Fresh off the success of 2000's Memento, Christopher Nolan was hired by Warner Bros in 2003 to reboot the Batman property. The result was 2005's Batman Begins, which he cowrote with David S. Goyer and which starred Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth (Bruce's loyal butler), Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, and Gary Oldman as James Gordon. The film was inspired by the short story "The Man Who Falls," Blade Runner, "Batman: The Long Halloween", and "Batman: Year One." It covers Bruce/The Batman's origins, as well as his training, personal life, and ultimately, his fight with Ra's and his minions who are bent on the destruction of Gotham City.
Upon release, Batman Begins received profound critical acclaim. On movie review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com, it has a critics score of 84% and an audience score of 94%. Reads that site's critics' consensus: "Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes." Wally Pfister was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. On a budget of $150 million, it made back a modest return of $375.2 million at the box office. The film is widely regarded as the film that rebooted the superhero genre. Some even call it the best of the Nolan Batman trilogy films (including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises).