The very first teaser for Batman Begins had a laser-guided focus: to remind you that this was far from the goofy Batmans of Forever, of Batman & Robin or Batman ‘66. But apparently, its bleak monologuing was even a bit too much for the actual (and plenty grim) movie itself.
The 2004 teaser for the film is making the rounds again thanks to writer Jonathan Nolan—brother of Chris and frequent collaborator on many of his brother’s movies—chiming in on a Reddit thread about the clip, and its specific darkness as Bruce Wayne declares himself as a terrifying entity out for revenge. According to Nolan, the speech still remains as one of his favorite things he wrote for the trilogy:
I wrote this in a couple hours in my brother’s trailer while he was shooting the scene in which Bruce is arrested for stealing Wayne corp supplies on his ‘journey.’ Remains some of my favorite writing from these films. Was written specifically for the trailer. Wouldn’t have worked in the film.
It’s interesting that Nolan doesn’t think it would’ve worked as a speech in the movie itself—the idea of fear as a tool, and becoming a symbol of it, is a major part of Begins, and as an eventual poster child for the “gritty reboot” boom, it’s not like it would’ve been out of place in any of the Batman films. Was it really a bit too much, even for the tone they were already conveying?
Either way, in or out of the film, it served its purpose a decade ago: this certainly wasn’t your father’s Batman movie. Also, oh god, this is 11 years old. I’m only 24, and now I feel ancient.