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Scarecrow (2019)

Directed by

Alexandre Morel

Produced by

Alexandre Morel
Klaus Bessiner
Kevin De La Noy

Screenplay by

Alexandre Morel
Francis Ford Coppola

Story by

Alexandre Morel
Francis Ford Coppola
Phillip Lee

Based on

Characters created by Bob Kane


Cilian Murphy
Colin Farrell

Running time

197 minutes


United States
United Kingdom


$756 million


Scarecrow is the 2019 DC Comics film directed by Alexandre Morel, featuring the infamous Batman series villain, The Scarecrow A.K.A Dr. Johnathan Crane. The movie stars Cilian Murphy as Johnathan Crane and Colin Farrell as Greg McCanister, the two main characters. The plot line for the movie was supervised by Francis Ford Coppola, the mentor to Morel (both worked on the Francis Ford Coppola Batman movie series). 

The film was cited as having no "large connections to any of the comics or other films." The movie was made on it's on ground basics, with use of well-known characters from the Batman universe. The first week of released received $78 million and a total of $406 million before DVD and Blu-ray release. The film is rated R for "graphic violence and mild sexual content."

The movie won the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Picture but lost to Peter Jackson's X-Men Forever. Cilian Murphy won Best Leading Role and Colin Farrell won Best Supporting Role. The movie also won the MTV Movie of the Year, Alexandre Morel won Best New Filmmaker, and Alessandra Mastronardi and Colin Farrell won for Best Kiss.

Cast and Crew


  • Cilian Murphy as Dr. Johnathan "Johnny" Crane/The Scarecrow/Demon of Death- After living a life of social torment and parental abuse, Johnathan Crane attended Gotham City University and mastered in Psycological Fears. He became a teacher at the University, but runs away from the city after being hunted by the police for testing and killing one of his students. Living on the run, he soon loses his brilliant mind and grows two personalities:  "Scarecrow" and "Johnny." He soon patens the "Fear Gas" and returns to Gotham to cause the city strife and horror.
  • Colin Farrell as Colonel Greg McCanister- U.S. Marines veteran, now turned Bounty Hunter, was hired by Robert Tessnen to kill Crane for the murder of Randy Tessnen.
  • Corbin Bleu as Randy Tessnen- Student at Gotham City University who is murdered by Crane accidentally.
  • Alessandra Mastronardi as Vicki Vale- Former investigative jounralist, hunts down The Scarecrow for the death of her father.
  • Johnathan Rhys Meyers as Bruce Wayne- Playboy philanthropist and heir to the Wayne Enterprises legacy.
  • James McGowan as Comissioner James Gordon- An easily obsessed officer, James Gordon has it engraved in his heart to protect Gotham City from danger.
  • Samuel West as Sergeant Archibald Gracie V- Great-Grandson of RMS Titanic survivor Colonel Archibald Gracie IV and member of the Gotham City Police Department; interim Commissioner.
  • Nathaniel Parker as Officer Damon Lightoller- Officer of the Gotham City Police Department.
  • James Wilby as Nicholas "Nick" William Murdoch- Citizen of Gotham who is used as a mole for the Gotham City Police Department.
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Reginald Bowler- Student hypnotized by Crane.
  • Victor Garber as Dr. Victor Fries- Popular scientist who creates a gas that can resolve all pain and citizen of Gotham City.
  • Bill Paxton as Senator J. Edward Smith- Senator of Gotham City, former mayor.
  • Matt Lanter as Defense Attorney Harvey Dent- Undefeated defense attorney of Gotham City.
  • Nick Dunning as Thomas Wayne- Owner of Wayne Enterprises, husband to Martha Wayne and father to Bruce Wayne.
  • Frances Fisher as Martha Wayne- Wife to Thomas Wayne and mother to Bruce Wayne.
  • Elias Koteas as Francis Crane- A violent alcoholic, Francis Crane continually beat his son, Johnathan, and his wife, Joanne.
  • Miranda Otto as Joanne Crane- Wife to Francis Crane and mother to Johnathan Crane, Joanne was constantly beaten by her husband.
  • Ben Kingsley as Ra's al Ghul- Mysterious man native to Italy who teaches Crane about the creation of fear.
  • Morgan Freeman as Professor Henry Von Drake- Crane's professor of psychology at Gotham University.
  • Don Cheadle as Robert Tessnen- Single father of Randy Tessnen and old friend of Greg McCanister.
  • Aaron Sorkin as Jonas Vale- Politician and candidate for Mayor of Gotham.


The Beginning

Johnathan Crane was born a single child into the Crane family, to his father Francis and his mother Joanne. As he grew older, his father found it harder to hold a steady job, and became a raging alchoholic. He beat his son all through his young childhood, as well his wife. In hopes of impressing his father, Johnathan acceled in school, but the beatings became even more relentless and his has to watch his defenseless mother be abused. This goes on until he finally goes off to college at Gotham City University at age sixteen, becoming a minor social pariah for his genious ways of thinking. He studies in Psychology and how humans react the fear and anxiety at the University under the wing of world renown psychologist, Professor Henry Von Drake. Johnathan graduates at age twenty and invited to Italy to learn abstract techniques of the creation and demolition of fear from one Ra's al Ghul. Ghul puts Johnathan through many mind tiring challenges, installing the true meaning of fear into his mind. Johnathan returns to Gotham at age twenty-five and is invited to teach at Gotham University in the field of Psychology. Also, Johnathan becomes a registered psychiatrist.

In an article, Johnathan sees that Doctor Victor Fries has developed a gas that can be used as a pain-killer that can virtually take away pain for a short amount of time. Johnathan, with a shred of jealousy, believes his mind is

superior, uses the idea to create a similar gas that would be able brazen the mind from fear. (Scientifically, it suspends the use of your Amygdala which decodes emotions like fear). Johnathan works relentlessy, using much of his money to buy the needed equipment and resources. Finally, after three months, Johnathan completes his "Anti-Fear gas" and tests the gas on himself, in hopes of curing his fear of his father, but the accidental addition of Byplasmic Chromia Transhield reverses the intent, making fear even more irrational and putting Johnathan into a trance of violent hallucinations for two days.

Johnathan awakes, believing it was all a dream, returns to teaching at Gotham University, where he is approached by a student named Randy Tessnen who wants to assists in his work. Johnathan invites Randy to his home and runs the gas through Randy, but results in Randy's death from over-exposure to high toxins that caused aneurysms. Johnathan, realizing what he has done, hides the body near Ace's Chemical Plant (While this is happening, the toxins from the gas begin to affect Crane's rationality and sanity). The next day, the police are on the search for Randy, led by Commissioner Gordon who was Randy's uncle, Sergeant Archibald Gracie, and some other officers. They find the body at Ace's Chemical Plant and immediately contact the father, Robert Tessnen. He tells the police that his son has spent a lot of time recently with Doctor Johnathan Crane.

The following day, Jonathan sees on the news that they found Randy's body and begins packing his equipment and supplies. Johnathan escapes before the police can reach his home. The police arrive and find Randy's hoodie. Now Gotham is on search for a man, one they thought was trustworthy and honorable, but was instead a murderer.


Johnathan arrives in the small town of Kaeding, a few miles from Gotham. When there, he finds a motel and sleeps there, but a can of his gas falls and is opened in the room. During the night, he has rampaging nightmares about his parents. He wakes up the next morning, but is not this same. Crane now seems to have two personalities, one being his rational side that he calls "Johnny." The other is a more devilish side, one that realizes "what the world has done to him": With his parents, bullies, the murder. This personality is called "Scarecrow." Crane begins having several debates within his head, but the "Johnny" finally wins over and Crane is on the move again. He moves to the next town called Herensville. He arrives at night and is attacked by petty thugs. One of those thugs hit one of the cans of gas and they all begin to start having horrible hallucinations and seizures. But, Crane is impervious to the gas this time."Scarecrow" takes over and Crane begins feeding the gas into the thugs' mouths. This results in all three of them dying. Crane takes their money and goes to another motel. Crane makes more cans of gas and has another nightmare filled night and awakes as Scarecrow. He walks down the main hall of the motel and throws a few cans of gas down, throwing all of the people into fits of fear. Meanwhile in McCanister is on his trail, followed by the police from both towns and Gotham. At this point, Scarecrow has taken almost complete control of Crane's mind and begins to tell Crane that it's time "He set things right".

The Demise

Crane returns to Gotham and goes to the 54th Street retirement home. He uses his gas to occupy its workers and moves to the back room where the elderly are held. Crane goes to his father, opens a can and sprays it directs in his eyes. Thus, killing his father. He then goes to his mother, who is scared out of her mind. He hugs her and

Crane leaves to another motel. He watches the news and Vicki Vale, a reporter, calls Crane an insane criminal that must
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be stopped. Scarecrow disagrees and convinces Crane that he was only doing what is right, and Vale needed to see that. Crane then goes to the house of Jonas Vale, a politician vying to be the next Mayor of Gotham City, and is Vicki's father. He broke in through the top floor and does what he's best at. Upon leaving Vale's home, he was confronted by McCanister, who begins to open fire on Crane, resulting in a rooftop chase. Crane escapes and retrieves his gear from the previous motel, which is currently being searched by the police. He gathers his equipment and attacks the police. He then runs to an abandoned apartment.


Later, Vicki Vale purchases a gun after her father's funeral and swears she will kill Crane, also known as the "Demon of Death" by Gotham. At this point, Crane evolves from a murderer out for revenge against a select group of people, to a terrorist out to strike fear into all of Gotham. His next strike is at the Gotham Courts, where during the trial of rapist Richard Gray, Crane storms in and drops multiple cans of the gas in the courtroom, killing seventeem and injuring thirteen, one of them being Harvey Dent. This puts Gotham into a full force hunt mode. During the news that night, Crane intercepts the connection. He is wearing a poorly knitted Scarecrow mask and makes the announcement that his next targets are the Waynes (Thomas, Martha, and Bruce). Meanwhile, Fries
has begun developing a gas that can be used as an antidote against the Fear Gas.

The police devise a plan to set up a trap at the Wayne Manor to catch Crane. McCanister also has a trap set nearby. Vicki Vale is present and plans to run up and shoot Crane. The Scarecrow walks into the manor, and several guns pointed towards him. McCanister arrives with his grenade launcher aimed, and Vale as well. Gordon commands the police to arrest Crane, but when they remove the mask, to their dismay, they see that Crane has hypnotized one of his students into walking into the trap. Not only that, the student has multiple explosive cans attached to him via vest that was rigged to explode in five seconds. Vale is saved by McCanister who pushes her out of the way, but all of the police are affected, especially Gordon who is hospitalized. This puts Sergeant Gracie in the position of interim Commissioner.

The Scarecrow

Crane, back at his abandoned apartment puts the finishing touches on his Fear Gas bomb. Once again, news interrupted and Crane announces his plan, and it will succeed if the mayor does not give Crane 75 million dollars. At this point, Gotham has been completely blocked off, and people are disappearing each day. On the fourth day after the message, Scarecrow walked down 50th Street with a small army of hypnotized citizens. McCanister and Vale, now working together, confront him. A small firefight occurs, Crane runs to the rooftops, another chase starts. Crane finally arrives at the Wayne Enterprises building. McCanister and Vale behind him. He has a remote that can drop the bomb that could possibly kill all of Gotham. Right before he can, Gracie arrives in a helicopter with Crane's mother. Joanne Crane talks to her son's better side, and "Johnny" is finally seen again over the Scarecrow. But, McCanister, thinking that Crane was going to make a move, shoots him. The remote drops and ignites the bomb and Crane falls from the building. Flashback of everything plays (Francis Crane's abuse, Ra's al Ghul, death of Randy, Francis Crane's death, etc.). As Crane falls slowly to his death, the bomb explodes. Over half of the population is killed, the rest injured injured.


Fortunately, Fries developed his antidote and the police began going door to door helping injured citizens. Mr. Tessen paid McCanister for killing Crane and he with Vale leave Gotham, embracing their new relationship.Gordon recovers and is re stationed at Commissioner, but to his unfortune, his best friend, Gracie, was killed in the explosion. The Waynes announce that they will be donation two-hundred million dollars to relief efforts for those who were injured. At the end, Crane's voice can be heard, saying: "Mr. Von Drake always said that fear was nothing but a state ofmind, easily created, never to be resolved. It strikes fast and hard. It will always leave it's mark... Always."

After the Credits

At the Gotham City train station, Ra's al Ghul is seen getting off a train, smiling at the aftermath of Gotham. He walks off the train and 50th Street, straight down to the front of Wayne Enterprises. From there, his smile widens.


For the most part, the movie was greatly received. Rotten Tomatoes gave it and 89%, higher than The Dark Knight Rises. Other critics gave similar ratings, most being 8/10s and 9/10s. The movie was highly liked for it's detailed story of Johnathan Crane and special effects. DC Comic fans were somewhat disappointed for the reasons of Bruce Wayne not being Batman and the missing of some rather large characters. Plus, the representation of some characters, such as Comissioner Gordon, was different than it was in the comics and other movies. Morel stated, "This movie is not a Batman movie, not a superhero thriller. It's about a man driven to madness and using his brilliant brain to over-throw a city: A true, yet impure lust for revenge." Casting choices were also questioned, especially for Johnathan Crane and Bruce Wayne. "The casting fit perfectly, a favored touch I personally liked that was made by Morel." Casting Director David Klenning said.


  • It was a common misconception that this was either a prequel or sequel to the Francis Ford Coppola Batman film series due to it being directed and written by Alexandre Morel, a known producer in those films. But it was later corrected as an indepent film from the series.
  • Others considered for the part of Johnathan Crane were Aaron Tveit and Mark Strong, who repraised the role in Into the Knight.
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