With so many new comic book movies winning awards and making a killing at the box office, it is difficult to determine which of the current crop will be considered true classics of the genre in time. But for veteran actor Michael Caine, who played Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, that particular series is something truly special, as he explained to The Hindu, starting with his first meeting with Nolan.
"He came to the front door of my house in the country with a script. I could see him through the glass but I couldn't recognize him. The moment he introduced himself, I knew exactly who he was because I was a great fan of his three small films."
Today Christopher Nolan is known as one of Hollywood's biggest filmmakers. But back in 2005, he was seen as more of an indie director, with his most acclaimed work thus far being the low-budget thriller Momento. But despite the lack of big-name projects to his name, Nolan had already begun making a name for himself as a filmmaker to watch out for when Warner Bros. brought him on to reboot the Batman franchise towards a more realistic path. Caine was aware of this when Nolan came to him to be a part of the planned origin movie about the Dark Knight, Batman Begins.
"I told him, 'I am too old for Batman. Do you want me to play the butler? What would my dialogues be? Would you like another beverage or more custard?' So, I did the movie and it was one of the greatest things I have done in my life."
Clearly, Michael Caine has a great deal of respect for the world that Nolan crafted for his version of Batman, and most critics and audiences would agree. The Dark Knight trilogy is widely considered one of the best comic book movies of all time, with the second film in the series, often singled out as the best comic book film ever made, with a once-in-a-generation, Oscar-winning turn by Heath Ledger as the maniacal Joker.
The respect is returned by Nolan, who has put Caine in each of his films ever since the two got together on the sets of Batman Begins. There have even been jokes about Caine having become a necessity for a Nolan film to be successful, so much so that the actor was roped in simply to provide a voice-over for Dunkirk, and received a billing in the credit title for the effort.
Caine is also a part of Nolan's latest film, Tenet, which, in typical Nolan fashion, is shrouded in mystery even after the release of its first trailer online. There are rumors of the movie being a sequel to Inception, and involves some elements of time travel. Apart from Caine, the film stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, who coincidentally is set to take over the mantle of Batman for director Matt Reeves's upcoming feature. This news comes from The Hindu.