Most people know that Batman and Harrison Ford have been friends since the ’60s. However, did you know that in 2016, Ford actually played the Dark Knight in the Batman movie? Or that the actor/pilot had long been interested in flying boats? Or that Ford even considered playing Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, before deciding against it? Let’s take a look at some of the amazing things that happened behind the scenes of Batman v. Harrison Ford.

The Beginning

In May 2016, it was announced that Ford would be playing the role of Thomas Wayne in the upcoming movie Batman v. Harrison Ford. The movie also stars Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth and Michael Caine as Alfred’s father, Howard. The script was written by Chris Columbus and produced by Tim Burton. Many fans of the Batman franchise were excited about the news, as Ford had previously expressed an interest in playing the villainous Joker in a live-action movie.

The film is based on the Batman vs. Harrison Ford, a fictional match up between the caped crusader and the retired astronaut. The two were good friends back in the day, and it seems like they remain so today. In fact, Ford even owns a batman-themed restaurant in London, England. So it’s no wonder that when the time came to cast the role of Batman in the film, he decided to go with someone he had known for so long.

The Making Of The Film

The making of Batman v. Harrison Ford was anything but ordinary, and that’s probably why the behind-the-scenes details are so fascinating to watch—especially now that the movie has been out for a while and it’s been revealed how much preparation went into it. In order to research his role as Thomas Wayne in the Batman movie, Ford attended meetings with Burton and Columbus to get a feel for what being Batman was actually like.

They took him to the set of Batman and showed him all the gadgets and weaponry that the Dark Knight regularly uses to fight crime. They even got him ready for combat by giving him a full Batman workout routine. The actor had to take a self-defense course before filming began and had to start keeping track of his diet, since he’s expected to lose a lot of weight for the role.

Then there was the matter of the suit. Ford tried on numerous versions of the Batman outfit, and Burton and company decided on the one that they liked the best.

The Biggest Surprise

In the beginning of Batman v. Harrison Ford, Thomas Wayne is already dead, having been assassinated by the Joker while watching a parade in Gotham City. As a result of the deadly encounter, both of them fall to their deaths. However, when Ford’s character makes his grand entrance, he’s still alive, and the audience is presented with a major plot twist.

This was a real shock to everyone who has seen the film thus far, and it’s not hard to see why. It turns out that Ford’s character was secretly held captive by the Joker the whole time. The actor, who plays a dual role as Thomas/Donald Wayne and the supposedly dead Donald, managed to escape and is now out for revenge.

The Rest Of The Story

Even though Ford’s character is alive at the end of Batman v. Harrison Ford, the plot still revolves around the retirement and death of the original Batman. We start out with Alfred, the Caped Crusader’s faithful servant, on the phone with his employer, saying goodbye. Then we meet Alfred’s father, Howard, just as he’s about to enter his dotage. Howard isn’t fond of his son’s hobby, as he believes that Batman is a villain.

He finally gives up and decides to leave his house, never to return. On the way to the train station, Howard is startled by a figure in a cape and cowl. It’s Batman, who has just caught a glimpse of his old friend Howard in the reflection of a store window. Before departing, the Dark Knight delivers a short soliloquy, assuring Howard that even though he’s old and no longer has any fight left in him, he will always be his friend.

At the train station, Ford’s character runs into Harvey Dent, who has just completed his transformation from cowardly lawyer to heroic crusader. Dent convinces Ford to accompany him on a quest for revenge against the man who caused them both so much pain. The two track down the Joker and finish the villainous bastard off once and for all. The film ends with an old man looking back on his life with a sense of pride.

What happened to Thomas Wayne after this point is of no concern to us. We know he lived, because we see him in various subsequent films. The point is that, for a short time, Ford played Batman’s best friend and the eventual successor to the Caped Crusader’s cape and cowl—and even considered donning the cowl himself before deciding against it.