This was posted at www.cinescape.com As development continues on the fifth BATMAN movie, one of our friends from across the Atlantic Ocean wrote in to tell us of a juicy casting rumor making the rounds over in England. According to our informant, there's talk that BATMAN director Christopher Nolan is seeking to cast an actor for a villain role at the beginning of the film. This character is known to fans of Batman lore, and at one time was rumored to be the main villain in a fan script known as THE FRIGHTENING: none other than The Scarecrow. According to our source, the film's primary bad guy will remain R'as al Ghul, the immortal whose vision of a world without chaos reaches through centuries of time. But the idea is to introduce the Scarecrow early in the film to show audiences that this BATMAN movie is different than its predecessors; namely, that it's darker and scarier, and that the rogues that Batman face in Nolan's vision of Gotham City are far more dangerous than the ones seen in Joel Schumacher's BATMAN movies. Our agent tells us that the idea is to show the Scarecrow terrorizing Gotham so Nolan's version of Batman (played by Christopher Bale) can be introduced. After bringing down Scarecrow the plot would then move on to Batman having to leave Gotham City, possibly as a result of the actions of this opening segment, and travelling to London where al Ghul is located. There the majority of the film's story takes place. The part is small and isn't like the previous three BATMAN films which have seen the Dark Knight face two villains throughout the picture. There may be a possibility that Scarecrow could return in a future BATMAN movie but for now it's meant to be a one-time appearance and that's all. "The person in mind to play [Scarecrow] is Christopher Eccleston," writes "Lucky Ace", our scooper. Eccleston is British and was most recently seen in Danny Boyle's post-apocalytic zombie movie 28 DAYS LATER as Major West. Curiously, one of Eccleston's co-stars in 28 DAYS LATER was also rumored to be under consideration to play the new Batman before Bale was announced in the role, Cillian Murphy. The production is also looking to cast the role of R'as al Ghul sooner rather than later and have been considering actors from around the world. Unlike the Scarecrow gossip, our Ace in the hole didn't have any names to report at the present time but they did mention the talk is "of people like a younger Anthony Hopkins-type". Production on BATMAN 5 is still scheduled to begin in the early months of 2004. I still cannot believe Jason Isaacs isn't signed for the role of R'as.