After over a decade of steady decline, Christopher Nolan resurrected the Batman film franchise into a starkly beautiful and gritty world, telling a new generation of Batman fans that the Caped Crusader has not faded away. Indeed, the Bat has only just begun his flight. In 2003, after the critical and box-office failure of 1997’s Batman & Robin, and after no less than five unsuccessful attempts at a new Batman film, Warner Brothers approached Nolan to direct a project begun by #7 Frank Miller and Darren Aronofsky, known then as Batman: Year One. Nolan was a risky choice since he was relatively unknown at the time, but had garnered some critical success with previous films such as Memento and Insomnia. After several false starts, Nolan took over the Batman project and, with writer #5 David Goyer, set out to make a Batman grounded in a “recognizable, contemporary reality against which an extraordinary heroic figure arises.” Nolan directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the finished Batman Begins (with executive producers #8 Benjamin Melniker and #5 Michael E. Uslan on board), which won great critical and commercial success upon its release in 2005, including one Academy Award nomination. Nolan and Goyer were also a writers for the 2005 Batman Begins video game, and Nolan is credited as having produced, directed and co-written (again with Goyer) the screenplay and story for the highly anticipated sequel, The Dark Knight (again executive produced by Uslan and Melniker), to be released July 18, 2008, starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and the late Heath Ledger. In 2003, Variety reported that Warner Brothers had optioned The Exec, a comic book created by the late Doug Miers, to be adapted for the screen by Christopher Nolan.
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