Eight years after 1997’s mega flop Batman and Robin, Christopher Nolan released the first chapter in his Dark Knight saga. It was the darker, grittier take on the character that Batman fans deserved. But here are 10 things you might not have known about Batman Begins… 

1) Christian Bale gained too much weight for the role

Fresh out of filming The Machinist, in which he weighed just 120 pounds, Bale was told to gain as much weight as he could for his role in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Bale took that notion a little too far, though, and almost doubled his weight. To fit into the Dark Knight costume, he had to shed 20 pounds. 

2) Little Joffrey 

Jack Gleeson, who plays Joffrey in Game of Thrones, appears in Batman Begins! He’s the little kid that Rachel saves. He has only been credited in 5 titles since the movie, including GOT. 

3) Nic Cage was asked to play The Scarecrow in 1999

The Scarecrow was actually set to appear in 1999’s Batman Triumphant. Don’t remember that installment in the series? That’s because it was scrapped after Batman and Robin flopped. Clooney was set to return to play Batman, whilst Joel Schumachar was set to direct. Schumacher actually went to the set of Face/Off to ask Nicolas Cage to play The Scarecrow. 

4) A drunk person crashed into the Batmobile in Chicago 

During filming in Chicago, a drunk driver spotted the Batmobile, and apparently drove into the vehicle on purpose. When he was questioned on why he’d done this, he said he thought the Batmobile was an invading alien craft, and in his drunken panic had tried to take it out. 

5) Bale fell asleep during his first scene with Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman

The first scene Bale shot with big screen legends Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman sees him waking up in bed to find the two characters in his room. Only, during filming, Bale might’ve gotten a little too comfortable, as he fell asleep for real. Caine had to poke him in the ribs to wake him up. 

6) Neeson and Bale could’ve fallen through the ice

During the sword fight between Bruce Wayne and Ra’s Al Ghul on the frozen lake, the actors both said they could actually hear and feel the ice crunching and cracking under their feet. The day after filming on the lake, all the ice melted away, so they were actually fighting on some really thin ice! 

7) Cillian Murphy auditioned for the role of Batman

Almost a decade before he put on Thomas Shelby’s flat cap, Peaker Blinders star Cillian Murphy auditioned for the role of the Dark Knight in Batman Begins. Although he wasn’t cast as the caped crusader, he landed the role of The Scarecrow – one of the film’s villains. 

8) Suffering for his art 

The Batman cowl is iconic, and is a key part of the Dark Knight’s intimidating presence, but Christian Bale hated wearing it. It was so tight, it would give the leading actor terrible headaches. That’s one reason why the character is so grizzled throughout the trilogy – Bale was having an awful time filming. 

9) Rachel Dawes replaced Harvey Dent

Nolan had originally intended to feature District Attorney Harvey Dent in the film, but decided he wouldn’t have been able to do the character justice in the small role available in Batman Begins. So instead, he wrote Rachel Dawes into the script – an Assistant District Attorney played by Katie Holmes. In the sequel, The Dark Knight, Rachel is a love interest of Harvey Dent, although she’s then played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.   

10) Christopher Bale only put on his gravelly Batman voice for Batman Begins

Bale’s gruff voice in the Dark Knight is iconic, and it helps to make the character such a fearsome force. But that gravelly tone took its tone on the actor, and he lost his voice 3 times during filming. For the sequels, he spoke normally for his Batman scenes, and his voice was deepened digitally later on, during the editing process. 

There you have it – 10 things you didn’t know about Batman Begins.

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