pumps to create a waterfall with 12,000 imperial gallons (55,000 l; 14,000 US gal), and built rocks using molds of real caves.


In January 2004, an airship hangar at Cardington, Bedfordshire was rented by Warner Bros during April 2004 and, converted into a 900 feet (270 m) sound stage, was where the slum-district of "the Narrows" and the feet of the monorails were filmed.

Mentmore Towers was chosen from twenty different locations for Wayne Manor, as Nolan and Crowley liked its white floors, which gave the impression of the manor as a memorial to Wayne's parents. The building chosen to represent Arkham Asylum was the National Institute for Medical Research building in Mill Hill, northwest London, England.


Batman Begins Design

Nolan used the 1982 cult science fiction film Blade Runner as a source of inspiration for Batman Begins. He screened Blade Runner to cinematographer Wally Pfister and two others to show the attitude and style that he wanted to draw from the film.

Nolan described the film's world as "an interesting lesson on the technique of exploring and describing a credible universe that doesn't appear to have any boundaries", a lesson that he applied to the production of Batman Begins.


Nolan worked with production designer Nathan Crowley to create the look of Gotham City. Crowley built a model of the city that filled Nolan's garage. Crowley and Nolan designed it as a large, modern metropolitan area that would reflect the various periods of architecture that the city had gone through.

Elements were drawn from New York City, Chicago, and Tokyo; the latter for its elevated freeways and monorails. The Narrows was based on the slummish nature of the (now demolished) walled city of Kowloon in Hong Kong.



Resources:
IMDB.com, Wikipedia.org
screenmusings.org






COMPLETE STORY & SCREENSHOTS


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The toxin is released and affects everyone in the Narrows including the escaped convicts and the police alike. Gordon inoculates himself with the antidote and finds a fearful Flass ready to shoot two innocent and equally frightened teenagers. Gordon knocks him out and handcuffs him to a railing. Meanwhile the few remaining people of the Gotham Police force wonder what is going on.


The Narrows begins to tear itself apart. In the streets, people violently attack one another. Rachel is confronted by Crane on a horse whose previous rider, a riot cop, is dragged behind. Wearing his burlap mask, Crane announces to her his new alias, 'the Scarecrow.' Gordon requests reinforcements but to his dismay he is told that all of the riot police are already on the island and there is no one left to send.


Suddenly the Tumbler shoots across the gap from Gotham to the Narrows. Batman explains to Gordon that Ra's intends to use the train to carry the microwave emitter to Wayne Tower. When the train reaches Wayne Tower at the center of Gotham, the microwave emitter will vaporise the contents of all the water mains, covering the whole city with the toxin. He asks Gordon for help and gives him the key to the Tumbler.


The Scarecrow is about to run down Rachel. She fires her taser and hits him in the face. His horse carries him away screaming. Rachel is surrounded by a dozen inmates from Arkham, including the serial killer Mr. Zasz, carrying a knife. Batman jumps from above them, cracking Zasz over the head, picks up Rachel and carries her to a rooftop and to safety. As Batman leaves her she asks him who he is.


He replies 'It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me' -- quoting her own words back at her. She says 'Bruce?' as he jumps from the rooftop and uses his memory cloth cape as a glider. As he seemingly flies in the air, the fearful people below shriek in terror as their hallucinations warp the sight of him. Gordon orders the main bridge to be lowered and starts up the Tumbler.


Ra's is overseeing the madness below as his men fasten the microwave emitter into place on board the train. He spots Batman gliding towards him. Batman lands on the train platform. Ra's comments that he took his advice on theatricality a bit too literally and boards the train. Four members of the League appear and prevent Batman from pursuing.


During the fight, Batman tries to uses his grapple hook to secure himself to the train but it is knocked out of his hand. The fight takes all participants down to the street floor where Batman manages to overcome all four League members. However he is ganged up on by dozens of terrified and angry citizens. As Ra's starts the train overhead, Batman finds his grapple gun and fires it at the train. He's dragged behind the train.


Gordon meanwhile is following the Tumbler's GPS system toward Wayne Tower. As the bridges are lowered, Ra's's train breaks the water pipes, releasing the toxic gas. The Tumbler is not far behind. Batman manages to pull himself to the train. He smashes through one of the train windows and engages an infuriated Ra's. Batman takes Ra's sword and breaks it in two with his gauntlets. Distracting Ra's, he stabs the sword into the braking controls of the train.


Gordon arrives at Wayne Tower. He arms the Tumbler's defense systems and fires missiles at a train rail foundation. With the train approaching Wayne Tower, Ra's gets the upper hand over Batman and taunts him: 'Don't be afraid, Bruce. You are just an ordinary man in a cape. That's why you couldn't fight injustice, that's why you can't stop this train.'


Batman replies, 'who said anything about stopping it?' Ra's looks up and notices a half of his sword sticking in the brake control. As this happens Gordon destroys the foundation and breaks the railway line. With this distraction, Batman regains the upper hand and pins Ra's. Batman explains that he won't kill Ra's -- but he doesn't have to save him, either. He blows out the back end of the train car, throws himself out, and glides away.


Ra's can only look up to watch the train propel itself off the line and into the street below. The microwave emitter gets damaged by the impact and explodes, destroying the whole train. The next day, Earle arrives at Wayne Enterprises to chair a meeting. He'd shocked to find that the meeting has already begun -- and is led by Fox, who reveals he has Earle's job.


Bruce is in the back of his car reading a newspaper: Batman has made the front page and Bruce is on page 8 under the headline 'Drunken Billionaire Burns Down Home.' He takes a call from Earle, who asks on what authority Bruce can decide who runs Wayne Enterprises. Bruce states that he is the owner.

Earle reminds him that the company has gone public. Bruce explains that he bought most of the shares through various trusts and brokerages. Fox agrees with Bruce's words, and asks Earle, "Didn't you get the memo?" in reference to the words Earle told him when firing him from AS.


Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is nailing boards over the old well in the garden when he is approached by Rachel. He apologizes for not telling her about his identity earlier. She apologizes for slapping him the day Chill died and for the horrible things that she said before he disappeared. Bruce tells her that what she said was true and that he was just a coward with a gun. He thanks her. She says that when she heard that he was back she began to hope.

She moves closer towards him and kisses him. She then explains that she then found out about his mask -- his actual face. She explains that his true face is the cowl of Batman and that the boy she loved long ago never came back. But maybe one day they can be together when Batman is no longer needed. Bruce nods. Rachel tells him that she was wrong and that Bruce's father would be proud of him, just as she is.


Alfred is walking through the rubble of the Manor and Rachel asks Bruce about what he will do. Bruce replies that he'll rebuild it just the way it was before. Rachel turns to leave. Alfred wonders if it's a good time to improve the foundations of the south-east corner. Bruce agrees and they walk off.

That night, Batman meets Gordon, who reveals that he has recently been made a lieutenant. Gordon has also made a version of the signal that Batman had made with Falcone. Gordon talks about the escalation between law enforcement methods and criminal methods such as the police wearing Kevlar leading to criminals buying armor-piercing ammunition. He expresses concern that the city's dependence on Batman may have negative consequences.


Gordon uses a recent case as an example. A criminal with a taste for theatrics has killed two people. The suspect leaves a calling card at the scene of each crime. Gordon gives Batman the evidence: a Joker playing card. Batman says that he will look into it. Batman then assures Gordon that they can make Gotham safe again and he jumps from the roof and glides away.



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