There are a lot of bat-goodies contained within the 90 minutes of new special features on Warner Bros.’s new Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. (Try saying that three times fast.) But this clip could very well be the collection’s coolest moment. It’s pre-Batman Christian Bale! Doing a screen test for Batman Begins! Wearing Val Kilmer’s old batsuit from Batman Forever. And acting opposite… Amy Adams! (Don’t get too glum thinking about what might have been, Katie Holmes haters — she was only there as a favor to the movie’s casting director.)
As the video proves, Bale’s rumbly batvoice was there from the very beginning — before the beginning, even. “He had decided that Batman had to have a different voice… that he had to put on a voice,” director/co-writer Christopher Nolan explains over footage of the screen test.
And evidently, that simple acting choice was a major factor in Bale’s ultimate casting. According to Nolan, playing Batman isn’t really just “about acting ability or chemistry or any of those things. It’s about being able to project this extraordinary iconography from the inside. It’s visual iconography. Christian somehow, he’d figured this out before the screen test, that you could not give a normal performance. You could not give an ordinary performance. You had to project massive energy through this costume in order to not question the costume.”
See the Batman crew’s first taste of Bale’s superheroic energy in the clip below — and find a more extensive rundown of fun facts in the Blu-ray’s behind-the-scenes doc at Batman News.