Michael Caine Calls Batman Begins One of the Greatest Things He's Ever Done

The Dark Knight trilogy is certainly one of the most beloved and acclaimed series of superhero movies since the genre emerged with Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie 40 years and change ago. Since so many people involved with big action movies seem to view them as less "important" than the other films they might do, though, it's nice to hear when somebody involved in a movie you love is in board. that's just what happened this week when veteran actor Michael Caine gave an interview, and said that Batman Begins is "one of the greatest things I have done in my life."

The pitch, it turns out, was quite personalized and intimate, with Nolan -- then, not a famous filmmaker yet having only made Following, Memento, and Insomnia -- showing up at Caine's door to pitch it. The actor was pretty honest about his initial reservations, but admitted he couldn't be happier about having pushed through them.

"He came to the front door of my house in the country with a script," Caine told The Hindu. "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."

As a lot of actors might have done at that point, Caine said that he first didn't necessarily understand what the appeal of playing Alfred was, thinking that he would have a minor role as a butler, in the vein of what Michael Gough had done in the Burton Batman movies.

"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?'"

Of course, instead, Nolan explained that he saw Alfred as a foster-father for Batman. "So, I did the movie and it was one of the greatest things I have done in my life," Caine explained.

Caine's Alfred Pennyworth changed the broader public's perception of the character significantly, likely for a long period of time, and that impression has continued to be shaped by Gotham. It may be interesting to see what happens to the character in The Batman when Matt Reeves brings the franchise back to the big screen in 2021.


Caine himself, meanwhile, turned 87 earlier this month and will appear in Nolan's Tenet, which is currently slated for a release in July. It remains to be seen whether that will be rescheduled.