Sixteen years ago today, June 15, 2005, Warner Bros. Pictures released a film titled Batman Begins, the first movie starring the caped crusader in eight years and kickstarting the era of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. We could write a piece about how when this movie was released it was considered "too early" by some to bring Batman back to the big screen, a hilarious anecdote considering the quickness with which superheroes are rebooted in the modern era. Instead we want to mark the occasion of Batman Begins' anniversary by remembering what was the most insane TV spot for the film, the one with Nickelback.
This same TV spot, focusing on the romantic angle between Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne and Katie Holmes's Rachel Dawes and accompanied by Nickelback's "Someday," went viral last summer after fans were pointing out how hilarious (and outdated) the spot was. The box office and critical success of Batman Begins can't exclusively be attributed to the TV spot featuring Nickelback's song, but we also can't say it didn't contribute to the $373.6 million global box office. In a modern context that box office total might not seem like much but it was enough to get The Dark Knight greenlit, leading to two back-to-back billion dollar Batman movies.
To that end, a direct line can be drawn from Nolan's Batman Begins to a lot of what's going on in superhero movies today. Nolan's film and The Dark Knight became incredibly influential after their release, starting the ball rolling on "dark," "gritty," and "realistic" portrayals of characters.
In the wake of these two Batman movies, Sony scrapped plans for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 in order to reboot the series with a more Nolan like aesthetic (its failure leads to their current deal with Marvel Studios and the character being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Plus movies like Star Trek Into Darkness, the reboots of RoboCop, Godzilla, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, and even the James Bond film Skyfall.
Even DC was inspired by Nolan's work, taking his mold of a more grounded take on the character and applying it to Superman with 2013's Man of Steel. Naturally this leads us down the path toward the studio mandated over correction, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now the upcoming Batman film, Matt Reeves' The Batman.