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The Dark Knight’s Michael Caine Reveals How Christopher Nolan Convinced Him To Play Alfred

Before comic book shared universes became commonplace, Christopher Nolan was on top of the genre with his Dark Knight Trilogy. Given Christian Bale’s performances as Bruce Wayne, the three movies still hold a special place in the hearts of many moviegoers. Michael Caine famously played Alfred, and recently revealed how Nolan convinced him to take on the role.

Whenever there’s a new Batman project, there’s also inevitably his manservant/ father figure Alfred. Michael Caine brought a ton of heart to the role throughout Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, although he had to be convinced to play the DC figure. As Caine explained in an interview,

I have a country house and I was there on a Sunday and the doorbell rang and I was near it so I answered it. And there was a man standing there with a script in his hand and he said he was a director of movies. He said, ‘Can I come in?’ And he said to me, ‘I want you to play the butler in Batman.’ So I said, ‘The butler? What do I say, ‘Dinner is served?’ He said no, he was the godfather of Batman and it’s a much bigger part. That was the first thing I remembered about Christopher Nolan. And playing the movie was absolutely fantastic. The thing about Nolan is you don’t always know what’s going on in the scene, as an actor. And you ask him and he says, ‘I’ll tell you after you’ve done it.’

The man’s got a point. Michael Caine and Christopher Nolan clearly have a great working relationship, with the 88 year-old actor having a role in a number of his projects including Interstellar, Tenet, and The Prestige. And as such, Nolan knew the right way to pitch Alfred to him, and was clearly successful.

Sometimes when you need Michael Caine for a role, you have to go right to the course. So Christopher Nolan tracked him down at his country house to ensure he was the Alfred to Christian Bale’s Batman. And as a result DC fans are treated to the gorgeous movies Caine made across that trilogy.

Since Michael Caine’s tenure as Alfred, a number of other actors have stepped up to play Bruce Wayne’s caretaker on the big screen. First the great Jeremy Irons brought a ton of sass to the DCEU opposite Ben Affleck. And next Andy Serkis will play Alfred in Matt Reeves’ highly anticipated blockbuster The Batman.

The Batman is expected to hit theaters on March 4th, 2022. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.