It's been eight years since the Caped Crusader foiled crime on the big screen, so Warner Bros. is hoping "Batman Begins" (search), which opens Wednesday, will breathe new life into the franchise.

A darker tone characterizes this story about how Batman was born: after witnessing his parents' brutal murder, young Bruce Wayne begins a quest for vengeance. Eventually that leads him back to two of his greatest foes.

"We wanted to create the back story, which has never really been explained properly. About what happens between the time that his parents are murdered and when he comes to create this Batman creature," said "American Psycho" star Christian Bale (search), who plays Wayne/Batman in the movie and is earning raves for his performance, to FOX News.

Click here to read about the history of Batman

Click on the video box at the top of this story to see the "Batman Begins" stars on FOX.

The previous Batman films became showcases for corny megastars and over-the-top special effects. In this version, directed by Christopher Nolan ("Memento"), the sets and gadgets are still impressive, but this all-star cast is more about acting than their outfits.

"I realized it was 'Batman Begins,' so I found it very very interesting. And it's not often you get great character roles," legendary British actor Michael Caine (search), who plays Batman's butler in the movie, told FOX News.

"I love the script and I loved being a part of telling the story of the beginning of Batman," said Katie Holmes, who plays Batman's love interest.

There is one headline about the batsuit ... turns out the bulging muscles in the costume were not modeled after Bale's body, but co-star Morgan Freeman's (search).

"That's a closely held secret," Freeman told FOX.

FOX News' Mike Waco and William LaJeunesse contributed to this report.

Links: New York Post review

Links: Rolling Stone review

Links: USA Today review