Before the DC Extended Universe was even a twinkle in Zack Snyder's eye, director Christopher Nolan delivered a Batman that was darker and grittier than any movie incarnation before in Batman Begins. Now, Screen Rant's Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the Batman Begins pitch meeting, and how it ushered in a new and more mature take on a troubled billionaire who dresses up in a bat costume and beats up criminals in lieu of getting the therapy he desperately needs.
Released in 2005, Batman Begins was the first in a trilogy of films that continued with The Dark Knight and concluded with The Dark Knight Rises. After losing 62 lbs to play a skeletal insomniac in The Machinist, actor Christian Bale was given six months to gain 100 lbs to play the role of a young Bruce Wayne... and then had to lose 20 lbs when Nolan decided he looked a little too beefy. Finally Bale managed to become appropriately Batman-sized, and the Dark Knight was born.
As the title suggests, Batman Begins is an origin story for Batman, which means that we once again get to see his poor parents murdered in an alley. As a young man, Bruce gets recruited by Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson) to join the League of Shadows, which seems like a good idea at the time, so off he goes to the Himalayas to learn how to be a ninja assassin. All goes well until it transpires that being an assassin involves killing people, which Bruce doesn't want to do, so he escapes from the League by... killing a lot of people. And thus, a hero is born!
Though Batman Begins grossed slightly less at the box office than Superman Returns, which was released a year later, its smaller budget meant that it was considerably more profitable for Warner Bros. Moreover, it put Batman back on track after the much-maligned cheesefest that was Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin, with critics praising Nolan for getting to the heart of one of DC's most well-known and complex superheroes.
The Dark Knight trilogy ended up being a monumental success for Warner Bros., with the latter two films both passing the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office. It might be argued that Nolan executed a darker and grittier take on Batman so well that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was left with an impossible standard to live up to. As for the future of Batman in the DCEU, there's a solo Batman movie in the works with Matt Reeves set to direct, which could start filming as early as November 2019 - but there's not much official information about it just yet.