Let me take you on a trip bake in time. It’s early 2003. Joel Schumacher had made Batman (and almost comic book movies in general) poisonous with two brilliantly misunderstood big-screen adaptations of Batman 66. Warner Bros was desperate to fix this. They had been trying and failing to get Batman film after Batman film off the ground for years but nothing was working. Then director Christopher Nolan, of Memento and Insomnia, gave the studio a pitch that worked. David Goyer, the man behind Dark City and the Blade movies (part of what was making comic book movies viable again) was tapped to write it. All that was left was to find their Batman.
Of the many hopefuls auditioning (among them future Scarecrow Cillian Murphy), Welsh actor Christian Bale, then best known for his role as serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, was the one who walked away with the coveted part.
And now, thanks to the internet, we get to see Bale’s screentest from way back in those bygone days. Check out the use of Val Kilmer’s Batsuit and eventual Lois Lane, Amy Adams, standing in for an as-yet-uncast Rachel Dawes.
Man, the earlier, not-yet-perfected Bat-voice is so much better than what we actually got in screen.
This clip, as well as a bunch of other new stuff like it, will be on the new Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set which hits stores tomorrow.