Fear the Batman - fan-fic third Keaton/Burton Batman film - Part 1 of first draft


May 28, 2011
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I have posted my ideas about this before (here). I've had it ticking away for some years and once wrote an outline to the story. I used to call it Batman: Entropy, then changed the title to Batman: Fear before finally settling on Fear the Batman.

My idea was to create a new Burton/Keaton Batman film that would sit within the other films. I don't want to use villains that were used later in the Schumacher films.

Posting Part 1 of the first draft - it is a little rough at this stage so apologies! Basically, number 1 - I want some feedback, and number 2 - I want to make sure I'll finish it this time around - posting it is more incentive to keep going.

Here's the skinny...
A third Burton/Keaton film
Fear the Batman
New characters: Scarecrow played by Jeff Goldblum, Black Mask played by Christopher Walken, Firefly (only a small role), Sasha Bordeaux played by Bridget Fonda, Lucius Fox (another small role)
Returning characters: Alfred, Max Shreck (as Black Mask), Gordon
Scenario: Batman has consumed Bruce's life, leaving his business world to crumble. Wayne Enterprises has employed Jonathan Crane to develop fear-inducing toxins for the military. Meanwhile Max Shreck from the previous film has survived to become Black Mask. Bruce is forced to take on a bodyguard (Sasha) by his board at Waynecorp. after several attacks on executives. Thematically, this would be about heat and fear, with Gotham sweltering in summer and Black Mask terrorising the city at the same time as Scarecrow.

This isn't yet in correct screenplay formatting, I know. I'm just doing the first draft in the style I'm most comfortable with. Here we go...



The Warner Bros. logo appears, engulfed in orange flames. The beginning of Danny Elfman’s score can be heard. We see a bat hanging from a tree, asleep. Its eyes open, it stirs, and takes flight. The camera follows it, panning around to show that it is near Wayne Manor, at dusk. The sky is an orange-red. The bat swoops down through thick tangled woods as the credits appear on the screen. The bat emerges from the woods, swoops down cliffs and into the harbor, racing across water. In the distance is Gotham City.

The credits read: Warner Bros. Presents, a Tim Burton film. Michael Keaton. Christopher Walken. Jeff Goldblum. Bridget Fonda. And Danny Glover.

The bat swoops up again as it gets closer to Gotham City. It weaves through a bridge, then into the sky, where we see the Bat Signal. The title of the film appears.


The camera pans back to Gotham City. We see the tallest building, Wayne Tower, rise above the other skyscrapers. Batman stands on the iron crown of the building, using binoculars. He is watching the rooftop of another building with a listening device in his ear.

On the rooftop of the rundown building are three men in black masks. The masks are made from wood and have etchings similar to a samurai mask. They are kicking a man and dragging him onto a chair.

MASKED MAN 1: What do you know about the Timor Project?

MASKED MAN 2: Give us the access codes and we’ll let you live.

The man, African-American with white hair, struggles but says nothing.

MASKED MAN 1: No answer for us? Your mistake.

He pulls a gun out of his coat and points it at the man in the chair.

MASKED MAN 3: You gonna kill him before we get the codes?

MASKED MAN 1: Doesn’t matter. Black Mask said this was just meant to be a distraction.

MASKED MAN 2: A distraction. For who?

An explosion of white gas surrounds the men.

MASKED MAN 1: For him.

The shape of a large bat forms through the white mist. It is Batman, his cape fanning out with the wind. He breaks the arm of the man with the gun, takes the gun and uses the handle to hit the next man. The third man runs. Batman gets his grappling gun and shoots it at the man’s feet. He trips the man and drags him towards him. The masked man laughs hysterically. Batman pulls the wooden mask from the man’s face.

BATMAN: Who do you work for?

The man continues to laugh.

BATMAN: Who do you work for?

MASKED MAN 3: Hahahahaha….you think…I’ll tell you? Hahaha…you don’t frighten me…

Batman hits the man’s neck forcefully with his hand, knocking him out. He turns to the man on the floor.

BATMAN: You’re safe now. What did they want?

LUCIUS FOX: They wanted me to give you this…

Lucius hands Batman a worn leather mask. It is Catwoman’s. Tattered parchment is attached to it with a rusted safety pin. The writing on it appears to be in blood. It says “The past can be brutal. But the future’s a blast.”

Several blocks away, the Kane Bridge explodes. A large ball of fire rises from the suspension bridge. Sirens can be heard immediately. Batman fires his grappling hook towards the bridge. Maniacal laughter is heard as voiceover.


A copy of the Gotham Globe is thrown onto a desk. Its headline reads “Terrorist Attacks Kane Bridge”. Below is a sub-heading – “147 Dead – But where was Batman?”. The camera pans up. It is Lucius Fox, the man Batman saved last night. He sits in a chair in the Wayne Industries conference room. His face is swollen and his arm is in a sling. Seven board members and one empty chair surround him.

LUCIUS FOX: Before you all ask, I am fine. Don’t spare any thoughts for me…think about the poor souls on the bridge last night.

FEMALE BOARD MEMBER: Lucius, you look terrible. Shouldn’t you be talking to the police?

LUCIUS FOX: I already have. They have more pressing concerns now.

OLDER BOARD MEMBER: You should be resting at home, Lucius. You shouldn’t be here.

GEOFFREY TAN: He has more respect for this company than the man who owns it.

LUCIUS FOX: Now, Geoffrey…that’s not…

GEOFFREY TAN: It’s what we’re all thinking, Mr. Fox. You are the second Wayne Industries board member to be attacked in as many months. And Bruce Wayne – the man whose name is on the building – is too chicken to show himself at another board meeting.

LUCIUS FOX: I’m sure Mr. Wayne has his reasons.

FEMALE BOARD MEMBER: I’d like to hear them.

BRUCE WAYNE: Very well, Christine. I was at the Bridge site helping with the relief effort.

Bruce Wayne appears from the doorway. He takes a remote from the boardroom table and turns on a large television on the wall. GCN is showing footage of him talking with fire fighters.

LUCIUS FOX: Mr. Wayne.

BRUCE WAYNE: Mr. Fox. Shouldn’t you be resting?

LUCIUS FOX: My altercation last night is page seven material. We have more pressing issues.

BRUCE WAYNE: Admirable.

GEOFFREY TAN: Yes, Bruce, Lucius is admirable. He has put all of his energy into saving this company, which is more than I can say for you. Hasn’t it been a month since we last saw you?

BRUCE WAYNE: Seven weeks, actually.

GEOFFREY TAN: Ah, my mistake, seven weeks. Well Mr. Wayne, in those seven weeks you might be interested to know that our stock fell twelve per cent.

BRUCE WAYNE: I think…given recent events…attack on the city…now is not the best time to play power-struggle over share prices.


BRUCE WAYNE: I have set up a fund for the victims of the bridge bombing. I’ve also told the media that the rest of the Wayne Industries board will be at Ground Zero to announce it in a half an hour.

Geoffrey stares at Bruce for a moment with an annoyed smirk.

GEOFFREY TAN: Of course.

BRUCE WAYNE: Gentlemen. Lady.

The board stand up and begin to leave. Many members glare at Wayne. The older board member and Lucius Fox smile. Soon only Lucius and Bruce remain in the room. There is silence for a moment.

BRUCE WAYNE: ….What happened, Lucius?

LUCIUS FOX: They wanted to know about the Timor Project.

BRUCE WAYNE: The same men that attacked Sarah Rhoden?

LUCIUS FOX: Same outfit, at least. Black masks.

BRUCE WAYNE: …If you want to…resign like Sarah did, Lucius…I understand. I will make sure you have a very generous retirement package.

LUCIUS FOX: It’s going to take more than three men in masks to scare me away, Mr. Wayne.

BRUCE WAYNE: I heard there were four.

LUCIUS FOX: The Batman. Wrong place at the right time. If he wasn’t looking out for me…maybe …maybe there wouldn’t have been so many deaths on that bridge.

Bruce pauses for a moment.

BRUCE WAYNE: I’m shutting down the Timor Project.

LUCIUS FOX: No you aren’t, Mr. Wayne.

BRUCE WAYNE: I’m sorry?

LUCIUS FOX: Damned if I’m going to let some thugs stop us from developing the most promising advancements in military technology for decades.

BRUCE WAYNE: Somebody's leaking information. It’s too dangerous.

LUCIUS FOX: Bruce, I don’t need to tell you how much this company needs a military contract, do I? You shut this down...we won’t last another year.

BRUCE WAYNE: I won’t have your life – the life of any employee – in jeopardy because of this.

LUCIUS FOX: …So you bring the deadline forward. Finish the project. Deliver it to the army. I won’t go for my evening walks in the meantime.

BRUCE WAYNE: This is Gotham City, Lucius. I don’t know if that’s going to be enough.

LUCIUS FOX: Very well. Round-the-clock security personnel for every board member and every employee on the project. I’ll make the arrangements.

BRUCE WAYNE: Bodyguards? Good idea.

LUCIUS FOX: Gotham’s billionaire playboy…it’s about time you had one anyway.

BRUCE WAYNE: Me? I don’t….no, I’m fine Lucius. Fine. Certainly not round-the-clock security.

There is a slight pause.

LUCIUS FOX: Why, you got something to hide, Mr. Wayne?

Bruce stares at Lucius for a moment.

BRUCE WAYNE: ‘Course not. Set up a meeting with Jonathan Crane for me.

Bruce opens the elevator, beginning to leave. He steps inside.

BRUCE WAYNE: Then take the rest of the day off.

LUCIUS FOX: You know I won’t do that.

The elevator doors shut.


The Batmobile roars through the city. We see Batman inside, driving. On the screen in the console is Gotham News Network.

FEMALE NEWS PRESENTER: In financial news, while Wayne Industries were first to lend a hand to the relief effort for the Kane Bridge Bombing, that couldn’t save them from a devastating day on the NASDAQ. Wayne Holdings fell a whopping thirty per cent since trading resumed. Sources say that failed and stagnating research projects are to blame for the company’s poor performance.

The news cuts to an economic expert.

ECONOMIST: If Wayne Industries continues its current trajectory and business operations, expect it to be insolvent by Christmas.

FEMALE NEWS PRESENTER: CFO Lucius Fox declined an interview. Back to you, Chris.

Batman scowls at the news and hits the screen, turning it off. It immediately turns on again. Alfred appears via videolink.

ALFRED: Master Wayne, it isn’t wise to burn the candle at both ends, as they say.

BATMAN: I need to find him.

ALFRED: Black Mask? An urban legend.

BATMAN: No. I think he knows…about me. Wayne executives. Catwoman mask. It’s coordinated.

ALFRED: If that is so Master Wayne, I dare say your time would be best spent saving your company, your father’s legacy, and what is left of the Wayne name.

BATMAN: Soon. I have work to do.

Frustrated, Batman turns off the screen again. He takes a swift ninety-degree turn, taking him through a tight alleyway. He arrives at Ground Zero – the support towers for the Kane Bridge. The area is flooded with lights from firefighters and construction workers. Batman accelerates, plunging the Batmobile directly towards the emergency zone. The car hits the blockades, sending water and sand across the road. Emergency workers, police, media and firefighters scream and gasp in response. The Batmobile brakes at the base of the crumbled support tower. Batman reaches once again to the console and flicks a switch. An electromagnetic pulse is emitted from the car. The emergency floodlights, recording devices, streetlights and buildings surrounding the zone flicker, then fade. Danny Elfman’s Batman theme can be heard. Batman opens the hatch on the Batmobile and fires a grappling gun to the support tower, his cape flowing in the wind behind him. In the darkness, the people around the zone become increasingly chaotic, fearing another terrorist attack.

Batman reaches the top of the support tower, just below a section of road which remains charred after the explosion. He is hidden in the shadows, on scaffolding.

BATMAN: Shields.

A shot of the Batmobile. The shields cover the vehicle. Batman reaches for his utility belt. He gets infrared goggles, which he places over his eyes. He sees wiring which remains, clearly leading up to both sides of the bridge from the support tower. He follows the wiring down, into a crumbling section of the brickwork. He feels the support tower shake. A large rumbling noise follows. The tower has been unsafe since the explosion, leaving the crime scene untouched. Batman speeds up his actions. He finds the control panel for the bombs. It is small, containing several devices and a mess of wires. A third wire reaches out of the bottom of the panel, down the brickwork. A voice comes from the panel.

BLACK MASK: Don’t worry Batman, the fun’s not over yet. I left a present here for you.

The timer on the control panel turns on, with five seconds. Batman runs from the scaffolding and leaps into the air. The entire support tower explodes, a ball of fire reaching up into the sky. The small square of road which remains falls into the fire.

Batman is plummeting to the ground, knocked out from the explosion. Metres before he hits the rubble, a blaze of silver and red catches him and flies into the distance.


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Batman wakes up. His mask is gone. So are his gloves. He looks around. He is high up, in a building which has been rotting since construction was halted. His hands and feet are shackled tightly to an industrial table. A figure appears. He sees a sadistic version of himself. Black Mask is wearing Batman’s mask. He is on the right of the table.

BLACK MASK: Wakey wakey. Do you mind, Bruce? Couldn’t resist. Had to try it on.

His skin is black and mutilated beneath the mask. His eyes, red and yellow, bulge out of the cowl.

BLACK MASK: You were a bit under the weather when you first met Firefly.

Black Mask points across the construction floor to a man in an iron suit, complete with bug-like red lenses and mechanical gliding wings. Firefly is shooting flames into the air, mesmerised.

BLACK MASK: Great thing about pyromaniacs…you give ‘em a job involving fire, you get results! Guaranteed loyalty. You don’t want to see what he looks like under that mask…Mr Lynns got too close to the pretty flames as a boy.

Black Mask has rusted torture equipment he plays with as he talks to Batman.

BLACK MASK: But you …Batman…a lot of people are dying to know who was under that mask. Bruce Wayne. Billionaire. Capitalist. Industrialist. Saviour of the city….scratch that last one.

BRUCE: Who are you?

BLACK MASK: Wait a ‘sec, wait a ‘sec. Always wanting to rush through the fun. Don’t you see the problem, Brucie? Gotham’s a cesspool because the fatcats, crooked cops, billionaires and officials made it the hedonistic wasteland you see every day. Don’t you think it’s a little hypocritical for you, Wayne one-per-cent to try to save this city from what you helped to create? Doesn’t that make you…a bit of a bastard?

While Black Mask is talking, Bruce moves his left hand, toying with the shackles.

BRUCE: My company has given everything it could to help improve Gotham.

BLACK MASK: Cough syrup for cancer, Bruce. I should know. I used to be like you. Philanthropist. Billionaire.

Black Mask finally looks at the torture tools he’s been stroking.

BLACK MASK: None of these are appropriate.

He reaches down to a lower compartment of the bench and pulls out electrical wires. He continues to talk as he begins to clip them onto Bruce’s fingers on his right hand.

BLACK MASK: …This is more poetic, I think. (He changes topics again) My company was charitable, Bruce. It gave away so much to Gotham City. I took plenty for myself of course…I thought it only fair.

As Black Mask attaches a wire to Bruce’s finger, Bruce suddenly moves, making a fist and cracking several bones in Black Mask’s fingers. Black Mask retreats, screams, then laughs. He hits a switch. Electro-shocks pour through Bruce’s body and he convulses on the table. Black Mask laughs maniacally. He waits a little for Bruce to focus again.

BLACK MASK: As I was saying, I was a charitable industrial-capitalist like you, Mr Wayne.

He finally removes the Batman cowl from his head, revealing a charred-black face and white, wiry hair.

BLACK MASK: Now I’m something else.

Bruce’s eyes widen.

BLACK MASK: I look different, don’t I, Brucie? After what your girlfriend did to me…well let’s just say I see the world a little differently now.

BRUCE: Max Shreck.

BLACK MASK: Not anymore. Max Shreck was a fool…you see, the system…the corruption…it just churns through everyone. It’s your turn one day, then the next…

He slices his finger across his throat.

BLACK MASK: Anyone who has eaten from the carcass of the city can’t help save Gotham. Your little crusade…you’re just rearranging the furniture.

He hits the switch again.

BLACK MASK: Me? I’m gonna blow the whole house down. By the way…

Bruce breathes heavily, trying to speak.

BRUCE: You sick son of a *****… were crazy before….crazy now. I will always….protect this city.

BLACK MASK: You think I don’t know about your little project, Bruce? Timor. How will that protect the city?

BRUCE: I’ll show you.

Bruce throws a small pellet onto the ground. It explodes and disperses. Black Mask realises that Bruce’s left hand is free. He had reached into his belt. A yellow gas is released from the pellet, filling up the area around the two quickly. Bruce tries to hold his breath. Black Mask has already breathed the gas in, and is gasping for air. Bruce tries to release his right hand, but the shackle is stronger. He can’t hold his breath for any longer, and he too gasps for air, breathing in the yellow gas.

Firefly, still across the floor, turns to react. We see point-of-view shots from Black Mask. The rotten plasterboard walls morph into a wall of bats, asleep. Their eyes open – littered bright yellow and red eyes within a sea of black. They flap their wings and begin to fly chaotically. Black Mask screams.

Bruce takes the cowl and puts it on. The Danny Elfman Batman theme swells. We see Black Mask’s point-of-view again. He sees a giant, monolithic bat and screams in terror. Batman coughs. The fear toxin begins to affect him. We see his perspective. Black Mask appears as a horned demonic creature, laughing maniacally. From behind him, a large mechanical demon appears, breathing fire. Firefly. It hits Batman, throwing him across the floor. While Black Mask stays in the same place, terrorised by fear, Firefly has been wearing a covered mask and does not feel the effects of the gas. We see a shot without the effects of the gas. Firefly sends a large ball of fire towards Batman, causing him to retreat. He walks towards the Dark Knight, who is on the edge of the construction floor. Gotham’s cityscape looms in the background.

Batman watches the fiery monster approach him. He struggles backwards, moving closer to the edge. They are twenty storeys in the air, the building an unfinished open wound in Gotham’s skyline. Just as Firefly gets close to Batman, his flamethrowers ready to burn him to oblivion, Batman pushes himself off the building and falls into the air. We see his perspective again. The plunge to the street appears cataclysmic – all of Gotham appears to be crumbling. He sees his mother and father, dead on the street. He sees himself holding their hands as a child. He hits a red-neon sign, hard. But it breaks his fall. He continues to plummet, hitting some old rusted fire escapes. He tries to cling to one of them, but fails, falling further to the ground. Finally, he hits the street – the top of a yellow taxi.

The driver of the taxi yells in shock. He gets out of the car and sees Batman, half-unconscious.

TAXI DRIVER: Holy ****! (He pauses) Uh…where to?

We see a shot of Firefly, booting up his jetpack. Black Mask, beginning to compose himself and gasping for air, grabs a large metal pole from the construction floor. Just as Firefly is about to leap after Batman, Black Mask whacks him in the head with the metal pole. The clanging of metal-on-metal rings loudly. Black Mask laughs while catching up on his breathing.

BLACK MASK: Heh. Heh. Not yet, Lynnsey. You were gonna spoil all of the fun. Gotta get me another dose of that gas…


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Excellent work, kewlmatto. Very nice choice of villains. I really enjoy picturing the juxtaposition of imagery in FEAR THE BATMAN to BATMAN RETURNS--sweltering reds and oranges vs. the cold whites and grays of Gotham in winter.

And nice touch including mentions of Danny Elfman's Batman theme making an appearance at key moments. :tup:
Excellent work, kewlmatto. Very nice choice of villains. I really enjoy picturing the juxtaposition of imagery in FEAR THE BATMAN to BATMAN RETURNS--sweltering reds and oranges vs. the cold whites and grays of Gotham in winter.

And nice touch including mentions of Danny Elfman's Batman theme making an appearance at key moments. :tup:

Thanks! Hoping to really take that kind of imagery up a notch when Scarecrow is introduced later in the film. Elfman's score is continually in my head while I write it, which helps.


Alfred is sitting down on a couch in the large ornate sitting room of Wayne Manor. He sips a cup of tea and stares across to the couch opposite him. A blonde-haired woman, dressed in business suit, stares back at Alfred. She sips a cup of tea almost as a reaction to Alfred. There is an awkward silence.

ALFRED: Of course, when I said Master Wayne would be an hour away, I really meant three.

The woman stares back at Alfred. She puts her tea down.

SASHA: I know as a billionaire playboy Mr Wayne wouldn’t be the type to trust his butler with any details other than how he likes his scotch, but…Mr Pennyworth…I have to say I’m disappointed.

Alfred seems affronted.

ALFRED: Pardon, ma’am?

SASHA: As an employee you need to make it your business to know the whereabouts and needs of your employer.

ALFRED: Ms Bordeaux I think perhaps...

SASHA: …Perhaps you’ve become a little lax in your duties when caring for Mr Wayne after all these years. These things happen.

ALFRED: Never in all my…

SASHA: Of course, that’s all in the past now. As Mr Wayne’s new bodyguard and security detail I will be running a tight ship. His whereabouts won’t be a mystery anymore, especially when thugs are attacking Waynecorp executives. The staff of Wayne Manor will be answering to me and no thing, or no one will exit and enter these doors without my knowledge. Don’t worry Mr Pennyworth, I’ll make sure you’re never in the dark again when it comes to Bruce Wayne.

ALFRED: Dear girl!

SASHA: Call me Sasha.

Alfred is seething.

ALFRED: Ms Bordeaux, I have raised Master Wayne since he was an infant. I scarce should think that there is anything about him I don’t know.

SASHA: Except where he is right now. Which you haven’t the foggiest. A charity event? The only charity invitation Mr Wayne has replied to is for Thursday. It’s also the only charity event this week. I have done my homework, Mr Pennyworth. I know everything there is to know about Bruce Wayne, and from now on I will protect him from any harm with my life, if necessary.

There is a loud thud in another room, which stops Alfred from losing his temper completely. The two immediately rise from the couches and put their tea down, almost in symmetry.

ALFRED: The library.

The two walk briskly through the corridor until they reach the library. Bruce Wayne is on the floor. He is dressed in a shirt and pants, but appears bloody and beaten. His face is swollen. He has fallen and is struggling to get up. Sasha immediately searches the perimeter of the room, her gun held firmly. Once she has seen there is no immediate threat she assists Alfred in helping Bruce to the chair.

ALFRED: Master Wayne!

BRUCE: …I’m okay…just need to rest.

SASHA: Mr Wayne, can you tell me who did this to you? How did you get here?

Bruce doesn’t respond, just looks at Alfred.

ALFRED: This is Ms Sasha Bordeaux, Master Wayne. Your new bodyguard, appointed by Mr Lucius Fox.

Bruce laughs and chuckles.

SASHA: Mr Wayne, I…have you been drinking?

BRUCE: Just a few…

SASHA: Mr Wayne I need to know what happened to you. Where have you been and who did this to you? Was it the Black Masks?

BRUCE: Heh…black mask! I should wear one-a-those, to that charity thing on Thursday. Wouldn’t that be ironic? Is that irony? Alfred, is that irony?

ALFRED: It’s dripping irony, sir.

SASHA: Mr Wayne.

BRUCE: You’re persistent. (He looks at Alfred.) She’s persistent. Alright Salma, so I had a few…more than a few…at this bar somewhere in the Garment district. Real exclusive place. Iceberg Lounge. Heard of it? I’m dancing with this girl, she’s so into me, when all of a sudden her Russian boyfriend sees us dancing. Next thing I know I’m in the alley being beaten by five Russian mafia thugs. Didn’t even get a kiss. From the girl, I mean.

SASHA: When did you arrive here? Were you followed?

BRUCE: Ease up…caught a cab home. Came in from the west entrance because I didn’t want to worry Alfred. Came in here to pour myself another scotch and fell.

SASHA: (She pauses and stares at Bruce. She clearly finds the story dubious.) …Let me get you something for those cuts and bruises.

The minute she has left the room, Bruce drops the act. His eyes fix firmly on Alfred and his face grows dark. He is clearly in pain. He gasps for air.

BRUCE: Max Shreck is back. He knows everything. Used…the toxin.

ALFRED: You breathed the gas as well?

Bruce nods.

BRUCE: Took…sedative to help ease the effects. Alfred, I need you to get her out of here.

ALFRED: You needn’t ask me twice.

Sasha enters again with bandages and ice packs. Bruce immediately acts drunk again.

BRUCE: Alfie will you make me those scrambled eggs in the morning…you know those really good ones you used to make?

ALFRED: Ms Bordeaux, thank you. That will be all for the evening. I will assist Master Bruce with his wounds.

SASHA: I don’t –

ALFRED: A new job title does not come with decades of trust Ms Bordeaux. That is something one must earn.

Sasha glares at Alfred.

SASHA: I’ll be taking the first bedroom in the East Wing.

ALFRED: Very well.

She leaves and closes the door behind her.
Just a small update today....



An exterior shot of Gotham University is shown the next day. Jonathan Crane is giving a lecture to a mostly empty hall. He is a tall, wiry man with dark eyes and dark hair. He moves a little awkwardly, uncomfortable with where he is. He appears weary. As he speaks, a slideshow is projected representing the images within his speech (Neanderthals, the amygdala, spiders, etc.).

JONATHAN: …that the amygdala can be manipulated to control fear precisely, ending the grip it has held over us since our beginnings. Fear, like depression, is a mere chemical response from our brain, but it is one which has had an important evolutionary purpose – keeping us alive. But our civilisation has changed so rapidly beyond what evolution had planned. What we previously feared – predators, lack of shelter – are not necessarily the same things we should fear today. We form phobias around things which are harmless to us; a misplacement of fear due to our relatively safe and civilised lives. We fear spiders, snakes, small spaces, heights. None of which are statistically dangerous to us at all. We should fear cars. Drugs. Risky investments. Credit cards. Fatty foods. Yet our fear remains staunchly primitive, a hangover of our days as Neanderthals. But this does not have to continue this way. Our fear can be rewritten for the modern human. It is my belief that our science is only a few mere years away from being able to rid people of their crippling phobias. Even further, we will be able to instil great fear, through pharmaceuticals, for things such as drugs, murder, violence, into the population, leading to more peaceful coexistence. We will be able to tend fear as one would tend a garden – ridding it of the weeds which cause us harm, while allowing the fears which protect us to flourish.

He pauses and squints wearily into the audience.

JONATHAN: Are there any questions?

We see a shot of bored audience members littered sparsely across the auditorium. We also see Bruce Wayne sitting in the audience. Sasha sits a row behind him and to the left. A young woman raises her hand.

YOUNG WOMAN: Professor Crane, can you tell us about your relationship with Wayne Industries? What is the company’s interest in your research?

Jonathan appears loathe to answer the question.

JONATHAN: When I know the answer, I’ll tell you. (As soon as he says this, he seems to regret it and retracts slightly into a more rehearsed response) Gotham University has always been a proud beneficiary of Waynecorp investment into varied scientific research. We have entered a business relationship with Waynecorp which is promising. When this delivers solid findings…and when it is contractually…legally…appropriate…we will be more than willing to speak to the public. At this stage we are still in early days…and have been for some time. Any other questions?

There is silence. Jonathan Crane spots Bruce Wayne in the audience and stares at him.

Cut to the university hallway outside of the auditorium. Jonathan Crane walks briskly, hoping to avoid Bruce Wayne. Bruce and Sasha follow him.

BRUCE: Professor Crane…please.

Jonathan Crane stops and turns to face Bruce.

BRUCE: I’m wanting to talk about the project. About getting it moving again.

JONATHAN: It was moving perfectly fine until you put everything on hiatus. I have nothing to say to you Wayne.

BRUCE: Please. Is there somewhere we can discuss this professionally?

Bruce indicates the students watching in the corridor. Jonathan’s eyes narrow.

JONATHAN: My office. This way.
More good work, kewl. I can definitely 'hear' a lot of these actors--Keaton, Walken, Goldblum--speaking many of these lines.
Thanks Lui. I'm trying to keep that 'Walken' vibe with Black Mask, but still have him as a different, evolved entity. I'll hopefully have a few more 'nods' to Shreck from Returns later on. Next post is Scarecrow's origin, which I want to keep quite brief...


Jonathan Crane is sitting at his desk. He eyes Bruce Wayne. Sasha Bordeaux stands at the door. Jonathan Crane’s office is filled with strange ornaments and paintings. A raven sculpted from burnt wood sits on his desk. Paintings and charcoal drawings of medieval torture hang on the wall. Sasha surveys the room, taking in the horrific pictures. Her eyes reach a dark oil painting of a scarecrow. Its eyes are fiery red. She studies it.

SASHA: Interesting painting.

Jonathan appears both flattered and annoyed.

JONATHAN: (He seems to answer only because he enjoys to gloat about his art) ‘The Scarecrow’. An 1894 painting by Gotham artist Thomas Van Der Baijl. His last work before he went insane and shot himself. (He switches to annoyed and looks at Bruce) Who’s this?

BRUCE: No-one. My bodyguard.

JONATHAN: Waynecorp execs running scared. At least there is some justice in the world. (He pauses, taking in Bruce’s appearance) You look terrible. Who else did you piss off?

BRUCE: The Couloir Slope at Whistler on the weekend. Skiing.

Sasha looks at Bruce suspiciously after his changing story.

JONATHAN: (Appears suspicious as well) Go on then Bruce. I’m very curious about what you have to say to me.

BRUCE: I’m wanting to get the project finished. Soon. On a few conditions. You can take them or leave them.

JONATHAN: That’s good, Bruce. Holding my life’s work to ransom. I was so naïve to believe the stories of Gotham’s White Knight, the honest and dependable Bruce Wayne. You’re just another corporate parasite, aren’t you? Promising wonderful things to buy up my research only to leave me in the lurch. Reduced to teaching summer semester for cashed up yuppie students who flunked during the spring.

BRUCE: I paid you five times market value, Crane. You could be on a yacht in Nice right now. Are you telling me you spent it all?

JONATHAN: …Bad investments, Wayne. Some other research. Don’t lecture me.

BRUCE: I need you to weaken the fear toxin’s effects, as well as their duration. By half.

JONATHAN: You wouldn’t even let me go to human trials, Bruce. How do you expect me to measure that correctly? Are you prepared to give me test subjects now?

BRUCE: (Pauses) No. But I’ll double your payment.

JONATHAN: Do you really think the military will buy this without human trials?

BRUCE: No innocent person deserves that kind of fear.

JONATHAN: You’re a fool, Bruce. That’s the way the world works. The innocent are always the fearful. I guess you wouldn’t really know that, though – the corrupt industrialist you are. (He pauses) Then again, innocent eight-year-old sees his parents gunned down in front of him. That kind of fear tends to linger in a person. But not you. Guilt does tend to wash away the fear, doesn’t it Mr Wayne? I wonder if that innocent young boy is still lurking there, beneath the callous shell you’ve become?

BRUCE: It’s a generous offer, Crane.

JONATHAN: Generous? (He laughs. His anger is growing and he begins to appear unhinged, wild) I’ve devoted my life to this research. Do you even know how important this is to me? What this means? (He stands up, trying to loom over Bruce) Of course you don’t. But let me talk to the scared little eight-year-old in there. Does he remember what it’s like to lose everything? To have no one left to take care of you?

The audience sees a flash of eight-year-old Bruce holding his dying mother’s hand. She stares back at him blankly.

Another flashback. A young Jonathan Crane, around twelve years old, wakes up in bed. His house is on fire. He reacts immediately, running to the hallway. He sees his mother burning alive. She is covered in flames, thrashing wildly. Jonathan tries to move towards her, until part of the ceiling collapses between them.

JONATHAN: Does he remember what it’s like to be terrified of the entire world?

A flashback of eight-year-old Bruce in his bedroom at Wayne Manor. He peers outside at the media on the driveway, frightened. A younger Alfred draws the curtains suddenly, frightening Bruce unintentionally.

A scene of young Jonathan Crane is shown. He has an oxygen mask on and is sitting in an ambulance. He stares at his house, now completely destroyed. Firefighters have subdued the flame.

PARAMEDIC: You’re going to be okay.

Jonathan doesn’t respond, he seems paralysed with fear at the dying embers.
Two fire fighters walk towards their truck. He can just make out their words.

FIREFIGHTER 1: Definitely arson. Some bastard lit this place up when the mother and son were asleep. Probably just for the hell of it.


We see Jonathan Crane’s office again, today. Crane is losing his temper quickly.

JONATHAN: Does he remember what it’s like to have nothing but that fear drive him? Shape him into what he is today?

We see a shot of young Bruce falling into a cave at Wayne Manor. Bats flap wildly around Bruce.

We see a shot of a thin, gangly, teenaged Jonathan Crane tied up in a school classroom at night. Three bullies look at him sadistically. One splashes petrol over him from a canister. The other plays with a lighter.

The voices from present day continue over the flashbacks.

BRUCE: Jonathan, I have nothing but respect for you and your research.

JONATHAN: Do you know, Bruce…did you ever know…that need…that incredible desire to control fear…to use it…to turn it against those who prey on the innocent?

We see a shot of an adult Bruce in silhouette, in the cave. Alfred stands behind him, looking with a nervous anticipation. Bruce is wearing the Batman costume – an early version which is mostly grey. He puts on the cowl for the first time and turns around. Alfred gasps.

We see a shot of woods at dusk. It is Halloween. Orange leaves fall down from the trees. We see the bullies again, a few years older. Each is in a costume for trick-or-treating, but the costumes appear to be half-abandoned. One bully is dead on the floor, blood seeping from his Michael Myers costume. He has been stabbed. The other two bullies are standing, crying. One is tied to a tree, dressed in a Freddie Kruger costume. The other is standing holding a knife. He has a Jason costume on, with the hockey mask on the ground. Jonathan has a gun at his head, telling the boy to stab the one tied up. He is wild, furious. He puts on a scarecrow mask.

We see a shot of a black-and-grey Batman looming over an alleyway. A man is attacking a woman, who screams. Batman leaps down from the building. The man looks up to see a silhouette of a large bat. He is terrified.

BRUCE: Jonathan, calm down. I want to see your research used correctly. To help people.

JONATHAN: Do you know what it’s like to have possibility – that power – taken away from you?

We see a shot again of one of Black Mask’s thugs from the rooftop encounter at the beginning of the film. He laughs at Batman, without fear.

We see a shot of adult Jonathan Crane packing up his research at Wayne Laboratories. He walks away. Bruce Wayne lingers in the background, his face upset with what he has just told Crane.

Finally, we see the present moment again. Bruce is standing up. Sasha has moved forward and is trying to edge in front of Bruce. She has her hand on her gun, which is holstered.
Crane appears wild.

JONATHAN: Accept your terms. Everything is always on your terms, isn’t it Bruce? I think I’d prefer that scared little orphan. The one looking at his reflection in the blood of his dearly departed parents.

Jonathan has a large bottle in his hand. It is the bottled ship ornament which was on his desk. He lifts it up.

SASHA: Step back, Crane! Put the bottle down. This is a warning, Crane. We don’t want anyone hurt.

Sasha motions for Bruce to move back towards the door, but he continues to hold his ground.

JONATHAN: You’ve ruined my life, Wayne. It’s about time you felt afraid again. You can’t just squash the little people like insects anymore.

We see the bottle, gripped in Jonathan’s hand. The score swells. The beginning of a Scarecrow theme, a Halloween-like, gothic melody with a vocal chorus, grows louder. We see a shot of the Scarecrow oil painting again. Jonathan begins to bring the bottle down to hit Bruce. He is interrupted by Sasha, who dive-tackles him to the ground. Bruce is still standing firmly in the centre of the office. He appears troubled by what Crane has said.

Cut to the hallway at Gotham University again. Sasha slams the door as she exits Crane’s office. Bruce is waiting.

SASHA: He’s subdued.

Bruce doesn’t reply and begins walking.

SASHA: Are all your business meetings this friendly? I’ll report to the police -

BRUCE: (Interrupting) - No.

SASHA: (Pauses) O..kay. Then we’ll just add him to the growing list of ‘People Who Want to Kill or Hurt Bruce Wayne’ along with those Russian mafia thugs. You’re very kind to them, Bruce. You know they aren’t your fan club, right? Then again, maybe you were just skiing this time too.

Bruce seems to grunt as a reply.

SASHA: (Pauses again. She seems upset that she may have gone too far when Bruce appears troubled) Bruce. Please, let me do my job. I’m here to protect you. Let me know what I can do to help you. Be honest with me. Tell me the truth.

BRUCE: The truth is that I don’t need you. And I want you gone.

Bruce walks away. Sasha doesn’t follow at first. She appears hurt, frustrated. She pushes this away and looks again at Bruce. She begins to follow him.
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Break from the script to show some images.


Here's my hypothetical '1997' cast along with roughly what I would like the characters to look like costume-wise. Just for fun I'll also do a modern cast later.


She won't ever be in a costume like the comics, but she will help Batman towards the end.


Pretty much the costume from above - a little 'Sleepy Hollow' inspired.


The costume above, only without the cape. Also chose that pic because of the fiery cityscape I want the movie to show.




Pretty much that exact costume, though of course made to look a bit more functional. We will only see Crispin's face once.


Bruce Wayne would look a little older. The 'deco' suit from Returns is used again, but there is also a Mask of the Phantasm-like flashback to the first Batman costume, which looks like this one, only with shorter ears.

Of course you also have Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth and Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon.
A few more pics..


Although it isn't seen on-screen in the film, this is pretty much exactly what happened when Sasha was hired by Lucius.


The 'Fear of Faith' version of Scarecrow in NML is pretty much my ideal costume for this Burton film. Gotham Knights #23 is partial inspiration for this story (wish I could find my copy though). That cover is a bit of a preview of something that will happen later in the film...


A bit closer to how I envision Firefly.


Gotham City looks very similar to Batman 89 and Returns, only with much more red, orange and yellow. The city is smokier and hazier due to the intense summer heat. Wayne Tower is shown for the first time in the series, and it looks exactly like the industrial design of the 90s comics. The more I look at this Black Mask pic, the more I like the cape. Shreck is pretty theatrical so it might work.
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More good work, kewl. Thanks for providing the visual references and casting call to go along with the script.

When you say your '1997' casting of the film, do you mean 1995, since that was when FOREVER was released? I assumed this movie of yours would be a direct follow-up to RETURNS.
Really cool. So this movie will come between Forever and B&R or will those movies not exist in this universe?

I always wanted to see Keaton continue on as Batman, I think it would have been interesting to see an aged Wayne fight crime after the events of I & II, similar to Nolan's series, but darker and more natural as Keaton I believe was oder when he started playing Batman than Bale was when he started and finished.

Not too crazy about having Scarecrow after him being in all of Nolan's films, but if I act like that didn't happen and this is still 95 then it works lol.

I do like the contrast of warm colors to the pales and muted colors of Returns.

Nice script. Keep it up!
More good work, kewl. Thanks for providing the visual references and casting call to go along with the script.

When you say your '1997' casting of the film, do you mean 1995, since that was when FOREVER was released? I assumed this movie of yours would be a direct follow-up to RETURNS.

Thanks Lui. I guess I chose 1997 hypothetically because I'm pretending Forever just never happened at all, so yep, it is a direct follow-up to Returns. That's enough time for the 'furore' Returns created to die down a little. Also by 1997 visual effects had progressed a fair bit more, and this film would be more dependent on CGI than Burton's previous ones. It could be 1995 just as easily, though.

Really cool. So this movie will come between Forever and B&R or will those movies not exist in this universe?

I always wanted to see Keaton continue on as Batman, I think it would have been interesting to see an aged Wayne fight crime after the events of I & II, similar to Nolan's series, but darker and more natural as Keaton I believe was oder when he started playing Batman than Bale was when he started and finished.

Not too crazy about having Scarecrow after him being in all of Nolan's films, but if I act like that didn't happen and this is still 95 then it works lol.

I do like the contrast of warm colors to the pales and muted colors of Returns.

Nice script. Keep it up!

Thanks. Yep, I'm pretending the Schumacher films never happened. I do want Keaton to be a bit older in this compared to Returns and quite weary - he cannot instil fear into criminals anymore, which is why he 'steals' Crane's research by buying it up and sitting on it, hoping to use a fear toxin.

I did like Scarecrow in Nolan's films, but he was more of a second-rate villain there. I really want to give the character justice in this film by having him as the big bad.. He's one of my favourite villains.

I do want this to be a little more 'natural', as you say, than the first two films, but still really sit within that version of Gotham. I've been thinking the first Burton film is the 'Urban Legend', the second is the 'Fairy Tale', so this third one will be 'Historical Fiction' - by this stage Batman is known to all in Gotham and his events are better documented, but still within Burton's heightened universe and style. There are a few more day scenes as a result.

Here's my hypothetical '2015' cast. This would still be a direct sequel to Batman Returns, only with different actors, for obvious reasons.


Have to choose an Australian. Melissa can do action well. Her work on Alias is a good indication she'd be right for the role.


I think Crudup could do the insanity of the character well.


I know he is Zod in Superman, but this just might have to be one of those things - he's perfect. Considering his face will be covered it could work.




I want this to be someone Burton has worked with before.


He is a little older now so it would feel a little similar to Keaton's age at the time. A good actor - his role in Watchmen is a strong indication he'd work well.


He's worked with Burton before, as well. Usually plays villains but would be great as Alfred.


It's hard to find someone vaguely comparable to Pat Hingle, who was always a little miscast in my eyes anyway. Still, I'd like to feature Jim Gordon later in the script and give the character more of a 'moment' than the other Burton films did, and at least give a nod to Hingle. Brian Cox might be a little old though.
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Here's version 2 of the 'teaser' poster. Tidied up from version 1. Edited from the Batman Incorporated #1 cover - changed the suit to match Keaton's as much as I could.

I will definitely try to do a better cast poster down the track with Scarecrow and Black Mask.
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Here is a draft of Poster #2 - taken from various comics and edited together.

I have a bit to fix with this - Batman's cape, as well as his eyes. I also want the fiery batsymbol somewhere too. But here it is as a work-in-progress.

Those posters are great, kewl! I really dig the second one. Now that I think of it, that Batsuit would adapt pretty well on the big screen.
Nice posters. I agree with the way you see the film join. Yeah, by natural I didn't necessarily mean the look of the film, but rather the age of Wayne and how he is suppose to deal with crime in his later years. But I agree with your points.
Those posters are great, kewl! I really dig the second one. Now that I think of it, that Batsuit would adapt pretty well on the big screen.

Thanks. Yep I chose to manip some Batman Inc. pics because it is the closest currently to the Burton films, especially when you darken it all to black. I guess Batman would have a slightly evolved suit from Returns, but definitely keeping the 'deco' midsection which I just love the design of. More than anything I'd like to make it just that bit more functional, probably with the ability to turn his head.

Nice posters. I agree with the way you see the film join. Yeah, by natural I didn't necessarily mean the look of the film, but rather the age of Wayne and how he is suppose to deal with crime in his later years. But I agree with your points.

Thanks. Yep, I get what you mean - while Wayne isn't too much older than in Returns (about 3-5 years), he is definitely in his 40s and the 'effects' of Batman just aren't there any more. Most criminals are laughing in his face.
A small update. A few of calmer scenes, preparing for the next storm...


(End of previous scene - forgot to attach)

As Bruce walks out of the University buildings, we see a shot of a man sitting on a park bench watching him leave. He looks vaguely like one of the Black Mask thugs from the beginning of the film, dressed casually. He holds a newspaper up to avoid Bruce seeing him. He dials a number on his phone.

THUG: Jonathan Crane.


We see a wide landscape shot of Gotham’s government district. A closer shot of Gotham City Hall, with its neo-fascist architecture. Cut to the Mayor’s Office. A new Mayor has been elected since the events of the previous film. Marion Grange is a tall, thin woman with short, neatly-cut hair. She wears a navy-blue suit.

MAYOR: Julie, I’m heading over to the hospital now. I have to leave a little early if I’m going to make it through this traffic.

JULIE: Okay Ms Mayor, just remember you can’t be late for the Victim’s Benefit dinner tonight. I got a call from the organiser and she’s rearranged the order. She wants you to speak first.

MAYOR: I told St Cloud I wanted to speak just before main course.

(Reluctantly) ..I already agreed. Sorry, Ms Grange.

The Mayor appears slightly annoyed.

MAYOR: Alright. I really have to leave now then. I’ll drive myself. Tell Ben he can have the afternoon off.

JULIE: Yes Ms Grange.

We see a shot of Ms Grange driving a Bentley out of an alleyway beside City Hall. She turns onto the street. A white van which is parked on the road suddenly lights up and pulls onto the same road.


A wide shot of Wayne Manor is seen. The orange afternoon sky is in the background. Cut to the gym. Sasha Bordeaux is training, punching a boxing bag. Alfred enters the gym. He holds a tray of food. Just when he is about to speak, Sasha interjects.

SASHA: No thank you, Alfred.

Alfred is annoyed. Bright red, he turns around to leave.

SASHA: Wait. Sorry.

Alfred stops.

SASHA: How about I make you a sandwich for once?

Cut to the kitchen. Alfred sits at a small table. Sasha gives him an impressive looking sandwich. She has the sandwich Alfred has prepared.

SASHA: Governor Hill of Nebraska taught me how to make this sandwich. Three kinds of salami, sauerkraut, mustard, cheese and figs. You won’t believe how good it is.

Alfred reluctantly takes a bite. He chews and is incredibly surprised.

ALFRED: Oh my. I hope these had nothing to do with said Governor’s heart attack. But that is delicious. Thank you.

SASHA: You’re welcome. No, Hill’s heart attack was mostly from his whiskey addiction. He wasn’t an easy man to protect. Looked very straight-laced on camera. But after-hours… Well, everyone saw the news stories. He was a nice man though. One of the only clients I can talk about freely, after the media aired his laundry every which way. Poor guy.

ALFRED: Yes, I recall the scandal.

SASHA: He fired me over it. Thought that I’d spoken to the newspaper for money. I was so offended. I would never…ever do that to a client. A year later he apologised, came to his senses. He still writes me letters every now and then. A complex man, but kind. Still…old Hamilton was a cakewalk compared to Mr Wayne.

Alfred pauses, looking at Sasha.

SASHA: I know you are his confidant. I wouldn’t dare overstep my boundaries. But I’m concerned for Bruce’s life. Information is one way I can protect him. I know he wasn’t drunk the other night. His mannerisms were too unfocused, not like a drunk person trying to compose themselves. His eyes were lucid. Looking at crowds for potential threats for as long as I have, you get a sense of how to read people very well. I can read him. He’s faking. He pretends to be a trust-fund socialite yuppie driving his father’s company into the ground. He couldn’t be farther from it.

ALFRED: Like most people in the spotlight, Ms Bordeaux, not unlike Governor Hill, Master Wayne has very different public and private personas.

SASHA: I agree. It’s very rare that people want their public persona to look like the incompetent one, though.

ALFRED: My dear. This is a marvellous sandwich.

SASHA: Alfred…I know I’ve been a little abrasive. I’m sorry. I just want to let you know, I’m not falling for Wayne’s game. He wants me gone, I know it. But he won’t fire me. And I won’t quit. I’ve never walked out on a contract. I never will. I take my job seriously. My father died in the secret service, I know what being a bodyguard means. And I know I’ll work out what Bruce is hiding. What he’s afraid of. For his own good. To protect him. I will find out, and I won’t tell a soul. I will keep doing my job.

What Sasha has said has resonated with Alfred. He looks at her again, with a warmer expression. He has finished his sandwich.

(Reciting a quote) True as a dial to the sun, although it be not shined upon… (He changes topic) My dear, I think it’s time you prepare for Master Wayne’s charity benefit tonight. Thank you once again. Do not dare give me that recipe. My physique will never forgive you.


Alfred descends in the elevator down to the Batcave, holding a tray of food. We see Bruce Wayne at the large computer. He is holding Catwoman’s cowl in his hands – the one left by Black Mask earlier in the film. He stares into the cowl. Alfred approaches and places the tray down on a bench. He touches the ornate envelope on the tray.

ALFRED: Your invitation to the Kane Bridge Benefit this evening, Master Wayne. You offered to speak.

Bruce doesn’t reply for a moment. He continues to stare into the Catwoman cowl.

BRUCE: Do you think he killed her, Alfred?

ALFRED: If nothing else, Master Wayne, Ms Kyle is a survivor. Cats have a habit of landing on their feet.

BRUCE: She disappeared on that same night…now years later this. This thing.

He presses a key and an image of Black Mask is displayed on the computer. It is a photo Batman took from his altercation with Black Mask earlier in the film. Alfred sits down in a chair.

ALFRED: Break a man’s leg and it will heal stronger than before. Break a man’s heart… I think Max Shreck…or should I say Black Mask…means to toy with you, Master Bruce.

BRUCE: You call one hundred dead ‘toying’?

ALFRED: I don’t, but he would.

BRUCE: Max Shreck is predictable. A bargainer. A corrupt bureaucrat. I just need to watch carefully, find his weakness.

ALFRED: You knew Shreck then. Not now. The thing that comes out of the fire is an entirely different beast. This is just a game to him now.

BRUCE: I’m tired of games.

ALFRED: As we all are. Tired of chess pieces. Fallen knights. Broken bishops. Murdered pawns. The game won’t end until you chose to walk away from the board.

BRUCE: I can’t leave. Black Mask will destroy the city.

ALFRED: He is a dangerous man. But to him, the city means little. It is you he wants to destroy. Don’t you see? The city is mere collateral. You can end this. He won’t play this game without an opponent.

BRUCE: I created him. I have to stop him. I can’t take that risk Alfred.

ALFRED: And so you are doomed to play until you die.

BRUCE: I’ve made mistakes. These criminals don’t fear me anymore. I thought Crane’s toxin would make them fear me again…I’m not sure it’s working. It’s too volatile. It needs refining. Fear was my weapon, Alfred. I’ve lost it. Black Mask will burn this city to the ground. He won’t be intimidated. I need to make him fear me. That’s the only way I can stop him.

ALFRED: Do you remember why you first began this crusade? It was your own fear. The very thought of death…death of the innocent…it terrified you. You feared your own death. Feared dying without making a difference, without fulfilling the vow you made to your parents. I think that is the fear that has been lost. That is the one which you need to recapture.

BRUCE: But I haven’t made a difference.

ALFRED: And that’s where you are wrong. You’ve protected countless people against madmen. You can do this until you die, Master Bruce. But just remember there are some people you care about you. About Bruce Wayne. Some people who would do all they can to protect him. Why don’t you let them for once?

Alfred stands.

ALFRED: Shall I cancel your attendance tonight?

Bruce turns his head, almost as though he is coming out of his trance.

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Another pic of inspiration...

Here's what Black Mask kind of looks like when we first see him in the film during the electroshock torture of Batman, wearing Bruce's cowl...


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