Batman by Numbers – Bat Facts About the Caped Crusader
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy has led us to re-capping on the caped crusader. Here at Movie Farm we look at some fun facts and trivia about Batman as well as some behind the scenes trivia on Christopher Nolan’s gritty interpretation…
- May 1939: Batman makes his first appearance in Detective Comics (later to be named DC comics) after he is created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. He originally had no cape and wore red tights.
- The issue featuring the very first appearance of The Bat Man (Detective Comics #17, May 1939) is said to be valued at $135,000,000.
- Whilst coming up with the idea for Batman, Bob Kane intended Batman to literally be part-man and part-bat. Baseball bat, that is.
- Finger decided to name Bruce Wayne after historical characters King Bruce I of Scotland and Anthony Wayne who was a brigadier general in the American Revolutionary War.
- There have been many interpretations of Batman. Five Hollywood actors have played the role of Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight in movies, whilst three have played Batman on TV and over six actors have voiced Batman for various animated TV series and video games.
- [Potential Spoiler] The identity of ‘Batman’ himself has taken on several different forms since his creation, with over 30 versions of Batman(s) which have different identities other than Bruce Wayne or exist in alternative ‘multiverse’ canons. In one such alternative universe, a character named Azalea takes over Wayne’s super-hero duties after Wayne is injured by Bane in the comic Knightfall and becomes the new Batman.
- Since the launch of the comic book and numerous TV series Batman has today faced over 200 foes.
- Several actors who missed out on playing Batman include Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, Mel Gibson, Joshua Jackson, Billy Crudup, David Boreanaz, Henry Cavill, Cillian Murphy, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
- Christian Bale is the only actor to appear in all three of the live action Batman films. Kevin Conroy is the only other actor to have played Batman, with five animated movies under his belt, six video games and seven animated TV series.
- 84 BAMS, KAPOW’s and WHOOSES etc. were overlaid during the fight scenes of the 1960′s TV series to imitate the panels in the Batman comics.
- Whilst Julie Newmar made for a sultry Catwoman, Michelle Pfieffer, a femme fatale and Halle Berry, a less-than-fortunate version for a spin-off, Anne Hathaway beat competition from Keira Knightley, Kate Mara, Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton and Charlotte Riley to play the role of Selina Kyle and her feline alter ego in The Dark Knight Rises.
- The Bat mobile design for Nolan’s series is also nick-named The Tumbler in the movie. In Nolan’s universe it is a military vehicle which is adapted and re-painted black for Wayne to use as his getaway vehicle. It is 15 feet long, weights 2.5 tonnes and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just six seconds. The design itself was based on the ‘spinners’ in Bladerunner (which is reportedly a film which inspired Nolan in his filming of Batman). Four full scale models of these were built costing $250,000 each by a team of 30 people including production designer Nathan Crowley, Chris Culvert and Andy Smith.
- Anne Hathaway based her performance on Hedy Lamar, who was the original inspiration for Catwoman.
- There are several unprinted issues of the Batman comics in existence including an issue where Batman pursues the assassins who shot JFK.
- The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween, Knightfall, No Man’s Land and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight and Year One all served as inspiration for Nolan’s Batman series. Similarly several of these titles were also the graphic novels that inspired Tim Burton’s version.
- The character Robin was only meant to appear in one issue.
- George Clooney’s Batman costume in Batman and Robin weighed at least 90lbs.
- The character Rachel Dawes – who is played in Batman Begins by Katie Holmes and in The Dark Knight by Maggie Gyllenhaal – doesn’t actually exist in the comics. She was created by Nolan, possibly as a love interest to aid Batman and Harvey Dent’s character/narrative development.
- Marilyn Manson was considered for Cillian Murphy’s role of Dr. Jonathan Crane i.e. Scarecrow in Batman Begins.
- Batman is one of the highest grossing franchises of all time raking in over $2.63 billion (US). Others include Spider-man, Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, Harry Potter, Twilight, Toy Story and Pirates of The Caribbean.
- A 1954 book titled Seduction of The Innocent theorized that comic books were responsible for juvenile delinquency and was written by psychiatrist Dr Frederick Wertham. He was the first to suggest that Batman and Robin were in fact a gay couple. The result ended in decades of gay jokes about the dynamic duo and a greater attempt to establish Bruce Wayne as a womanising playboy. It is also rumoured to have influenced the introduction of Batgirl.
- Andy Warhol produced the first ever Batman movie in 1964 entitled Batman, Dracula. It starred Gregory Battock, was only seen by a small amount of people and it is thought that no prints of the movie exist today.
- Robin said his trademark ‘Holy’ catchphrase 327 times during the 1966 TV series.
- Batman Returns (1992) was the first film to ever be made in Dolby Digital .
- Clint Eastwood was also considered to direct the reboot franchise before Nolan signed up in 2005, as was director Darren Aronofsky.
- Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman in Tim Burton’s 1989 film was so shocking it made front page news that week. It is said that Warner Bros received over 50,000 protest letters.
- Bladerunner’s Sean Young was originally cast as Vicky Vale in Batman (1989) but had a riding accident during filming. Her scenes were cut and Kim Bassinger replaced her.
- Darren Hudson, former editor of Comics Journal estimated that Bruce Wayne’s entire range of Batman equipment plus training, transport and his secret base at Wayne Manor would cost approximately $300 million.
- The Dark Knight is the highest grossing Batman film to date taking over $1 billion(US) at the box office. Tim Burton’s Batman is second in line at $411,348,924 worldwide and Batman Begins is in third place at $372,710,015.
- The mask Heath Ledger wears as The Joker during the bank robbery in The Dark Knight is the same mask worn by Cesar Romero who played The Joker in 1966.
- In the Batman comics, the secret code to get into the Bat-cave was to turn the hands of the broken Wayne Manor grandfather clock to 10.47pm which is the time that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered.
- The Bat-cave of the original 1966 TV series was built on the site of the Skull Island Gate from the original set of King Kong (1933).
- Over 6250 comic book stories, 321 TV episodes, 43 video games and 14 stage shows and movies have been written about Batman.
- In Tim Burton’s Batman, Willem Defoe, David Bowie, Tim Curry, James Woods and John Lithgow were all considered to play The Joker. Jack Nicholson won the part.
- Annette Benning almost played Catwoman in Batman Returns but fell pregnant prior to filming. Michelle Pfieffer replaced her and subsequently got through 60 catsuits during six months of shooting.
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