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Old Jul 8, 2006, 04:41 PM   #1
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Batman Begins: Interviews

There are quite a few threads scattered around the forums discussing Batman Begins, in various places. They can be found here:

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Gary Oldman & Morgan Freeman

By Sean Chavel in Los Angeles

At a Beverly Hills hotel, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman were recently interviewed to discuss their new film "Batman Begins." Freeman and Oldman seem to share a rapport even though they don’t share any screen time together in the movie. Freeman plays Lucius Fox and Oldman plays Jim Gordon in the movie.

Q: Morgan, you get to play with all of the toys in the movie. I just kept thinking of a kid in a candy store.

FREEMAN: You’re perception of this character is big kid. My perception of this character is professional engineer. This stuff is everyday to me, not a big kid in a candy store. So I didn’t have that concept of it.

Q: The movie is trying to be a serious movie. Was that an approach that was in both of your mindsets?

OLDMAN: Yeah, I like what it stands for…right and wrong, good and bad, justice prevails. The family, for instance, even though it occupies a very tiny part of the movie, really a few minutes of screen time, it resonates with you. You carry that mother and father; it really carries all the way through, so that it’s a theme through the movie. It’s about compassion…I though it was most unusual in that respect. That this kind of genre, this kind of movie…it is a sort of a …fantasy.

FREEMAN: A fully realized story. You know we’re all familiar with “the batguy”. So that familiarity sort of demands something else. Which I think what Chris Nolan delivered. We knew that Batman’s parents were killed by some guy, but we don’t know what happened to him. We don’t know how he got to be Batman. Where did he get all this stuff? Where did he learn how to fight? This whole thing with the ninja comes out! That was perfect.

OLDMAN: Makes sense with…[Gary motions to his forearm]

Q: The gauntlets. It’s all functional, yes?

OLDMAN: It’s all functional, yeah. Instead of camp.

FREEMAN: When you do camp, you don’t know where you’re going I think. It’s like “ha, ha, that didn’t work, here!”

Q: Gary, were you a fan of the Batman comics as a child?

OLDMAN: I wasn’t a huge fan of the comics. Just not one of those kids.

FREEMAN: He was reading Ibsen and Chekhov! [LAUGHS]

OLDMAN: In the original language! (LAUGHS) I liked movies more than I…and then I saw the series in the 60s, with Adam West. So I used to stay in. That was before the days… what is it? “Same time, same bat channel?” And this is before videos. I remember having like, one of these [motions to tape recorder] things, but it was a very archaic version of a tape recorder. And you would tape shows off the tv, just have the audio.

FREEMAN: Oh really?

Q: Next to the speaker?

OLDMAN: Yeah, put it right up next to the T.V., you know? And then the power would go down, and the five schillings would run out. The meter would go, in the middle of a show, you know what I mean, and that dot would go on the tv, and you’d go “Mom! Mom! I’m in the middle of Batman!” So yeah, I used to watch that show. That’s the one I really sort of remember. It doesn’t hold up! [LAUGHS] I saw it last week.

Q: Why were you recording off the T.V., so you could recite lines from a T.V. show?

OLDMAN: Yeah, I just used to always…long before I wanted to be an actor, I got… you know that wonderful, wonderful…the Dustin Hoffman Lenny?

FREEMAN: Oh yes.

OLDMAN: Who was the director?

Q: Bob Fosse.

OLDMAN: I remember, before I’d ever even seen the movie, I’d found the record. I thought it was music, and I put this thing on, I didn’t even know how I came by it, it was in an attic or somewhere, or someone had it, and it was all those monologues.

FREEMAN: Lenny Bruce?

OLDMAN: Yeah, with Dustin Hoffman doing it.

FREEMAN: Really?

OLDMAN: Yeah, the soundtrack from the movie. So I just learned them all, before I even had an idea that I wanted to be an actor. I used to be at school, and I used to be the only 13, 14 year old walking around going, “Eleanor Roosevelt gave Lou Gehrig the clap.” I didn’t even know what I was talking about! So I used to tape stuff…

Q: Did you ever confuse or bewilder your teachers?

OLDMAN: No, it was with my friends. I was far too timid in class to upset the teachers.

Q: What type of movies appealed to you as a kid?

OLDMAN: Well the first movie I saw at the cinema was "A Hard Day’s Night."

Q: What was that like?

OLDMAN: Fantastic. My sister took me. But I’ll watch anything…almost anything.

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

OLDMAN: Malcolm McDowell. I saw him on the T.V. one night and I just went “that’s what I want to do. I want to be doing that.” And that’s it.

Q: What about you Morgan? Did you have a moment where you knew what you wanted to do with the rest of your life?

FREEMAN: I don’t recall it like that. It was a gradual realization that there wasn’t anything else….By the time I was 15, I sort of established myself as one. I’d try to do other things, other jobs. But teachers would tell you, ‘You’re an actor.’ Nobody ever saw me as anything but an actor.

Q: Are you lined up for the sequel?

FREEMAN: I’m not lined up, they don’t line me up.

OLDMAN: Oh, they’re gonna call you. I think so.

FREEMAN: From your mouth to God’s ears. Conventional belief is that they’re gonna call me.

OLDMAN: I think Christian [Bale] signed for three, yeah. I’m signed to do the next film. [Turns to Morgan] They’ll be calling you. And we got the Joker next time.

Q: Any word on who will be playing him?


Q: You always play the "bad guy". What's it like playing the good guy?

OLDMAN: People say, “What’s it like playing the good guy?” It hangs in the gallery of all the other good guys.

Q: Which good guy that you’ve played should we go back and rent?

OLDMAN: Beethoven, "Immortal Beloved." I think Dracula’s hardly a bad guy [in Bram Stoker’s Dracula]. He’s a vampire, yes, but more. A tragic romantic…misunderstood!
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: Batman Begins: Interviews

Michael Caine Interview

Michael Caine is an old pro who doesn’t remember some of the movies he’s been in, simply because he’s been in so many. But he walks into a hotel room at a press junket in Los Angeles with much enthusiasm, as he in what is sure to be one of this summer's biggest blockbusters. Caine co-stars in "Batman Begins," where he plays Bruce Wayne's always sharp and quick-witted butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Here, Caine talks about the Batman legend as well as his own film legacy.

Q: How did the role of Alfred come to you and why did you choose to join the film?

MICHAEL: Christopher turned up at my house on a Sunday morning with a script and said he was doing Batman, which I thought was extraordinary because I know what Christopher had done with "Insomnia" and "Memento." And he made me read it because he wouldn’t leave the script. So I gave him lunch and read the script. And I’ve seen many Batman movies before. And this was called "Batman Begins." I was rather suspicious of that. And at the end, I said, ‘Yeah, this is 'Batman Begins.' I’ll do this.’ And that’s why I did this. Because it was Christopher and the script.

Q: Chris and [screenwriter] David Goyer said they used "The Man Who Would Be King" as a reference point in writing Alfred...

MICHAEL: They never told me that. I would have asked for royalties!

Q: Did they discuss anything with you?

MICHAEL: No, he never mentioned "The Man Who Would Be King." He wouldn’t want to pay me anything before I did the movie. No, I don’t see any references to "The Man Would Be King" in it. But I’m going to go back and have another look.

Q: What qualities did you want to bring to Alfred, since he's been played before in other movies?

MICHAEL: I wanted to bring a very unusual, very tough butler for Batman. I didn’t want to use your obsequious, bobbing, bitter-y serve type of person. I want someone extremely tough. I did a back story on myself. I do it very quickly. He was an SAS Sergeant, which is a very tough British army unit. Got wounded. Didn’t want to leave the army. Became in charge of the sergeant’s mess in the canteen. Therefore he knew how to serve drinks and prepare stuff, which made him attractive to Bruce Wayne’s father, the billionaire. Because he wanted a very tough butler. And that’s how we came around… And I used the voice of the first sergeant I ever had in the army.

Q: Did you think about this character and talk about him with other people?

MICHAEL: No, I never talk with friends about acting. No, no. That’s how I keep them. [LAUGHS] No, I just made up my own mind as I was reading it. It comes to you if you’ve been doing this for as long as I have. I just said right there, ‘He’s a sergeant.’ That’s easy. That’s where he came from. I had this voice… Your first sergeant in the army, even though I was 18 – that was a long time ago – stays with you. So that’s his voice in the picture.

Q: There's a reference when Alfred tells Bruce that he's almost like his savior. Was that improvised or scripted?

MICHAEL: No, everything was in the script. But I was reminded. I made up a military man. And in the British army, officers have a private who does all their stuff. Cleans their boots and their brasses. And he, in fact, is called a “batman.” So I’m Batman’s 'Batman'.

Q: How was working with Christian Bale?

MICHAEL: Christian is so dedicated. The first sign of it is physical. I haven’t seen "The Machinist." Otherwise I would have been more impressive. I remember him from being a slight young man from "American Psycho." I mean, you did look at him and go, ‘God!’ And I turned up on the set of Batman and there was Arnold Schwarzenegger standing in front of me. And so I thought, ‘Boy, this guy has really gone into it.’ Then his dedication to the part is quite extraordinary. He’s a wonderful actor. He’s a very nice man, too. I don’t know him socially. Because you don’t go out to dinner with the guy who’s playing Batman. Because he’s been there two months before you got there, and he’s going to be there three months after you’ve gone. He’s been doing this for, you know, it’s absolutely exhausting. One of the things about his own character that affected our relationship is that he’s a very, very…

We talked about this. He hates master-servant relationship. So we drew a line along that in which I know how far an English servant would go without being so obsequious or overbearing. And he knew how far he would go in patronizing a servant, in which is no way at all. It came out as a very good relationship which met in the middle of equal lines. It was very fortunate for us that I knew the other side of it. Because my mother was a cook in these big houses in the country during the war when I was evacuated. So I knew everything about the butler. And I’ve seen the line in which masters, were very kind to this stuff, came down to – and I knew the line where the butler went up to – and neither of them ever crossed the line. And that’s what I did with Christian. I always called him Master, Master Wayne. Because I wanted to keep this idea that he was a small boy which made the humorous stuff with him funnier. Because I treated him as a small boy in these shenanigans he was getting up to. I always pissed off, you know, that this little boy has gone up and climbed up the Empire State building with a guy in his hand.

Q: How did Christian react when you first called him 'Master Wayne'?

MICHAEL: Yeah, he liked it. He thought, ‘Yeah, would that be what he’d be called?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ What he knew is that it was truthful. If it’s the truth it works, if it ain’t… doesn’t.

Q: Because you became his father in a way?

MICHAEL: Yes, because Bruce becomes an orphan. And he brings him up.

Q: This is the first time we see you with pyrotechnics blowing up around you...

MICHAEL: I was a soldier when I was very young. I was around enough pyrotechnics to last me the rest of my life! [LAUGHS]

I was at an age when there wasn’t that much stuff where they blew things up. In recent years, there’s more if you’re a leading man in that type of thing. But I was in "Austin Powers: Goldmember" which is quite pyrotechnical on a comedy basis. But I have not been in any films that have been special effects-lead.

Q: Your co-star, Katie Holmes, has a new beau in the form of Tom Cruise. Have you ever met him and what did you think of him?

MICHAEL: I met Tom before she did. The first time I met Tom was at the after-party of the premiere here of a film called "Educating Rita" (1983), and my wife went to the toilet, and so there was an empty seat next to me. And suddenly there was a young man sitting next to me. And he said, ‘I want to be a movie actor.’ And he was – he was very young – and he was telling me how he wanted to be a movie actor. And I sort of did that ‘good luck’ to him and all. I thought he’d go somewhere [career-wise]. And I asked him what his name was. And he said, ‘I’m Tom Cruise, sir.’ And then he went. And that was it. And he called me sir. I just saw [today] in a corridor and he called me Michael. [BIG LAUGH] I … I’m a butler, again, that’s what it is.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: Batman Begins: Interviews

Christian Bale Interview

By Sean Chavel in Los Angeles

Christian Bale has been a rising young star for a number of years now, but he’s destined to come into the limelight with his performance as the caped crusader in Batman Begins. Bale’s first starring lead was in Steven Spielberg’s "Empire of the Sun" at age 13 (it’s one of Spielberg’s least famous films, yet one of the best of his “grown-up” movies). He took years off from acting in order to mature and to get an education, but during those years he did have a plum supporting role in the 1994 adaptation "Little Women" opposite Winona Ryder. In recent years, he’s made an impression in "American Psycho," "Shaft" and "Reign of Fire."

Q: Congratulations.

BALE: Thank you very much.

Q: Good stuff. "Batman Begins," that is…

BALE: Thank you.

Q: Are you happy with it?

BALE: Yeah, I’m really happy with it. I think that Chris did a fantastic job with it. I think it’s gonna be the first movie that really pleases the hard-core graphic novel fans of Batman, but also is something that people not familiar with can go along and just enjoy it because it’s good film-making and it’s, you know, a good story.

Q: How do you think everyone’s going to feel about having a British guy playing Batman?

BALE: You know, he’s a very American icon but he’s globally embraced. I live in the States now and I’m an actor. I’m gonna be a shape-shifter. So, I mean, who knows?

Q: I’m one of those life-long Batman fans and especially my favorite series when I was a kid was the Neil Adams stuff and the Denny O’Neil stuff. It’s great to see to see a serious Batman movie. Can you just talk about making it that way.

BALE: I think that that was what Bob Kane intended when he first created the character. I spoke with his wife and she said that he was kind of appalled at the TV series; that it was spoofing what he had intended. And you know then you got the great revival when Frank Miller did Batman: Year One and you got the artwork of Alex Ross and people. And, to me, if you’re gonna make Batman, you really have to pick a side. And either really send it up, the way that Adam West did - because a man running around in a bat suit can be a very funny thing - or, really take it seriously and delve into the demons, you know, within this character etcetera. And I think that the other movies kind of went in between, you know what I mean. You had like these little one-liner quips and things. I always got a sense that it was just Bruce Wayne in a bat suit rather than a becoming this other creature that kind of came out of his dark guts, you know, whenever he put on the suit. And in a way a kind of a, you know, demonic therapy that he needed just to channel his rage in order to be able to exist in every day life as Bruce Wayne, you know, without becoming a complete nut-case.

Q: Can you talk about the physical training; especially going from being rail-thin for The Machinist...

BALE: Yeah, I mean it was excessive because of that. You know, it was much harder because of that. I spoke with Chris whilst I was making The Machinist and he said, you know, I was gonna need to screen test for Batman at the beginning of September and this was like end of July. I was like a hundred and twenty one pounds at the time and he said “well, you know, can you put on any weight in that amount of time? Because, you know, nobody’s gonna be convinced by me telling them that you’re gonna be the next Batman, you know, if you’re like a toothpick.” And so I did have to put on a great deal of weight in just that short amount of time, and once they cast me, that’s when the real, you know, effort started just because that was when I actually had to start getting strong because, you know, he’s got no super powers. You have to look like you can be a brawler...

Q: But not superpowers?

BALE: But exactly, he has no superpowers. And so he has to look like he really can do what you see him doing, you know. And it was very- it was cutting it very fine, you know. I kind of just got ready in time for the beginning of principle photography.

Q: What was more physically taxing? Was it this role or was it The Machinist, because that I understood was....

BALE: I think that The Machinist, whilst it was more demanding mentally to start with, ultimately once you get accustomed to the change and in the losing weight, it was a much calmer and more comforting place mentally. I think the gaining weight fast is really the unhealthy thing. That was- I did actually feel hideous during that time and that’s what I wouldn’t repeat again.

Q: More unhealthy than losing the weight?

BALE: Yeah. No really, I felt absolutely fine in losing the weight. It was in putting the weight on too fast that I felt that I was pushing things too far.

Q: I had heard David Goyer say that Warner Brothers figured out if they had a successful Batman picture they could make, with the merchandising and everything, 3 to 4 billion dollars. I don’t know if they ever told you those figures..

BALE: NO, they didn’t tell me that.

Q: Can you just talk about the pressure on Batman and this whole movie that’s riding on my shoulders, especially how reviled and hated the last one is. How do you work with that kind of pressure hanging over you?

BALE: I really didn’t view it as being pressure because we were coming at it from a completely different angle. It was a re-invention and it was a recognition that the last ones just really had been, you know, not satisfactory at all. So, I just had a genuine belief that this was what like true Batman fans would be enjoying and wanting to see. And more importantly than that to me, this is what I had seen in the graphic novels and, you know, ultimately you gotta just go with what it is that you want to see in it and stop trying to think about pleasing everybody. Because, of course, not everyone’s gonna love the way that I portray Batman in this or what Chris has done with the movie. But we like it, you know. And so, you know, the test will be if we get asked back to do it again.

Q: Were those Frank Miller books you mentioned like Year One, Dark Knight Returns; was that a big inspiration for you?

BALE: Yeah. Very much, yeah. Those, and the artwork, like I said of Alex Ross, I really loved that. There’s one called War, I think it was. And then also the- I mean DC sent me just a box full of graphic novels which I had in the trailer all the time with me. But the two that I liked particularly was Dark Victory and The Long Halloween. They just had some really fantastic imagery in there of the severity of Batman and everything and I would kind of imitate those positions and, you know, adopt in practice.

Q: Sounds like you and Chris had a great working relationship as actor/director. Is that something you can see taking into a lot of Batman movies, doing something else with him?

BALE: Oh yeah. Very much, yeah. You know, I mean I don’t know from Chris’ point of view if I’ll forever be Batman for him, but absolutely. I think he’s a fantastic filmmaker. I’d be very interested to work with him on something else.

Q: Why do you think people are still so fascinated with this character?

BALE: I think it’s modern day mythology. I mean that’s really what it is. These are modern day gods, really. It’s what we wish we could be, it’s kind of our ideals of what we could be and particularly with Batman. He's fascinating because we really could be him - all right, you’d have to inherit a lot of money. But if you manage that then the idea is that it is possible to actually be this one, this particular super-hero. And to me, I always loved the Greek mythology as a kid and that was what really intrigued me when I first started reading the graphic novels in 2000 again. I hadn’t realized that’s essentially what the super-heros are. I just never made that connection that it’s modern day mythology and particularly, you know, American mythology.

Q: Did you approach this as playing two characters, Batman and Bruce Wayne, or one? I almost felt like the dominant character was Batman and it was like a pain to play Bruce Wayne.

BALE: Yeah. I mean, I did kind of view it as - the Batman - as being the absolute sincere, raging character that is within him. But there were really three characters because you’ve then got the Bruce Wayne facade; the Bruce Wayne that is used to throw people off, to make them think that he’s just such a wastrel and such a waste of space and just drunken billionaire guy that he could never possibly be Batman. Be then the younger Bruce Wayne, as well. The one leaving college and wanting to make good on his promise to his parents and give vengeance for their deaths. And I find each of them, each of his incarnations to be very interesting - and then again the older but angry guy in the jail in Buton, you know, and discovering who he is and getting some sense of purpose. So, I actually would put it as like four different characters or something, in there.

Q: With the anticipation of learning the origin of Batman, with also the anticipation of seeingall these heavyweights on screen, what did you take from each of them if anything?

BALE: You mean the other actors in the movie?

Q: The other actors, cast....

BALE: I took the confidence that I was making a good choice because the fact that we were getting this caliber of actor being interested in making it, you know, only kind of supported the fact that, well ‘hey, we’re onto something here. This is good’. And what you get from working with good actors is that they make you better. It’s just always the same thing.

Q:And how are you better?

BALE: It's just a feeling. It’s a feeling that you have that things should be- they should just flow. When things are working well there shouldn’t be a whole lot of effort. And when you’re working with the likes- you know Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman, you know, and Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson; there’s so many good actors in this. You just found ‘man that just worked’, you know. It just like a rhythm that you feel it. That’s all I can say. I can’t really describe to you verbally what it is, but you just feel that this is working. And with guys like that around, you kind of can’t miss.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 04:47 PM   #4
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Re: Batman Begins: Interviews

Katie Holmes Interview

By Sean Chavel in Los Angeles

Katie Holmes is the young rising star of "Batman Begins." While she plays Bruce Wayne's love interest in Chris Nolan's reimagining of the franchise, her real-life love story is equally just as interesting, as the world continues to be obsesed over her and Tom Cruise's very public display of affection. This recent interview in Los Angeles involved discussion over the re-vamped Batman, as well as Holmes’ new happiness with Tom.

Q: Why did you want to be involved with the movie?

KATIE: I’ve been a fan of Chris Nolan’s since "Memento." I heard they were making this movie and he was going to be the director. So I tried to get as many meetings as I could at Warner Bros. [studios]. Then I went and tested – I read for the script – and then I went at tested for the role with Christian [Bale] who was already cast as Batman over in London. I waited by the phone for about three days and got the call. And I immediately called everyone I knew… So I was so thrilled to get the part and join this great cast. My excitement only grew with each day on the set.

Q: What scene did you do with Christian in the audition?

KATIE: I did a scene in the car, coming from the courthouse. And… I don’t remember. It was a long day.

Q: So it was the slap that you got the part? (NOTE: The scene in question has her character slapping Bruce Wayne)

KATIE: [LAUGHS] It was the slap!

Q: You must have appreciated that you weren't so much the "damsel in distress" in this movie like so many other female characters in the previous Batman movies...

KATIE : Yeah, you know, that’s what I really liked about playing Rachel. She was such as strong female character. And she’s tough. And she’s able to be honest with Bruce. And she tells him how she really feels and doesn’t apologize for it. And she wants to make a difference. I like to see characters like that. I like seeing tough women.

Q: You also have somewhat of a backstory presented in the movie as well...

KATIE : Yeah, I mean, it was fun to portray that relationship. That close-knit friendship. Where you have this understanding of each other based on the fact that you know each others’ pasts. And you’re just able to communicate about anything because you know each other so well. I thought it was a really beautiful relationship [with Batman] to explore.

Q: Was it better to play a character that was new and written specifically for the movie?

KATIE: It was great to play Rachel. I didn’t have the comic book character to draw from. But it was just like playing another character. You create from what’s on the page. The script is so well-written that it’s pretty much all on the page.

Q: Your character is the only ray of light in the whole movie...

KATIE: Rachel, yeah, is very much an independent thinker. She has a lot of idealistic views of the world. She’s trying to make it a better place.

Q: Was there any advice Chris Nolan gave you that stuck with you?

KATIE: You know, it was great working with Chris Nolan. I was a fan of his. I think he’s just a brilliant director. He was great leader on the set as well and such a professional. I enjoyed working with him. He was very collaborative but also let you do your job. And if need be, he’d come in and guide you. And if not, he’d let you go. He was great. I really enjoyed it. I felt so… I trusted him. I saw the movie. I was so proud of it and so proud to be in.

Q: So you've seen the movie now. What did you think when the credits rolled?

KATIE: I was just happy. I had a big smile on my face.

Q: Now that we've talked about your character's relationship, can we talk about your personal?

KATIE: Sure.

Q: How's it going?

KATIE: I’m so happy. Thank you. Hmm-hmm.

Q: Can you expand on that?

KATIE: Sure.

Q: What do you like about Tom?

KATIE: He’s the most amazing man I have ever met. The smartest man. The most generous. The best artist I have ever met. Um, amazing… I love him.

Q: How are you able to handle all the attention you've received?

KATIE: I couldn’t be happier. I mean, honestly… I, ahh…

Q: No downside?

KATIE: [GUSHING] I’m in love… with Tom Cruise! [BASKS IN THE MOMENT, LAUGHS]

Q: No such thing as a downside. The name says it all...

KATIE: Yes, he’s amazing.

Q: What was the first thing he ever said to you?


Q: And what was your response?


Q: What's your favorite Tom Cruise moment in a movie?

KATIE: I love all of his movies. I love all his movies. I love Tom.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: Batman Begins: Interviews

Charles Roven & David Goyer

By Sean Chavel in Los Angeles

Charles Roven is the veteran producer of such high-profile films as "12 Monkeys" and "Three Kings" (let’s forgive him for the "Scooby-Doo" movies, shall we?). David Goyer is the screenwriter of "Dark City" and the "Blade" movies, establishing himself as one of the premiere comic book adaptation writers in the Hollywood industry. These two gentlemen were first on-board to work on the new Batman: Begins film, and are among the creative team responsible for revamping the Batman franchise.

Q: How did you feel about the last couple of Batman movies, just as a fan?

DAVID GOYER (DG): Look, I mean, they’re all different. My only thought was that it seemed to me that the later Batman films were diverging farther and farther away from how he was popularly being depicted in the comic books. So that’s all I’ll say about that.

Q: Why the choice of the Scarecrow as a villain?

DG: One, he hadn’t been used in the movies before. He’s creepy. We were wanting to explore subtext themes of fear. And Ra’s is the other one obviously. If you look at the pantheon of Batman villains, it just so happened, in my opinion, two of the best ones, Scarecrow and Ra’s, hadn’t been used yet. So that’s why. And, we thought it was important, since we were doing a kind of reboot, to use one that hadn’t been done before.

Q: A lot of the characters in the film were in the Batman comics from the 70s. What made you choose characters from that period?

DG: We had at our disposal 66 years of Batman material; we could use the best of the best. It just so happened that a lot of it came from the 70’s. The Scarecrow was introduced in the 40’s. Batman: Year One came out in the tail end of the 80’s. Whatever worked the best, we used, we cherry picked.

Q: David, can you talk about your adaptation of THE FLASH comic book?

DG: I’m writing it right now, and Chuck is producing it.

Q: Are you going to be involved in a sequel?

DG: We don’t know. Until Chris commits, we’re not. Everyone’s sort of waiting on Chris.

Q: Are the actors are signed up?


DG: Some are, and some aren’t.

CR: I think Michael Caine is committed.

DG: Christian, Michael Caine…

CR: Gary Oldman, I actually think that Katie Holmes is committed too.

Q: Do you see an end to the comic book movie trend? Is it strong enough to become its own genre?

DG: It already is its own genre, I think.

CR: Here’s the funny thing. Making movies out of comic books had been going on for a lot of years. It happens to have; you know…I don’t want to call it a renaissance because it’s never really stopped. But it certainly has caught the attention of the public. Maybe more than in the past, because actually many of the movies coming out are good. The X-Men movies are good. The Spiderman movies are good. As long as we can continue to mine these for great stories, I think that it will continue this way. But if every time you turn around you’re seeing a not very inspired or rehashed version of a scary movie, then it will be lessened.

Q: Can you talk about the balance of the studio’s creative ideas, and what they looking for to revive the franchise?

CR: One of the interesting things about this project, and it doesn’t always happen, this good really, everybody had the same vision of the movie that they wanted to make. At the focal point of that vision was Chris. And because he knew the vision that he had and was so focused on it and never deviated from it. We had our share of production problems because the shoot was so incredibly long, the longest shoot any of us had ever done, four times the longest shoot that Chris had ever done before this one.

So there was those kinds of problems. And constantly weighing, even though we got this tremendous amount of assets and money, the movie has to, if it’s going to deliver, have this tremendous scale to it. So you’re constantly balancing the aesthetic with the economics, so you’ve got those kinds of problems. But we really didn’t have any…what you hear about as typical studio on one side of the creative table and the filmmakers on another side. That didn’t happen on this movie, it was incredibly easy like that.

Q: It’s the first BATMAN film to take the character seriously.

DG: That was the point.

CR: Everybody wanted to make that movie. Everybody wanted to tell the story in a kind of hyper reality way. Very not “cartoony,” try to make it as real…the whole production was designed around that. What would a guy today, who came from one of the richest families in the world, who had this tragedy, what events could happen that would end up with him donning a batsuit? That’s where we went and we needed to go. Chris shot it a very realistic way; it’s why we decided to use as many real things as we could. We developed a real car; it does all the things in the movie. Most of the stunts are done, really done, very little CGI in the picture. The CGI that’s in the movie, instead of it being designed to be wondrous and out of this world, is actually designed to make the world that we’re in more real.

Q: Was it Chris’ idea to do the movie that way?

DG: Yeah, totally.

Q: Did he go to Warner Bros. to sell them on it?

CR: Actually, what happened was that, Warner Bros had been trying, really since Batman and Robin, to find a way to bring the project back. They’d worked with other filmmakers, in various incarnations.

They actually had one great script called Batman vs. Superman, but that was a way to possibly revive both franchises. And then when they got what they though at the time was a great script from J.J. Abrams on Superman, they decided they were gonna make that. They went and said “well, gee, maybe we can revitalize Batman on his own, and Chris said, “Hey, I’m interested in meeting on that.”

Q: What was the final budget of the film?

CR: A lot! (LAUGHS)

Q: How many days of principal photography?

CR: There was only principal photography, and a model unit. So we ended up shooting 123 days.

Q: Is there one comic book character that hasn’t been tapped for the movies yet?

DG: Silver Surfer!
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