Batman Rising
Batman rising

Directed by

Sam Raimi

Screenplay by

L N Elliot

Story by

L N Elliot

Based on

Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger


  • Luke Evans
  • Adrien Brody
  • Kate Beckinsale
  • Bill Nighy
  • Jeffrey Wright
  • Timothy Spall

Music by

Michael Giacchino

Distributed by

Warner Bros. Pictures


United States




Batman Rising is a superhero movie directed by Sam Raimi and based on the DC Comic character of the same name. It stars Luke Evans as the title role, as well as Adrien Brody,Kate Beckinsale, Bill NighyJeffrey Wright and Timothy Spall. It tells the story of the beginning of Batman crime fighting, with him dealing with his past. The film took a visual style inspired by comics such as Batman: Hush a departure to the more gritty look of the Dark Knight trilogy.


The film opens with GCPD Captain James Gordon and a squad of SWAT officers storming a warehouse where reportedly crime boss Penguin is storing illegal weapons. As they try to assault the the armed thugs in the warehouse a figure in the shadows takes down the henchmen. Gordon orders the SWAT members to trap the figure but fails when he disappears. Gordon reports that the thugs were taken down by the "Bat".

Meanwhile crime boss Oswald "the Penguin" Cobblepot is seen in a heated debate on the phone with Gillian B. Loeb complaining that a masked vigilante has been beating up his men and scaring his associates. Penguin demands that Loeb should stop trying to capture the "Batman" and instead limit the power of newly appointed DA Harvey Dent. As he hangs up the Penguin speaks with his agent known as Selina Kyle to inform Waylon Jones that he and her are to dispose of the Batman.

The next day Bruce Wayne, one of Gothams elite, is shown at a party in the Iceberg Lounge, a casino owned by Oswald Cobblepot. Bruce starts to observe the patrons at a distance while speaking to his butler Alfred through an ear piece before waitress Selina Kyle requests that the Penguin would like to meet him in the VIP lounge. as he enters the VIP area the door is locked behind him and Bruce is tied to a chair where the Penguin starts to torture him. The Penguin explains that Wayne Industries is taking some of the market away from Penguins arms dealing and that if Bruce "cut a bit of a profit" than he would let him out alive.


  • Luke Evans as Batman/Bruce Wayne-Millionaire CEO of Wayne Industries, Bruce Wayne has trained himself to fight crime. He has been operating in Gotham for 2 months-however the GCPD dismiss him as a simple criminal.
  • Kate Beckinsale as Selina Kyle-A casino waitress in the Iceberg Lounge, Selina Kyle is the Penguins top agent feeding him information on Carmine Falcone
  • Bill Nighy as Alfred Pennyworth-Bruce Waynes butler, as well as his loyal friend.
  • Jeffrey Wright as Captain James Gordon-One of the only cops in the GCPD who isn't corrupt but mistrusts Batman. Wright is the first African American in the role.
  • Timothy Spall as Oswald Cobblepot/The Pebguin-A casino owner and crime lord in Gotham, the Penguin is said to have half of the cities officials under his control and is the unofficial mayor. Compared to the mutant portrayed in Batman Returns, the Penguin here is shown only as a short, beak nosed gangster. Originally Philip Seymour Hoffman was considered before his death and was replaced with Spall.
  • Kevin Durand as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc-A man with a condition resembling epidermolytic hyperkeratosis that gives him the appearance of a huge lizard. He acts as Penguins chief enforcer. It is hinted that he feeds on human meat and that is how Penguin controls him; however this is never stated explicitly. Killer Croc's distinctive appearance (which is based of his more crocodile look favoured in more recent comics) was achieved with a mix of makeup, CGI and motion capture.
  • Tom Selleck as Gillian B. Loeb-The corrupt commissar of Gotham who is in Falcones payroll.
  • Adrien Brody as Red Hood/"Jack"- "Jack" is the alias of a stoic, psychotic mob hitman who is hired to kill Harvey Dent. Red Hoods appearance is based off of Jason Todd version of the character (with a leather jacket, red motorcycle helmet, jeans) compared to his original look (with red domed helmet, tuxedo and cape). Brody had previously expressed interest at playing the Joker in the Dark Knight.
  • Joaquin Phoenix as Harvey Dent-The DA of Gotham who has difficulties with Commissar Loeb and corruption in the GCPD. 
  • Danny Glover as Hamilton Hill-The mayor of Gotham city.
  • Alicia Witt as Vicki Vale-A reporter investigating Batman.

Harleen Quinzel was in early drafts of the script as was Lucius Fox but both were scrapped due to there being an overflow of characters. Hush was considered as the main villain with Paul Bettany in line for the role but was changed to Red Hood. Red Hood was to develop his personalty into Joker during the film, but eventually these scenes were cut due to a long running time.



The Batsuit was based on his appearance in Batman: Noël

Critical reaction

The film received mixed to positive reviews with critics praising the acting and directing, but felt that the dialogue and elements of the story were below par. Luke Evans and Timothy Spall were singled out as impressive, with one critic commenting "With Evans we have a Batman full of raw anger rather than brooding all the time, while Spall has a great role as the menacing, cackling Penguin". It received a score of 69% (fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus being "An impressive cast, inspired direction and solid acting balance a merely OK script". Fans however were polarised by the film, with some unfavourably comparing it to Nolans Dark Knight trilogy. Many felt the film was trying to cram in to much; others praised the more comic-book style direction and more surreal world.


After the commercial success of the film a sequel was announced. Sam Raimi and L N Elliot returned to direct and write the film. A few months later Luke Evans, Kate Beckinsale, Joaquin Phoenix and Kevin Durand all announced they would return to reprise their roles. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joined the cast as Firefly.

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