Batman: BURBANK, CA, February 24, 2004 – Oscar-nominated actor Ken Watanabe has joined the cast of director Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film about the origins of the Batman legend. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures. Watanabe, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in The Last Samurai, will play the villanous Ra’s Al Ghul, alongside stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Michael Caine as his trusted butler Alfred; Katie Holmes as a childhood friend of Wayne’s; Liam Neeson as Wayne’s mentor, Henri Ducard; and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a former board member and sidelined employee of Wayne Enterprises.
Directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay by David Goyer, the film is produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Larry Franco. The executive producers are Ben Melniker and Michael Uslan.
The project is scheduled to start production in London in March. The film, which explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham, will be released worldwide in 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.