He is a silent guardian and a watchful protector. He is vengeance and he is the night. He is a symbol that will be everlasting. He is, Batman. Batman will forever be one of the most iconic superheroes ever and even more so after Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogies. Christian Bale, who played Batman in the films, taught us all that “It’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.” The films were an instant sensation. They made us feel alive, they made us feel fulfilled, but most of all, they inspired. He is more than just a man. Batman showed us that a hero can be anyone and he certainly is a hero for every generation.
Throughout the years people have been trying to get the Batman movies right but with little success. It wasn’t until 2005 when Christopher Nolan introduced us to Batman Begins. It quickly took the world by storm. It was a superhero film that finally got the character right. It was a movie with a dark tone and a refreshing approach to the genre. Not only was it incredibly written, the actors themselves were superb. It went on to earn more than $205 million dollars at the box office. The sequel, The Dark Knight, topped that with more than $533 million dollars. The three films, as well as Christopher Nolan as a director and Christian Bale as an actor, will go down in history for their portrayal of Bruce Wayne. Many of us know Batman is the caped crusader but you might not know these 15 interesting facts about the franchise. Check them out and let us know what you think! But most of all, always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. And never let Robin drive.
15. Heath Ledger’s Joker Was Supposed To Be In The Dark Knight Rises
When the news was released of Heath Ledger’s shocking and devastating death the whole world mourned his loss. Never had we seen someone portray a character with such force, such emotion, and such passion. His performance was haunting, moving, and forever memorable. According to Christopher Nolan, he had planned to continue the Joker’s story in The Dark Knight Rises. Rumor has it that the finale would have involved the criminal clown being put on trial. The film still went on to have great success even without Ledger, but we can’t even imagine what the outcome would have been if the actor could have portrayed his deranged character one more time. Something tells us it would have been a truly incredible performance, and one beyond the ability of most actors even to this day.
14. In The Dark Knight Rises Batman Is Featured For The First Time Ever In Daylight
This one is very, very easy to miss. Especially if you are not looking for it. If you think about it, The Dark Knight Rises is the first of the three films to show Batman fighting and in action in the daylight. What is even more crazy, this was not only a first for this to happen in the franchise, it was a first for the entire Batman movie franchise! Mind=blown! In all of the Batman movies that have been created the Caped Crusader has only ever been shown in combat at night. The daylight scene that did take place between Batman and Bane in The Dark Knight Rises was no easy task. With hundreds of extras everywhere, filling the streets, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy both admitted how chaotic it was to film while being surrounded by all of those people. Another one for the history books Batman.
13. Every Villain From The Trilogy Disguises Themselves As A Henchman
Here is an interesting fact that many people have never noticed! Within the first act of each of the Dark Knight Trilogy films the antagonist always pulls off the exact same trick. In every single film, the main bad guy disguises himself as one of his own henchmen. In Batman Begins Ra’s Al Ghul disguises himself as a henchman during Bruce Wayne’s training. In The Dark Knight, and probably the most mind-blowing scene, the Joker disguises himself as a henchman during the bank heist. And in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane disguises himself as a henchman while on the small plane. This always takes place early on in each movie and is a small part of the films that is easy to miss. It is also quite brilliant and remarkable and truly shows how incredible of a director Christopher Nolan is. Putting in small details that have a huge pay off.
12. Each Movie Of The Trilogy Has A One-Word Theme
Once again this shows how much of a legend Christopher Nolan is. He will forever be one of cinemas greatest directors. Nolan has said that for each movie of the trilogy they have a one-word theme. For Batman Begins the theme was fear. For The Dark Knight it was chaos. And for The Dark Knight Rises was pain.
It is obvious for Nolan’s debut of Batman Begins the theme is fear. To save his city the main thing Bruce Wayne most overcome is fear. He carries the wait and scars of his childhood drama and of his winged enemies, bats. He trains with The League of Shadows to overcome these fears, embrace them, channeling it, and allowing him to manipulate fear into others. In The Dark Knight, the theme of chaos can be seen in the character that is the Joker. Batman must dominant this chaos himself in order to truly beat it. And lastly, with The Dark Knight Rises, the theme of pain can be seen throughout. In the beginning, we see an older and more crippled Bruce Wayne, still dealing with both the physical pain of his injuries over the years, and the mental pain of losing his love Rachel. Bane breaks Batman’s body by snapping his back in half and forcing Bruce to watch Gotham crumble by Bane’s own making. Eventually, Bruce overcomes his wrecked body and shattered soul and learns to rise.
11. The Dark Knight Was The First Comic Book Movie To Win An Oscar For Acting
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Heath Ledger definitely died a hero in our book. After his death he was nominated for an Academy Award, and won for his supporting role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. He went on to beat out Josh Brolin in Milk, Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt. A few years earlier in 2006 Ledger had lost the Oscar to Hoffman’s performance in Capote. Heath had been nominated for his performance in the emotional drama Brokeback Mountain. Never before had a comic book movie won an Oscar for acting. It was the first time this genre received such high praise, as it was much earned by Heath Ledger’s unforgettable and poignant performance.
10. Christian Bale Is The Youngest Actor To Portray Batman
If there ever was an actor to truly capture the essence and character of our favorite caped crusader, Christian Bale not only mastered the hero of the night, Batman, he hit it over the head with a hammer not even Thor could grasp. What is even more interesting is he is the youngest actor to ever portray this superhero. He was only 30 years old when he portrayed Batman in Batman Begins. The others before him included Val Kilmer and George Clooney who were both 36 years old in Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). Michael Keaton and Adam West were both 38 years old when they played Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989) and Batman (1966). And in the most recent film, Batman vs. Superman, Ben Affleck, ranks in as the oldest at 43 years old.
9. Michael Caine Was Frightened And Forgot His Lines When He First Saw The Joker
According to Michael Caine, Heath Ledger’s performance of the Joker topped that of Jack Nicholson’s from Batman (1989). Caine even admitted, “Heath’s gone in a completely different direction to Jack, he’s like a really scary psychopath.” He had never met Heath before, and so when Ledger arrived and performed his scene at Bruce’s penthouse, he petrified Caine into momentarily forgetting his lines. The British, and well-known actor, has since revealed that he was so taken aback he completely forgot what he was supposed to say. This all makes perfect since with the Joker’s uneasy and creepy demeanor, especially the way he licked his lips. This came as a result of Health Ledger being uncomfortable with his scar makeup as well as having to keep his mouth moist because of the way he spoke during his performance.
8. Christian Bale Fell Asleep During His First Scene With Michael Caine
By no means were the Dark Knight Trilogy films snoozers, but it seems sometimes even the actors themselves can’t always keep their eyes open. Christian Bale has revealed in interviews that in 2009 when he had his first scene ever with Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman (the one involving Bruce Wayne waking up in bed to find them huddling over top of him), he fell asleep after getting ready for the scene. Bale went on to describe that he woke up to find Michael Caine poking him in the ribs, saying “Look at that! He’s bloody fallen asleep.”
We all know filming movies can take months, sometimes even years, and the actors themselves can get drained and exhausted. But one thing we know for sure, we could never fall asleep while watching Christian Bale. Especially when the man is jumping off buildings, beating villains to a bloody pulp, speeding away in his Batmobile, and looking damn good while doing it. You may be Batman Christian but you are Robin our hearts. Yes, we had to go there.
7. Heath Ledger Designed The Makeup For The Joker
When it comes to acting most actors have professional makeup artists apply and do their makeup. But not when it came to Heath Ledger and his Joker character, his look was far more collaborative. His makeup and look was partially inspired by Brandon Lee’s character in The Crow which premiered in 1994. What happens to be very interesting, and perhaps extremely strange, is both Brandon Lee and Heath Ledger died during the making of their own personal projects.
Heath explained that for his iconic Joker look he didn’t feel that the Joker would allow anyone else to apply his makeup on except himself. He decided to use white clown makeup and cosmetics from a drugstore. He got his design approved from Christopher Nolan and once it was approved the makeup team was then responsible for replicating that same look each day for filming. We must say, he did one hell of a job.
6. Christian Bale Performed Many Of His Own Stunts… Except With The Batmobile
“Does it come in black?” One of the more iconic and memorable quotes in the Batman Trilogy movies, is a reference Bruce Wayne always asked his pal Lucius Fox (played by Morgan Freeman). After seeing the films we all wanted to dash out of the theaters, zoom on over to the nearest car dealership, and get our own Batmobile, or any vehicle that came in black for that matter. The Batmobile is one of the most iconic symbols when we think of Batman. Christian Bale played the character to perfection, even performing most of his own stunts. What can’t the man do honestly?
However, when it came to the Batmobile itself, that was strictly off limits to the actor. Which makes sense, you don’t want the main man of the show to get injured, or even worse killed, in a car accident while trying to perform a stunt. Although we give you props Christian for trying to perform pretty much the rest of them.
5. To Prepare For The Role Heath Ledger Stayed In A Hotel Room For Six Weeks
We all hear about an actor getting in the mind set to play a role. Some practice method acting, some are silent on set and keep to themselves, some even stay in costume the whole time and never switch it off. One thing is for sure though, no one has gone to the extreme lengths that Heath Ledger did. The man decided to lock himself away in a hotel room for six weeks to get into the mindset of the Joker. He only slept for two hours each day, for a month, as well as taking medication to keep him awake. Once the film was complete he still couldn’t sleep which resorted to him taking sleeping pills, perhaps which could have led to his tragic and sudden death.
While he stayed at his hotel room he talked to no one and kept a “Joker Journal” where he wrote very creepy and disturbing things. Ledger also experimented with voices, trying to find the perfect and iconic laugh. Heath really dove deep into the psychology of this character. If that’s not commitment, we don’t know what is.
4. Christian Bale Couldn’t Turn His Head In The Batsuit And Was In Constant Pain
The Batman Begins’ Batsuit had the same single problem that all the other suits to ever be featured on the big screen had; Christian Bale could not turn his head while wearing it. While shooting he would have to turn his entire body to speak to another character, which actually wasn’t the worst of his problems. Since the restriction around his head and neck were so tight the actor suffered from severe headaches. Bale has admitted that when he first tried on the claustrophobic costume he nearly quit right then and there. It seems that everything worked out for the better though. Christian explained that he took that pain and put it to use towards his performance. Because he was constantly in agony he was angry too, which helped him prepare for The Dark Knight and develop his “Bat voice.” In the film The Dark Knight Bruce Wayne wears a new Batsuit because they redesigned it so Bale could be more comfortable and agile in his performance.
3. Ra’s Al Ghul Spoke Gibberish Which Was Made Up For The Role
As Marlin says in Finding Nemo, “It’s like he is trying to speak to me I know it!” Well whatever Ra’s Al Ghul was speaking in Batman Begins it wasn’t English. Was it perhaps German? Maybe Russian? Not Spanish, definitely not Spanish. Well you can stop pondering this question because in fact the language that Ken Watanabe, who plays the fake-al Ghul, wasn’t actually a language at all. It was literally gibberish. Gibberish that he admitted he made up himself just for the role. Creating your own language can be a difficult task but no one has ever pulled it off with such ease the way Ken Watanabe did. In fact, we never even noticed before. It seems the score is Ra’s Al Ghul: 1, Us: 0.
2. Christian Bale Lost His Voice Three Times In Batman Begins
We all know the signature raspy voice that Christian Bale used to distinguish himself as Bruce Wayne. It was a great way for him to create a distinct and exaggerated persona for the hero. Bale said that he created the voice during his audition for the part. He created the voice as a way to deal with mental aspect of becoming that character, especially when he had to put on the heavy and uncomfortable Batsuit for the first time and walk around in it. During the first film Bruce Wayne had to speak like Gotham’s hero, a lot. Since Christian Bale had to alter his voice while playing Batman he lost his voice three times while filming.
In Christopher Nolan’s second film The Dark Knight, Bale’s voice was additionally altered through sound editing after filming was officially complete. Nolan wanted Batman’s voice to have an added unreal quality to it. Many audience viewers and film critics created a lot of complaints because of this and as a result, Nolan got rid of this effect in the final film The Dark Knight Rises.
1. Tom Hardy Gained 30 Pounds For The Role Of Bane
We all hear about actors who put on enormous muscle and hit the gym frequently to prepare for a role where they must buff up. Tom Hardy knows this better than anyone. The actor, who stands in at 5’9″, had to wear 3 inch lifts to make his character Bane appear as tall or taller than his co-stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine. He also put on 30 pounds of muscle for the role. During filming he weighed in at over 200 pounds! He attributes the muscle gain to a strict protein diet as well as doing a lot of lifting. And this isn’t the first time we have seen Tom Hardy in incredible shape. The actor also bulked up for his role in Warrior back in 2011 and looked absolutely ripped.