Posts Tagged ‘batman begins’
Forget Lucius Fox and the tumbler. We chuckled too at “Does it come in black” but look at this. This car is 80 years old. Really. Looks like Batman’s inspiration to us.
Anyone who was alive and aware for the past 10 years can see that Christopher Nolan’s Batman is different. He succeeds where so many others fail: in Hollywood, in comics, in animated features, even when they are said to be based on his own works. What makes Nolan’s Batman movies and Nolan’s movies across the board special? Joseph Gordon-Levitt put it succinctly and powerfully in a recent interview with Movies.com.
Movies.com: What’s something that you’re learned about the filmmaking process from working with Christopher Nolan? What has he shown you that maybe you haven’t seen before?
JGL: You know man, that’s a good question! One thing I feel like I’ve learned from Chris is that he respects his audience. It’s unfortunately rare in Hollywood. You see it all time with people saying, ‘Ah, the public won’t get that’ or ‘They’re dumb’ or ‘You have to spell it out for them,’ etc… But I’ve heard Chris say time and time again just the opposite. People are smart. Don’t underestimate them. He says things like that all the time, and I think his respect for his audience is a big part of why he has earned the respect of his audience.
Gordon-Levitt has starred in Nolan’s masterwork Inception, which certainly complimented its audience’s intelligence at every turn, assuming they could keep up with a complex multi-layered plotline. JGL is working with Nolan again on The Dark Knight Rises, his third and final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy which began with Batman Begins.
Batman Begins/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises star Gary Oldman (James Gordon) will join Charlize Theron, David Cronenberg and previously announced recipient Tim Rothman as the folks receiving career tributes at this year’s Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 28, 2011
This will be the 21st edition of the awards, which is the first ceremony of awards season. Nominations for the awards’ seven competitive categories - Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You and Audience Award – will be announced October 20th.
New York, NY (September 22, 2011) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that Actress, Charlize Theron Director, David Cronenberg and Actor, Gary Oldman, will join previously announced honoree Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, to receive their career tributes at the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards™ on Monday, November 28th at Cipriani Wall Street, in New York City.
Signaling the official kick-off of the film awards season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ is one of the leading awards for independent film. Along with these four tributes, seven competitive awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You and Audience Award will be announced.
This year’s honorees represents a range of individuals – all veterans well-versed in lower-budget independent films and large-scale studio releases. In addition, the honorees represent some of the year’s most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed films including: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from Focus Features (directed by Tomas Alfredson and featuring Gary Oldman); the upcoming Paramount release of Young Adult (directed by Jason Reitman and featuring Charlize Theron) and A Dangerous Method from Sony Pictures Classics (directed by David Cronenberg).
“We are truly honored to pay tribute to four cinematic film luminaries, all of whom have greatly contributed to independent film, and have steadfastly supported the film community in their own individual and unique ways,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the IFP.
Oscar-winner, Charlize Theron, is one of the great actresses of our time. The South African native captivated audiences as female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster for which she received the Independent Spirit Award and the National Broadcast Film Critics Association as well as winning the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and the Academy Award for Best Actress. Theron’s incredible performance as Josey Aimes in North Country garnered her another set of best actress nominations (Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice, and Academy) and she also appeared in HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers opposite Geoffery Rush, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Emmys.
Moviegoers were first introduced to the seductive charm of Charlize Theron in her feature film debut, 2 Days in the Valley with James Spader. She co-starred alongside Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in Devil’s Advocate, with Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do and in Jonathan Lynn’s Trial and Error. In addition, Theron starred in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, which she then followed with Mighty Joe Young with Bill Paxton. In 1999, Theron starred in the Oscar nominated The Cider House Rules and in New Line Cinema’s The Astronaut’s Wife with Johnny Depp. Then following in 2000, the much in-demand Theron tackled back-to-back roles in the following movies: Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance with Will Smith and Matt Damon, Men of Honor with Robert DeNiro and Cuba Gooding, Jr., John Frankenheimer’s Reindeer Games with Ben Affleck and The Yards co-starring Mark Wahlberg. In 2001, Theron illuminated the screen in the Warner Bros. tearjerker Sweet November alongside Keanu Reeves, as well as in Woody Allen’s Curse of the Jade Scorpion. In the fall of 2002, Theron starred opposite Patrick Swayze in Waking Up in Reno, which she then moved on to star alongside Kevin Bacon in the feature film Trapped, directed by Luis Mandoki.
Next up, Charlize will be starring in Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, written by Diablo Cody and also starring Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser, and Patrick Wilson. Recently, Charlize wrapped up filming Prometheus directed by Ridley Scott and is currently filming Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart. She was last seen in Guillermo Arriaga’s directorial debut The Burning Plain, co-starring with Kim Basinger, which she also produced. In addition to producing the Burning Plain through her production company Denver and Delilah, Charlize is developing and executive producing an HBO series called Mind Hunter with director David Lynch.
Director, David Cronenberg’s reputation as an authentic auteur has been firmly established by his uniquely personal body of work which includes Shivers, Rabid, Fast Company, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, eXistenz, The Dead Zone, M. Butterfly, Spider, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and the recent opera version of The Fly. He is a member of the French Legion d’Honneur, and an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 1999, he was President of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. David is releasing his film, A Dangerous Method, this fall and is in post production on his current project, Cosmopolis.
Earlier this year, at the 2011 Empire Awards, Gary Oldman was honored with the Icon Award for Achievement. An acclaimed presence in motion pictures for 25 years, he is regarded as one of the foremost actors of his generation. Mr. Oldman is known to millions throughout the world for playing Sirius Black (Harry Potter’s godfather), Commissioner Jim Gordon (Batman/Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting partner), Dracula, Beethoven, Pontius Pilate, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Orton, and Sid Vicious, to name just a few of his iconic characterizations.
Over the past 18 years, the U.K. native has appeared in 11 movies that have opened #1 at the box office. As part of the two most successful franchises in movie history, he has appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates, respectively; and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
Mr. Oldman’s acting career began in 1979, and for several years he worked exclusively in the theatre; from 1985 through 1989, he alternated film work with stage work at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Among his early telefilms were Mike Leigh’s Meantime and the late Alan Clarke’s The Firm.
His features include Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy; Stephen Frears’ Prick Up Your Ears; Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; Phil Joanou’s State of Grace; Oliver Stone’s JFK; Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Peter Medak’s Romeo is Bleeding; Tony Scott’s True Romance; Bernard Rose’s Immortal Beloved; Luc Besson’s The Professional (a.k.a. Leon) and The Fifth Element; Wolfgang Petersen’s Air Force One; the late Marc Rocco’s Murder in the First; Roger Young’s telefilm Jesus; Ridley Scott’s Hannibal; and Albert and Allen Hughes’ The Book of Eli.
With Douglas Urbanski, Mr. Oldman produced the feature Nil by Mouth. The film marked his screenwriting and directing debut, and was selected to world premiere as the opening-night film of the 1997 [50th Anniversary of the] Cannes International Film Festival, at which the film’s leading lady Kathy Burke won for Best Actress. Subsequent honors for Nil by Mouth included the prestigious Channel Four Director’s Prize, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival; six British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations, and three wins including for Ms. Burke and her fellow actors Ray Winstone and Laila Morse; the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as BAFTA’s Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year, the latter shared by Mr. Oldman and Mr. Urbanski.
The team’s subsequent productions have included Rod Lurie’s The Contender, starring Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges. The film received two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including one for Best Supporting Actor (Mr. Oldman). Additionally, the ensemble of The Contender and the writer/director were honored with the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Alan J. Pakula Award.
Next up for Mr. Oldman will be Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, opening on December 9th; John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County; and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, opening in 2012.
This year’s Gotham Awards tribute recipients join a prestigious group of previous honorees including: James Schamus, Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sheila Nevins, David Linde, Jonathan Sehring and film critic Roger Ebert; actors Robert Duvall, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Pénelope Cruz, Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet; filmmakers Darren Aronofsky, Mira Nair, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese.
Nominees for the 21st Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards™ will be announced on October 20th and winners will be honored at a star-studded ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28th.
The Premier Sponsors of the 21st Annual Gotham Awards™ are Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and The New York Times. The Presenting Sponsor is Euphoria Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Collection, with Official Sponsors Heineken USA, Russian Standard Vodka and Andaz Wall Street as well. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times on November 18th, 2011.
About Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is one of the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit advocacy organizations for independent filmmakers. Since its debut at the 1979 New York Film Festival, IFP has supported the production of over 7,000 films and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, providing an opportunity for many diverse voices to be heard. IFP believes that independent films enrich the universal language of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism. The organization has championed early work by pioneering, independent filmmakers, including Charles Burnett, Edward Burns, Jim Jarmusch, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Mira Nair and Kevin Smith.
IFP represents a network of 10,000 filmmakers in New York City and around the world. Through its workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships and Filmmaker Magazine, IFP schools its members in the art, technology and business of independent filmmaking. The year-round program includes an Independent Film Week, The Gotham Awards, Filmmaking Labs and Seminars, and a range of programs to promote racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, gender and sexual diversity. IFP, often in collaboration with other cultural institutions, builds audiences by hosting premieres and special screenings. The IFP fosters the development of 300 feature and documentary films each year. Recently, the organization licensed the popular Festival Genius software platform through which IFP now reaches over 200,000 film fans worldwide.
For more information: http://www.ifp.org
About the Gotham Independent Film Awards™
The Gotham Independent Film Awards, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.
Tim Burton’s Batman has more than a few flaws which have become increasingly obvious over the years, but one element which has aged well is Danny Elfman’s musical score, so iconic that there were doubts Hans Zimmer could possibly escape its gravitational pull in trying to create a unique musical identity for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. Both composers get a lookin on Geek Soul Brother’s survey of Sci-Fi and Fantasy musical scores.
Here are some composers that I think have added to the unique worlds they accompany, by creating an emotional landscape with the power of music at their fingertips.
Hans Zimmer – Going from Pop Music to film score, this german composer has had a long and successful career. His credits include Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Inception and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. First Oscar was for The Lion King.
Danny Elfman – Starting out with the group Oingo Boingo, Danny Elfman later found his love for film scoring. His friendship with Tim Burton lead to a great works including the scores of Batman and Batman Returns. Other works he did were Alice in Wonderland and Spiderman 1 and 2.
Zimmer: Batman 3 score must do more than rehash The Dark Knight
Hans Zimmer tribute | Sputnik Reviews
Batman Arkham City The Album
A Tale of Two Gothams: Burton v Nolan | Batman’s City in the Movies
Batman in concert
Danny Elfman knows the score: Tim Burton ‘opened every door for me’ | Hero Complex, LA Times
It’s amusing how fanboys at a certain website try to appear sophisticated by dismissing the “enhancements” described to help Tom Hardy play Bane in The Dark Knight Rises because they are from an article in the British tabloid The Sun. The Sun is certainly no titan of journalism, but neither are the fanboys, for they use this story (which they pass on while claiming not to believe it) as a platform to whine anew about:
- Christian Bale’s bat-voice (Yes, still whining since 2005)
- Bane’s voice (which they have only heard in low quality youtubes from the Pittsburgh location shooting and have no idea if what they heard will be used in the final film
- and Bane’s costume which they claim has drawn fan fire.
That last is very odd. We don’t remember anybody bitching about Bane’s mask or costume, only Catwoman’s lackluster appearance in un-Catwoman goggles and a non-descript biker outfit.
He’s been wearing specially made shoes fitted with three-inch lifts so he can be the same size as co-stars Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman.
The former model is hardly struggling for height at 5ft 9in.
But the film’s producers wanted his character, Bane, to be of similar height to Batman and Freeman’s Lucius Fox, who are both over 6ft.
Wearing Tom Cruise’s shoes has led to some ribbing.
He’s also been the victim of on-set pranks. Tom wears a voice box which controls the pitch of his speech.
It’s set low to give him a villainous tone but the sound effects team have been amusing themselves by speeding up the frequency and making To`m sound like a Bee Gee.
via The Sun
Producer of the Top Grossing Movies Reveals How Rejections and Perseverance Paved The Way to The Batman Movie Franchise
He has generated $2.6 billion in worldwide box office grosses, countless millions in toy and merchandise sales and survived not one, but two battles with a homicidal maniac. What’s more, he’s not done yet.
Batman is one of the world’s most dependable film properties, with even the worst entry in the franchise’s history still charting $238 million in receipts. As the trailer for the next installment of the franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, debuts online and with the release of the blockbuster Harry Potter film conclusion, millions have already started the countdown until next July when the new film opens.
But if it weren’t for the perseverance of one man who toiled nearly 10 years to make the franchise’s first entry in 1989, it would not have happened at all.
“When I bought the film rights to Batman in 1979, no one wanted to make a Batman movie,” said Michael Uslan, executive producer — along with partner Benjamin Melnicker — of the modern Batman film franchise.
“Well, not a good one, anyway. First, the president of DC Comics tried to convince me not to buy the film rights. He told me that no one wanted to make a Batman movie, but I made the deal, anyway. Who knew that he was actually on the money? I was rejected by every studio in town, multiple times, before I was able to convince people that Batman would be viable as a serious interpretation and not as a comedy.”
Uslan was shut down early and often by studio heads, for seemingly ridiculous reasons, too.
“Most of the studio executives I pitched swore up and down that Batman could never work as a movie,” said Uslan, who tells the story in his new memoir The Boy Who Loved Batman. ”One complained that it wouldn’t make money because Annie — the musical version of Little Orphan Annie — didn’t make money. I asked him what Annie had to do with Batman, and he replied, ‘Oh come on, Michael, they’re both from the funny pages.’ One guy even told me that Batman and Robin wouldn’t work because a Sean Connery movie about an aging Robin Hood and Maid Marian — called Robin and Marian — didn’t work. I didn’t bother to press him, but I’m assuming he felt that having the name ‘Robin’ in the title was somehow box office poison. At the end of the day, it was clear that the studio bosses in the 1970s and 1980s felt that comic books weren’t worthy of being translated into movies. Their view was that comic books were just cheap, disposable entertainment for kids.”
Of course, since 1989′s Batman, comic books have been rich fodder for studios, with Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and others bringing in billions of dollars in box office and licensing revenue.
“What we showed with Batman was that you could make a good, dark and serious comic book movie,” Uslan said. “What we proved with the Dark Knight was that we could use comic book-based material to transcend the genre and simply make a good movie, period. The bottom line is that Batman changed the industry, and if I didn’t bloody my knuckles for close to ten years on doors that were repeatedly slammed in my face, comic book related films might not be enjoying the success they are having today.”
Happy 54th Birthday to German-born composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer has composed music for over 100 films including Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and 2012′s The Dark Knight Rises currently shooting in Los Angeles, as well as Nolan’s non-Batman projects like Inception.
Disney fans may be more familiar with “The Lion King” (due for a big-screen re-release in 3D), “Muppets Treasure Island” and “The Pirates of the Caribbean Series”.
The one thing all Batman fans with any understanding of the character agree on is that the great flaw of Tim Burton’s Batman movies and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins is getting the most important aspect of Batman’s core philosophy wrong. Batman does not kill. Nolan at least corrected the great Hollywood error in The Dark Knight. Burton never recognized his mistake. Chris Sims at Comics Alliance has gone back into the comics roots of the 1940s to explain the core misunderstanding about Batman, his refusal to use a gun, and his non-negotiable reverence for life.
Q: Batman’s no kill policy: when did it start in the comics and what do you see as the limits of it? (Killing vs. “Not Saving”)
A: All right, guys, look. I know that these last few weeks of Ask Chris have been even more Batman-centric than usual, and I fully intended to focus on something else this week to give everyone a break. But then this one came along, and I just can’t resist.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, there actually are other things that I like and know stuff about, and I’ll get to them. Just not this week, because the the history of whether or not Batman should kill people and why is one that I have some very strong feelings on.
Batman’s policy against killing — and specifically the use of a gun — is one that crops up from time to time in discussions of the character, and it always really bugs me when someone brings up the idea that “the original Batman” carried guns and killed people, which is technically true, but doesn’t quite reflect what was going on in those comics. I know, you’re all shocked that I’m bothered when people are wrong on the Internet about Batman – the single worst sin a man can commit — but the whole idea of “the Original Batman” is a false construct that’s completely dispelled if you go back and look at the timeline of how the character developed, and it had a lot less to do with Batman himself than the influences his creators were inspired by.
First, the facts: In the stories immediately after his first appearance in 1939, Batman did carry a gun and had a much more casual attitude towards the death of his opponents that saw him occasionally killing people. In fact, in his Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Michael Fleisher describes the first year of Golden Age Batman stories as having a “grim brutality” in which “easily a score of criminals die by his hand.”
The most common example of this aspect of the early Batman stories — probably because of how much it’s been reprinted over the years — is his first appearance in Detective Comics #27, in which Batman slugs a ne’er-do-well so hard that he falls into a vat of acid…
…and responds with a brusque “a fitting end for his kind.” There’s just no way around it: the Batman who appears in “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” is a stone cold killer, and the following issues, where he packs an automatic and occasionally stomps a dude to death seem to back that up:
But I think there’s a misconception among a lot of readers that this was the original intent of the creators, and that the murderous, gun-toting Batman persisted until Dr. Wertham or the Comics Code or even the 1966 TV show arrived and forced a change that toned him down. But by going back and reading through those first couple years of Batman stories, it’s easy to see that this wasn’t the case at all. The fact of the matter is that this “original” version of Batman lasted about two years.
By 1940′s Batman #4, in a story by co-creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane — which is about as definitive as you can get — Batman reminds Robin that “we never kill with weapons of any kind.”
As crazy as it might sound, the Batman who killed in those early stories wasn’t really Batman – or at least, not Batman as he’d become, and certainly not Batman as we think of him today. Keep in mind that when these stories were told, Batman wasn’t just a new character, he was a new character in an entirely new medium. The Golden Age is full of comics by people that were driven as much by the desire to create stories as they were by the sudden and extremely lucrative popularity that medium was enjoying after Superman became such a massive success. These were guys who were literally just making it up as they went along, and as a result, the stories and their internal continuity took a few years to settle down and become a coherent whole.
To give you an idea of just how mutable these stories were, consider this: The single most important thing about Batman as a character, the fact that his parents were murdered and his decision to become a vigilante to avenge their deaths, did not exist until six months after he was created. The murder, the vow, the bat crashing through the window, everything that we think of as the core of his character didn’t appear until Detective Comics #33, and that’s only the start of the idea of “Batman” becoming a cohesive, unique entity. Before that, he’s definitely recognizable as a prototype, but he’s not Batman just yet.
Of course, if the guy running around in a Batman costume fighting crime in those early stories isn’t Batman, that raises the question of who he actually is, and that’s an easy one to answer. He’s The Shadow.
I’ve mentioned before that Batman was influenced by a variety of sources including the brand-new super-hero and Sherlock Holmes, but there was nothing Finger and Kane drew from in those early issues more than the Shadow. The millionaire playboy alter-ego, the spooky presence, even the fact that he flies around in an autogyro and battles against mad scientists and Yellow Peril caricatures, those were all things lifted from the Shadow — and so were the guns and the killing.
It was only later that Batman was fully realized as his own character rather than just a knockoff, and that’s something even the creators seemed to realize. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Bill Finger revisited the end of “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate” for the beginning of another story where Batman knocked a crook into a chemical plant’s vat of acid, only to have him survive and return as the Joker.
Of course, that sudden shift in 1940 wasn’t the last time Batman would be shown as a killer. In the ’80s, presumably spurred by a desire for comics in general and Batman specifically to be more “mature” in the wake of books like The Dark Knight Returns – in which, it should be noted, the Batman doesn’t kill — there was a sudden rush of comics that showed him to be, at the very least, pretty unconcerned about the matter of people dying around him.
Specifically, two creators that had Batman crossing the line are Jim Starlin and Mike W. Barr, who are actually two of my all-time favorite Batman writers. Starlin wrote the very first Batman comic I ever read, but even that features Batman baiting two crooks into blowing each other away with uzis while he casually leaps out of a crossfire, and Ten Nights of the Beast – a story that I am way more fond of than anyone actually should — ends with Batman locking the KGBeast in a sewer and leaving him there to starve to death. Marv Wolfman would later retcon it so that Batman eventually tipped off the authorities — making the whole thing into one gigantic Time Out for a guy who killed a hundred Gothamites in 4 issues — but the original intent is clear.
Barr, though, is even more bloodthirsty. Again, he’s one of my favorites — “Fear For Sale” is one of the best Batman stories ever, and I recently listed “The Doomsday Book” from Detective #572 as an underrated classic. Unfortunately, not only does Batman use a thug as a human shield in that story…
…he also wrote a story called “Messiah of the Crimson Sun” where Batman just straight up kills Ra’s al-Ghul, and then when Robin points this out, he responds with “Did I, Robin? Did I?” Yes, Batman. Yes, you did. You used a remote control to override his spaceship controls and flew him into a giant laser beam, then opened the hatch so that his ashes were blown out into the vacuum of space.
Ra’s came back of course — that’s what Ra’s does — but Batman has no reason to believe that he will after one of the most thorough murders in comics history. He threw his ashes into space.
For me, though, both of those things fall squarely into the category of Plot Points I Completely Ignore, because as far as I’m concerned, “Batman Does Not Kill” is one constant, immutable traits of the character, as much an inherent and necessary part of him as anything else. There are plenty of metatextual reasons for it — ranging from the nature of the super-hero as something that appeals to children to the fact that if Batman actually killed the Joker, then we wouldn’t get any more Joker stories and that would suck — but there are also equally valid in-story reasons for it.
And again, they’re often misconstrued, both by readers and by the creators. There’s a scene in Judd Winick’s run where Jason Todd confronts Batman and flat-out asks him why he doesn’t just kill the Joker — which, all things considered, is a pretty fair question — and Batman answers by telling him that it would be too easy and that it’s a slippery slope that, much like Pringles, once he popped, he would not be able to stop.
Batman’s a guy who trained himself to be the world’s best martial artist and a guy who could solve crossword puzzles in his head while cross-referencing crime locations with Italian clown operas. He came back from a broken back through sheer force of will and beat an addiction to Venom in a weekend by locking himself in his basement and growing a beard. I’m pretty sure that if he set his mind to killing the Joker and then not committing any more murders, he could probably make that happen.
I actually like the scene up to that point and its portrayal of Jason Todd’s pretty legitimate beef with Batman’s policy, but it’s the halfhearted, wishy-washy “oh but I want to!” exploration of why Batman doesn’t kill completely tanks it for me. The only reason that Batman should give as to why he doesn’t kill is that the Batman doesn’t kill. That’s all there is to it.
But there is an underlying reason for it, and it’s one that the scene above doesn’t touch. And it all hinges on the idea that Batman is a crimefighter. That’s a very specific word that’s applied to Batman for a very specific reason, and it encapsulates the very specific aspect that separates him from other characters. At its core, the idea of Batman is one that’s extremely oppositional, and it’s set not just against evil in general, but the very concept of capital-C Crime.
It seems contradictory given that in many ways, Batman is a criminal himself, a vigilante who operates outside the law with methods and that are certainly illegal. Fleisher’s encyclopedia even includes a list of Batman’s “particularly flagrant violations of civil liberties and due process” that sprawls out over two pages. And that’s only the notable ones, in a book that was published 30 years ago.
But if we’re going to accept Batman as a hero — and I think it’s pretty clear at this point that I have — then there needs to be a clear demarcation of what separates the idea of Batman from the idea of Crime. And that’s the easiest thing in the world to figure out.
Batman’s entire idea of Crime, his entire perception of what it means to break the rules set down by society, descends from exactly one moment: his parents’ murder. That one act, the taking of a life, is the defining moment of his life, and it defines what he swears to battle against. The very act of killing another person is what he has devoted his whole life to working against, and it’s complete and utter anathema to him.
It’s also why he doesn’t use guns. In his mind, a gun is quite literally the weapon of a criminal — the only criminal that matters, the one that represents Crime as an overarching enemy, a force that Batman has to reckon with. In his world, there’s a symbolism to a gun that’s just as powerful as the symbol that is Batman: as much as he terrifies the superstitious, cowardly lot that make up Crime, the gun is what terrifies a populace that’s been made afraid of criminals.
It’s these layers of symbolism and concepts literalized into characters that make Batman so compelling as a character and, and what defines his existence on a metaphorical level. For Batman, Crime is killing, and the opposite of Crime is Batman.
As to the limits of this rule, that’s a little bit more of a gray area. There’s a common interpretation of Batman as someone who just doesn’t want anyone to die, ever, and while that’s certainly a valid interpretation up to a point, I think it centers far more on the act of murder as a criminal transgression. For me, it comes down to two simple concepts that are etched in stone: Batman doesn’t kill, and Batman will not allow one person to kill another. These two rules apply to everyone, from Commissioner Gordon on down to the Joker, and as long as they’re in place, I think of the portrayal of Batman as valid. Anything beyond those is just set dressing.
The idea of “killing” versus “not saving,” is a much more metaphysical one that really comes down to whether your personal philosophy equates inaction with an evil act. The infamous “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you” scene is my least favorite part of Batman Begins, but at the same time, stories where Batman does more than the bare minimum and goes out of his way to save the Joker at great personal risk always ring really false for me.
All things being equal, I’d probably prefer Batman to rescue everyone if it comes down to it because it feels more traditionally heroic, but I’d prefer it if that situation never happened again. At this point, that Batman stops the Joker from slipping on a banana peel and falling into an open volcano or whatever, he starts to look less like a hero and more like an idiot who should probably just let that one take its course.
Hot toys has an exceptional new 12-inch figure of Christian Bale as the Bruce Wayne and Batman of Batman Begins coming out in October.
Celebrating our upcoming Spooktacular event, Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys are proud to present the 1:6th scale Batman – Bruce Wayne (Batsuit Begins Version) Collectible Figure, from the classic Batman Begins. Offered by Hot Toys as their Asia Toy Fair exclusive, this limited edition collectible will be shipping to Sideshow’s customers this October!The Batman-Bruce Wayne collectible figure is highly detailed and specially crafted based on the image of Christian Bale as the iconic character Bruce Wayne, highlighting the detailed head sculpt, costume, weapons and accessories.
The Batman – Bruce Wayne (Batman Begins) 12 inch Figure features:
- Authentic and detailed likeness of Batman – Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.
- One (1) Batman head
- One (1) newly developed head sculpt of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne with accurate facial expression and detailed skin texture
- Specially sculpted neck with detailed skin texture to match with the head sculpt
- Three (3) interchangeable lower face sections
- Batman body with 30 points of articulation
- Approximately 12 inches tall
- Seven (7) pieces of interchangeable gloved palms including
- One (1) pair of relaxed palms
- One (1) pair of fists
- One (1) right palm for holding gun
- One (1) right palm for holding batarang
- One (1) left palm for holding bomb
- One (1) Batsuit with cape
- One (1) detailed utility belt with cell phone and accessories
- One (1) pair of forearm gauntlets
- One (1) pair of black boots
- One (1) Grapnel gun
- One (1) bomb
- Two (2) batarangs on belt clip (removable)
- One (1) set of full gear climbing harness and belt
- One (1) Ninja mask for wearing on the head sculpt
- Figure stand with Batman-Bruce Wayne nameplate and movie logo.
Final Accessories Subject to Change
The Paper’d Persuader himself — mega-movie producer, author, editor and comic book authority Michael E. Uslan — returns to his formative stomping grounds of Asbury Park and Deal this weekend, in a slate of events keyed to the publication of his new book, THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN: A MEMOIR.
This happened in Newark, way back when we were a little kid: the Batman movie, starring Adam West and the gang from the 1960s TV show, was playing in some downtown theater when the familiar George Barris Batmobile made a promotional appearance on the streets of Brick City. Interest was high as a couple of guys in Bat-regalia hopped in, hit the atomic turbo power (somewhere alongside the Detect-O-Scope), and…nothing. No flames shooting out the back, no raptor-like scream of turbines, no Neal Hefti theme music. Just some movie house employees and helpful onlookers pressed into service for a manual push down the block, around the corner, and presumably off to the same local garage that your dad’s Rambler American would have landed in. Scarred us for life, it did.
Things worked out differently for Michael E. Uslan, a kid from the mean streets of Deal, an Ocean Township HS grad and a comic book aficionado of a level that one simply doesn’t outgrow. Possessor of a legendary collection; present at the creation of the very earliest comic book conventions, the graduate of Ocean Township HS became the professor of the first-ever accredited college course in comics — a much-publicized laurel that eventually landed him his first writing gigs in the field, on the short-lived DC series Beowulf and The Shadow.
Being a media-savvy comics expert (and the smartest guy in the room) also got him into the motion picture business, in a Local-Boy-Made-Hollywood-Good way that usually only happens in the movies. In cahoots with longtime producing partner Benjamin Melniker, Uslan’s production credits on the Swamp Thing films led to his pitch for a new, big-budget, big-screen treatment of the Caped Crusader — a tough sell that would trace a torturous path to the multiplexes with the first two films in the latter-day Batman franchise (directed by Tim Burton and highlighted by the controversial casting of Carrey-esque comic actor Michael Keaton).
With the Bat-flix an instant sensation, Uslan would turn to “sequential storytelling” repeatedly for lesser-loved projects like Catwoman, Constantine and The Spirit — in addition to producing the hit National Treasure movies and winning an Emmy for his work on the kid-ucational TV show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? But it’s to the Bat-cave that Uslan has returned time and again for his greatest successes; following through on the franchise with two relatively goofier films directed by Joel Schumacher (with future fatman Val Kilmer and smilin’ celeb George Clooney donning the cape ‘n cowl) — and an edgier re-boot that teamed one of the most unpredictable stars of our age (Christian Bale) with the filmmaker who brought us such convoluted mass hallucinations as Memento and Inception (Christopher Nolan). It’s a dynamic duo-ism that’s resulted in one of the top two or three box office boffos of all time (The Dark Knight) — and a collaboration that comes to a close with the upcoming trilogy-capper The Dark Knight Rises.
Uploaded by DoctaM3 on Jul 30, 2011
A tumbler with the old Batman Begins camo pain job getting prepped and rolling on city street to the Pittsburgh set of the Dark Knight Rises.
But is it a Batmobile like everyone assumes, or might it have some connection to the camo-clad men photographed with Bane?
Date of Birth
14 March 1933, Rotherhithe, London, England, UK
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
Born Maurice Micklewhite in London, Michael Caine was the son of a fish-market porter and a charlady. He left school at 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean War, where he saw combat. Upon his return to England he gravitated toward the theater and got a job as an assistant stage manager. He adopted the name of Caine on the advice of his agent, taking it from a marquee that advertised The Caine Mutiny (1954). In the years that followed he worked in more than 100 television dramas, with repertory companies throughout England and eventually in the stage hit, “The Long and the Short and the Tall.” Zulu (1964), the 1964 epic retelling of a historic 19th-century battle in South Africa between British soldiers and Zulu warriors, brought Caine to international attention. Instead of being typecast as a low-ranking Cockney soldier, he played a snobbish, aristocratic officer. Although “Zulu” was a major success, it was the role of Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) and the title role in Alfie (1966) that made Caine a star of the first magnitude. He epitomized the new breed of actor in mid-’60s England, the working-class bloke with glasses and a down-home accent. However, after initially starring in some excellent films, particularly in the 1960s, including Gambit (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), Play Dirty (1969), Battle of Britain (1969), Too Late the Hero (1970), The Last Valley (1971) and especially Get Carter (1971), he seemed to take on roles in below-average films, simply for the money he could by then command. There were some gems amongst the dross, however. He gave a magnificent performance opposite Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and turned in a solid one as a German colonel in The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Educating Rita (1983) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) (for which he won his first Oscar) were highlights of the 1980s, while more recently Little Voice (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) (his second Oscar) and Last Orders (2001) have been widely acclaimed. See full bio »
Inside the Actors Studio
Note: Michael Caine claims to be one of only four individuals who know the ending of The Dark Knight Rises. He has also been instrumental in planting hints among the twitterverse that may or may not be accurate, but are certainly designed to be misinterpreted as outrageous “spoilers.”
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Actor, director, narrator. Morgan Freeman was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. The youngest of five children born to barber Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Sr. and schoolteacher Mayme Edna, Freeman was raised in Chicago and Mississippi in a low-income home. Not long after he was born, Morgan’s parents, like so many other African-Americans struggling under the pressures of the Jim Crow south, relocated to Chicago to find work. While his parents looked for jobs, Freeman remained with his maternal grandmother in Charlestown, Mississippi.
At the age of six, Freeman’s grandmother died and he moved north to be with his mother, who had already separated from her alcoholic husband. More moves followed, to Tennessee and eventually back to Mississippi, where Mayme Edna settled her family in Greenwood.
As a kid, Freeman spent a good portion of his time scraping together enough money to see movies, where he formed an early admiration for actors like Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier. It was by chance that Freeman himself got into acting. He was in junior high school and, as punishment for pulling out a chair from underneath a girl he had a crush on, Freeman was ordered to participate in the school’s drama competition. To his surprise, and probably school administrators, the 12-year-old proved to be an immediate natural on the stage, taking top honors in the program.
But while Freeman loved to act, flying—in particular the idea of being a fighter pilot—was in his heart of hearts. And so, upon graduating high school in 1955, Morgan turned down a partial drama scholarship and joined the U.S. Air Force. The military, though, proved to be much different than what he’d expected. Instead of darting around the skies, Freeman was relegated to on-the-ground activity as a mechanic and radar technician. He also realized that he didn’t want to be shooting down other people.
“I had this very clear epiphany,” he told AARP Magazine. “You are not in love with this; you are in love with the idea of this.” In 1959, Freeman left the Air Force and tried his fortunes out West, moving to Hollywood to see if he could make it as an actor. It wasn’t an easy life. He took acting classes and struggled to find work. In the early 1960s, he moved again, this time to New York City, where more petty day jobs and nighttime auditions followed.
In 1967, the same year he married Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, Freeman’s big career break came when he landed a part in an all African-American Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! starring Pearl Bailey. Around that time, Freeman also performed in an off-Broadway production of The Nigger Lovers.
Some national exposure followed in 1971, when he started appearing regularly on The Electric Company, a public television-produced children’s TV show that focused on teaching kids how to read. On a show that included such current and future stars as Rita Moreno, Joan Rivers, and Gene Wilder, Freeman had some of the show’s more memorable characters, like “Easy Reader,” “Mel Mounds,” and “Count Dracula.” More from Biography.com
Inside the Actors Studio
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Born: 21 March 1958
Birthplace: London, England
Best Known As: Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies
Name at birth: Leonard Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman has wowed audiences since he first appeared on screen in the late ’80s, playing punk rocker Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986) and playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears (1987). He has played a wide variety of character roles over the years, reliably playing hellraisers and villains with exuberance. He is best known for such films as JFK (1991, as Lee Harvey Oswald), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, as Dracula), Air Force One (1997, with Harrison Ford), The Fifth Element (1997, with Bruce Willis) and Hannibal (2001, with Anthony Hopkins). Since 2004 he has played Sirius Black in the film versions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, starring Daniel Radcliffe), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005, with Emma Watson) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007, with Rupert Grint). His other films include Criminal Law (1988, with Kevin Bacon), True Romance (1993, with Christian Slater) and Immortal Beloved (1994, as Beethoven). Younger audiences know him as Gotham City’s best cop, Jim Gordon, in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (2005 and 2008, starring Christian Bale).
Oldman was married to actress Uma Thurman from 1990-92. He also was married to actress Lesley Manville (1998-90) and to model and photographer Donya Fiorentino from 1997-2001… He produced, wrote and directed the autobiographical film Nil By Mouth (1997).
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