Batman Begins

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German title Batman Begins
Original title Batman Begins
Country of production United States ,
United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 2005
length 140 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 12
Director Christopher Nolan
script Christopher Nolan,
David S. Goyer
production Emma Thomas ,
Charles Roven ,
Larry J. Franco
music Hans Zimmer ,
James Newton Howard
camera Wally Pfister
cut Lee Smith

Successor  →
The Dark Knight

Batman Begins is an American comic film adaptation by director Christopher Nolan from 2005 . The film is a reboot of the Batman story and tells the Batman myth anew in a more realistic way, for which the content is not based on any of the previous film adaptations. Christian Bale can be seen in the role of the title hero. The film grossed $ 374.2 million. The cost of production was $ 150 million. The film opened in German cinemas on June 15, 2005.


As a young boy, Bruce Wayne fell into an old well while playing and was attacked by a flock of bats . Since then he has been terrified of these animals. He later attended the opera in nearby Gotham City with his wealthy and charitable parents Thomas and Martha Wayne . Scared by the actors in costume as bats, he urges his parents to leave the show early. The mugger Joe Chill ambushes the family in a side street and shoots Thomas and Martha. The young Bruce remains traumatized and is raised by the faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth .

Fourteen years later, Chill is to be pardoned early when he testifies against his former cellmate, the powerful mafia boss Carmine Falcone. Wayne, who has meanwhile grown into a bitter young man, sees his chance for revenge and wants to shoot Chill after the trial, but a contract killer hired by Falcone gets ahead of him . Wayne's childhood friend, District Attorney Rachel Dawes, is shaken when Wayne admits his planned murder and accuses him that his father is ashamed of him. Impressed by this, Wayne confronts Falcone in a nightclub. The mafia boss, unmoved by Wayne's appearance, boasts of his power, which he owes only to people's fear, and has the young man thrown out. Wayne then travels across the globe to research criminal thinking and overcome his fears. He appears to be involved in crimes in various places around the world, but at heart he never becomes a criminal.

His research trip ends with the fact that he ends up in a Chinese prison. There he receives a visit from the mysterious Henri Ducard. Wayne offers Wayne to join the "Society of Shadows", a secret organization under the leadership of Ra's al Ghul that fights criminals. After his release he visits Ra's al Ghul in his mountain palace. There he meets Ducard again, who trains him to be a ninja . However, he resists the final acceptance into the society of the shadows because he refuses to execute a murderer. He also rejects Ra's al Ghul's plan to destroy his crime-riddled hometown of Gotham City. He has to flee, with the mountain palace catching fire and Ra's al Ghul perishing in the flames. With the last of his strength, Wayne manages to save the life of the unconscious Ducard and leaves him with some locals.

After seven years of absence, Wayne returns to Gotham City, where he is already considered dead, to take up organized crime there. Appearing in public as a snooty, rich playboy, he also expresses an interest in Wayne Enterprises , his family's long-standing company now run by the unscrupulous William Earle. At the company he met the brilliant developer Lucius Fox. The former board member, sidelined by Earle, keeps all of the company's research projects in a huge basement, including never-marketed prototypes such as a special protective suit and an armored vehicle called a “tumbler”, which he makes available to Wayne. Wayne also discovers a large cave under his Wayne Manor property and sets up his base of operations there, the Bath Cave. With Alfred's help, he develops a combat suit out of Fox's equipment and, as a masked fighter, takes on the identity of Batman , based on his own childhood trauma . He supervises police officers and contacts Sergeant James Gordon, one of Gotham's few unavailable police officers. He finds out from Gordon how he can put Falcone down.

During his research, he finds out that Falcone was involved with psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane, who developed a hallucinogen that amplifies and evokes a person's greatest fears. Batman succeeds in handing Falcone and other previously inviolable criminals over to the police and handing over Rachel Dawes' leverage against corrupt bureaucrats, including the responsible criminal judge. Crane visits Falcone in prison, who had been smuggling Crane's drug into Gotham for months. The doctor implies that he works for a man far more powerful than Falcone. He gives Falcone the toxin that drives the Mafia boss crazy and takes him to his Arkham Mental Hospital . Batman's further investigation leads him to Crane, who also poisons the unprepared, doused him with gasoline and set fire to him, with Batman barely escaping his life. Alfred saves him in time and Lucius Fox develops an antidote for the drug. This also acts as a vaccination, making Batman immune to the hallucinogen from now on.

Dawes visits Crane in Arkham, where he reveals that he has been putting hallucinogen in the town's main water supply for a long time. Dawes tries to escape, but Crane captures her and gives her a lethal dose of the drug. Batman appears, eliminates Crane's henchman, overpowers the doctor, and gives him a dose of his own hallucinogen. Under the influence of the drug, Crane claims to work for Ra's al Ghul. With Gordon's help, Batman can leave the institution with the dying Dawes before the approaching SWAT team . After a chase with the police, he takes her to the bath cave and gives her the antidote in good time.

At Wayne's 30th birthday celebration, he instructs Fox to make more antidotes. Fox countered that the toxin had no effect in the water because it was only absorbed through the lungs. In doing so, he recalls that CEO Earle asked him about a missing microwave transmitter that can evaporate water.

Ducard also appears at the celebration and reveals himself to be the real Ra's al Ghul. The man who died in the palace at the time was just a straw man to protect his own identity. To protect his guests, Wayne throws them out of the house by pretending to be drunk. Then he confronts his former mentor. Al Ghul confirms that Crane is actually working for him and tells Wayne about his plan to destroy Gotham. The Shadow Society has fought against criminal and corrupt societies for centuries and, for example, brought infected rats onto Roman merchant ships or started the great fire of London in 1666. The Shadow Society also tried to destroy Gotham with the help of economics. However, this plan failed due to Thomas Wayne's commitment and his death, as this caused the city's wealthy half-heartedly to try to stop Gotham's decline through foundations. Then al Ghul has Wayne knocked down and Wayne Manor set on fire. Only with Alfred's help Wayne can save himself in the bath cave.

Al Ghul and his group use the stolen microwave weapon to evaporate the hallucinogen-contaminated drinking water and trigger a mass panic in some parts of the city. Al Ghul plans to use Gotham's elevated railway to race into the Wayne Tower, the center of Gotham, blowing up all the water pipes in the entire city. Meanwhile, in the turmoil, Dawes meets Crane again, who now calls himself Scarecrow . She can chase the former prison director away with her stun gun . Batman gets on the moving train and confronts al Ghul. In the following fight, al Ghul destroys the controls so that the train can no longer stop. However, Gordon manages to destroy the rails just before the Wayne Tower with the help of Batman's Batmobile , the "Tumbler". Batman, whose code forbids killing al Ghul, decides "not to have to save him" and lets him fall to his death on the derailed elevated train.

Dawes, who knows Batman's true identity through a conscious expression, explains to Wayne that she cannot be with him because she loves Wayne and not Batman. However, she corrects her earlier opinion and praises him by saying that his father would be proud of him. Wayne fires Earle and appoints Fox as the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises, whose majority stake he had secretly bought over the past few weeks. Gordon installs a light signal on a roof to call for help to Batman, the new protector of Gotham City. He tells Batman that a brutal bank robber recently emerged who had committed a double homicide and left a Joker playing card. Batman promises Gordon to take care of it.


Following Tim Burton's successful adaptations, the Batman franchise, directed by Joel Schumacher, fell short of expectations. Warner Bros. , which own the rights, saw their franchise maneuvered to a dead end and were reluctant to approve further screen trips by the hero. Only after the tremendous success of the X-Men and the Spider-Man series did Warner Bros. want to send one of its strongest draft horses back into the race. For a long time the search was on for a suitable director who would relaunch the Batman myth from scratch. It was decided to go with Christopher Nolan , who after Memento and Insomnia had gained a reputation as a director with depth.


The film was supposed to tell the beginnings of the "Dark Knight" in the most modern and realistic way possible, in contrast to earlier films. Together with David S. Goyer , who had the necessary background knowledge about the comics and always wanted to work on a Batman film, Nolan developed a script . Different comics influenced the design and story of the film. Adversary Ra's al Ghul has its origins in the Batman comics of the 1970s by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams . Bruce Wayne's evolution into Batman was in large part inspired by O'Neil's 1989 comic The Man Who Falls . The realistic portrayal of the story and the relationship between Gordon and Batman have their origins primarily in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One (1987) and The Dark Knight Returns (1986). The series Batman: The Long Halloween (1996-1997) by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale finally served as the basis for the story of mob boss Carmine Falcone. Warner Bros. was satisfied with the finished script and gave the independent director the greatest possible artistic freedom. The production of the film was subject to the greatest confidentiality; all scripts, contracts and documents were given the film title Intimidation Game .

Comic template

Among other things, the final scene from Batman: Year One comes when Gordon tells us that a mysterious villain called the Joker has appeared. He had threatened to poison the drinking water supply of Gotham City, which is the idea of ​​Ra's al Ghul and Scarecrow in the film.


The search for a Batman actor turned out to be difficult and new names kept coming up. In the end, it was decided in favor of Christian Bale , who is primarily considered a character actor and should give the title hero the necessary depth. Bale was significantly too thin for the role due to his filming of The Machinist . At Nolan's advice to gain as much weight as possible, Bale brought it to 110 kg through a change in diet and extensive training, which earned him the nickname "Fatman" among crew members. At the start of shooting, he had lost enough weight to realistically portray a strong and agile superhero.

The supporting roles were also cast with established actors, including Morgan Freeman , Liam Neeson , Rutger Hauer , Michael Caine , Katie Holmes , Tom Wilkinson , Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman .


Batman's suit should be both terrifying and functional. It was therefore decided that Bruce Wayne should use a modified battle suit. It was made of latex and adapted to the body of the main actor. Bale asked for the neck area to be made so that he could move his head freely so as not to have to move his entire upper body when looking around, as in earlier films. In order to have a fur-like cloak that is nonetheless water-repellent, a flocked nylon fabric specially made for the film was used. The idea of ​​a flexible fabric that is solidified by electricity was based on research by the US Department of Defense.


The Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire were chosen as Wayne Manor

So that the film does not look like a complete film studio product, some scenes were realized in the open air. The training in the Himalayas was filmed on a glacier with an adjacent, frozen lake in Iceland. Rainy weather and the slow thawing of the lake made filming much more difficult.

According to Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley, Gotham City should look like an exaggerated version of New York. The long shots of the city are combinations of models and computer-generated images. The 3-D models were textured with thousands of photos of Chicago . In the American city, some film recordings were made, which were subsequently supplemented by computer-animated models of the Wayne Tower and the monorail. Much of the Narrows and other streets of Gotham City were built in Hangar 2 in Cardington . With a total area of ​​over 20,000 square meters, the set was three times larger than the largest conventional studio stage in order to realize the construction of a fictional large city. Mentmore Towers , Buckinghamshire, was the location of the Wayne family . The cave below, however, was built entirely from wooden scaffolding on a set at Shepperton Studios , which was then flooded.


The fights in the film shouldn't be dance-like, but raw and effective. The fighting style used in the film is based on the Keysi Fighting Method , which is mainly used as self-defense and in street fighting . Christian Bale was able to perform all fight scenes himself through excessive training.

For Christopher Nolan it was important for the realistic effect of the film to actually perform as many stunts as possible on location and only use computer animations in exceptional cases. For the tumbler, the Batmobile of the film, a roadworthy self-construction was constructed. The vehicle, described by the creators as a mixture of Humvee , Lamborghini and stealth bomber , weighed 2.5 tons. During the chase with the police, stunt driver George Cottle accelerated the vehicle up to 160 km / h. In order to enable dynamic tracking shots even at these high speeds, a computer-controlled camera crane was mounted on the roof of a Mercedes ML 55 . The construction was referred to as the Ultimate Arm .

The finale of the derailing monorail was realized with a combination of models, CGI and studio recordings.


The "tumbler"

In the film, the "Tumbler" was presented as an armored bridge vehicle for war zones. Developed by the Applied Science Department at Wayne Enterprises, the tumbler never made it past prototype status and was later redesigned as a Batmobile by Bruce Wayne.


The soundtrack was - like that of the successor The Dark Knight - produced jointly by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard ; Ramin Djawadi was also involved . All tracks on the album are scientific names of bat species. In addition, the first letters of tracks 4 to 9 form the word BATMAN . The entire soundtrack is about 60:30 minutes long and was released in German stores on June 13, 2005.

Track list

  1. Vespertilio
  2. Eptesicus
  3. Myotis
  4. Barbastella
  5. Artibeus
  6. Tadarida
  7. Macrotus
  8. Antrozous
  9. Nycteris
  10. Molossus
  11. Corynorhinus
  12. Lasiurus


The German synchronization was for a dialogue book by Klaus Bickert and the dialogue director of Tobias Meister on behalf of RC production .

role actor Voice actor
Bruce Wayne / Batman Christian Bale David Nathan
Alfred Pennyworth Michael Caine Jürgen Thormann
Lucius Fox Morgan Freeman Klaus Sunshine
James Gordon Gary Oldman Udo Schenk
Rachel Dawes Katie Holmes Dascha Lehmann
Henri Ducard / Ra's al Ghul Liam Neeson Bernd Rumpf
Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow Cillian Murphy Norman Matt
Carmine Falcone Tom Wilkinson Lutz Riedel
William Earle Rutger Hauer Thomas Danneberg
Ra's al Ghul's doppelganger Ken Watanabe Tōru Tanabe


The Rotten Tomatoes website found 85% positive reviews for the film from specialist critics, while 90% of the audience gave the film a positive rating (as of January 2013). Many critics liked the more realistic approach. The focus on Bruce Wayne's trauma and the motives that lead him to fight crime disguised as a bat were particularly well received, but the clumsiness with which these motifs are portrayed was also criticized. describes the film as a "Realistically alienated cinema comic with the best Batman actor of all time". The “excellent” cast and the “amazingly realistic [...] transmission of even the most surreal comic imaginations” were praised. Filmstarts attests to the numerous dialogues "depth". So "the crisp one-liners never seem out of place and there is never any idling between the action-free passages".

Prisma, on the other hand, criticizes the bad staging "despite strong characters and a good story". "Convincing only in the calm, dark pictures, the poorly staged action shaky pictures, where you can see absolutely nothing, are annoying."

The Lexicon of International Films likes Batman Begins "at best as a passable entertainment film , despite some hidden political leaders", since it "never exceeds the limits of current staging standards".

On, Thorsten Funke recognizes Gotham City as “an astonishingly accurate interpretation of America today”. Nolan also succeeds in "giving back its depth to the character of Batman". Bruce Wayne is "a difficult character, ambivalent about his feelings of revenge and insecure about his mission, who puts on so many masks - besides the bat mask, for example, that of the superficial playboy - that he doesn't know who he is".

The film critic Ulli Armbrust describes the film as a post “9/11” text, which as such hardly receives any attention in film studies despite the sometimes obvious references to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 . Only the film scholar Terence McSweeney devotes a chapter to the Marvel and DC superheroes as part of his book The 'War on Terror' and American Film: 9/11 Frames Per Second and also goes into the Nolan trilogy. Nolan, in whose films there are generally hardly any sociopolitical criticism or provocations, managed with Batman Begins not to offer a target for a possibly racist or stereotypical representation of the Arab-born antagonist Ra's Al Ghul, while at the same time ascribing positive American values ​​to Batman.


Academy Awards 2006

British Academy Film Awards 2006

Saturn Award 2006

MTV Movie Awards 2006

  • Award in the best hero category for Christian Bale
  • Nomination in the Best Picture category for Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Larry J. Franco
  • Nomination for Best Movie Villain for Cillian Murphy

German Film and Media Rating (FBW)


Even after the first weekend of publication, speculation arose about several sequels. Leading actor Christian Bale slipped back into the role of Batman. Also, Morgan Freeman , Gary Oldman and Michael Caine have been committed for the second and third parts of the trilogy.

In an interview with the film magazine Cinema , Christian Bale stated that he had signed a contract for a total of three Batman parts and that he would appear in the next two films The Joker and Harvey Dent ( Two-Face ). Furthermore, The Scarecrow also appears in the form of short appearances in both of the following parts . In early August 2006, the Warner Bros. film studio confirmed that Heath Ledger had already signed for the role of Joker after Robin Williams had requested several times, but was rejected. The British film magazine Empire was supposed to publish a first picture of Ledger in his role as the cover picture of its January 2008 issue , but curiously enough it was already shown in November 2007 on the website . The sequel to Batman Begins had its premiere on August 21, 2008 under the title The Dark Knight in German cinemas. Heath Ledger died unexpectedly on January 22, 2008 of a tablet overdose shortly after filming was completed.

In July 2012, the third and final part of the trilogy appeared under the name The Dark Knight Rises . Alongside Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy as Bane , Marion Cotillard as Talia al Ghul and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman .


  • Ulli Crossbow: Between Attack and Disaster - An Investigation of Terrorism in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins". GRIN Verlag, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-668-81442-4 .
  • Scott Beatty : Batman Begins - The World of the Dark Knight. Dino, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-8332-1252-7 .
  • Scott Beatty, Bob Kane: Batman Begins - The Visual Guide. DK, London / New York 2005, ISBN 0-7566-1233-0 (English).
  • Jody Duncan Jesser, Janine Pourroy: Batman - The Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy. Knesebeck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-86873-460-7 , pp. 130–157.
  • Jesse Khala: Psychologically charged superheroes in the film of the 21st century - The "new" thing about Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins". GRIN Verlag, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-656-94191-0 .
  • Claudia Kalindjian: Batman Begins - The Official Movie Guide. Time Inc. Home Entertainment, New York 2005, ISBN 1-932273-44-1 (English).
  • Dennis O'Neil: Batman Begins. (= Novel about the film). Translated from the English by Ralf Schmitz. Heyne, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-453-50015-6 .
  • Brandon T. Snider: The Dark Knight Handbook - Tools, Weapons, Vehicles & Documents from the Bath Cave. Panini, Stuttgart, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8332-2555-0 .
  • Mark Cotta Vaz: The Art of Batman Begins. Chronicle Books, San Francisco 2005, ISBN 0-8118-4948-1 (English).

Web links

Commons : Batman Begins  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Certificate of Release for Batman Begins . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , May 2005 (PDF; test number: 102 529 K).
  2. Age rating for Batman Begins . Youth Media Commission .
  3. a b production costs and gross profit. In: Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  4. Publication. In: Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  5. a b c Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: The Journey Begins
  6. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: The Evolution of the Bat
  7. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Cape and Mask
  8. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Path of Knowledge
  9. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Making Gotham City
  10. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Training of Mind and Body
  11. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Batman - The Tumbler
  12. Batman Begins 2-Disc Special Edition DVD: Saving Gotham City
  13. Presentation of the tumbler vehicle through film dialogues
  14. Batman Begins. In: German synchronous index , accessed on October 5, 2019 .
  15. Batman Begins Review page for Batman Begins by the Metasco service Rotten Tomatoes
  16. Batman Begins. In: Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  17. Batman Begins. In: Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  18. Batman Begins. In: prisma. Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  19. Batman Begins. In: Lexicon of International Films. Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  20. Thorsten Funke: Batman Begins. In: June 14, 2005, accessed October 13, 2016 .
  21. ^ Crossbow, Ulli: Between attack and catastrophe. An investigation into terrorism in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" . 1st edition. GRIN Verlag, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-668-81442-4 , p. 20 .
  22. Batman Begins. In: FBW-Film Retrieved March 14, 2019 .
  23. Empire : He Is Coming ...
  24. The Joker Is Coming , November 26, 2007.
  25. The Joker Revealed Early! , November 27, 2007.