Jonathan Crane
Alias(es) Scarecrow
Dr. Jonathan Crane
Dr. Crane
Appeared in Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Status Alive
Actor Cillian Murphy
"You look like a man who takes himself too seriously. You want my opinion? you need to lighten up."
―Jonathan Crane [src]

Dr. Jonathan Crane worked in Arkham Asylum and developed a toxin which he used to make people fear him taking on the alias Scarecrow. When sprayed with the toxin the victim sees their fears materialise in front of them. He was going to poison Gotham's water supply with the toxin but was stopped by Batman. He wears a tatty sack on his head to give him a scarecrow like appearance. During the events of the Dark Knight he was going to sell some toxins when Batman stopped him again. Scarecrow was sent to prison.


Batman Begins

"There's nothing to fear but fear himself!"
―Jonathan Crane [src]

Dr. Jonathan Crane was a corrupt, sadistic psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology at Arkham. Crane was secretly allied with Ra's al Ghul and Carmine Falcone, smuggling the former's hallucinogenic drugs into Gotham to create fear gas to use upon his patients in cruel experiments. Crane testified in court that Victor Zsasz, one of Falcone's assassins, was legally insane and should be moved to Arkham for rehabilitation. This enraged Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes, who later accused him of being corrupt. Crane then met with Falcone to discuss having her murdered. When Falcone later attempted to blackmail Crane, Crane donned his Scarecrow mask and doused Falcone with his fear toxin, which drove the mob boss insane and left him repeatedly uttering "scarecrow". Crane attributed this to Falcone identifying the image with a Jungian archetype.

In Crane's first encounter with Batman, he sprayed Batman with his fear toxin and set him on fire, though Batman narrowly escaped with his life and mind intact. With the help of Lucius Fox, Batman acquired an antidote to the toxin. Shortly thereafter, Batman had a second confrontation with Crane, this time at Arkham, where he rescued Rachel Dawes after Crane has sprayed her with his toxin. Batman overpowered Crane's henchmen and sprayed the doctor with a dose of his own medicine, destroying what was left of his sanity and divulging his real superior: Ra's Al Ghul. Crane was subsequently arrested by Sgt. James Gordon, but later escaped in the mass release of Arkham inmates prompted by Ra's Al Ghul as part of his plot to destroy Gotham. As Ra's Al Ghul unleashed Crane's fear gas on Gotham's slums, Crane, by then calling himself Scarecrow, pursued Rachel and a boy through an alley on a horse, dragging a dead mounted police officer from its stirrups. To the boy, who was affected with the gas, Scarecrow appeared as a fiery eyed, deep-voiced monster riding a fire-breathing horse. After stating "you have nothing to fear, but fear itself", Rachel eluded Scarecrow by shocking him in the face with a taser. Scarecrow aimlessly rode off into the night, screaming in pain. Sgt. James Gordon informed Batman that Scarecrow was still at large.

Batman: Gotham Knight

The Scarecrow was the mastermind behind Killer Croc's attacks. Crane drugged Croc with the fear toxin to make him try to kill everyone in his path. He also trained Croc to not fear bats. Batman encountered Croc and beat him, then moved on to find Scarecrow about to slaughter Cardinal O'Fallon. Scarecrow had gathered a cult of mentally ill derelicts. He wore a large brimmed hat and carried a scythe for full effect. Scarecrow attempted to injure Batman with his scythe but failed. Batman defeated all the Scarecrow's men (and also rescued Cardinal O'Fallon) but Scarecrow escaped.

The Dark Knight

"Buyer beware. I told you my compound would take you places. I never said they were places you wanted to go! "
―Jonathan Crane [src]

Scarecrow and The Chechen met to discuss the ill effects of Scarecrow's drugs on The Chechen's customers (and the Chechen implies that he might feed him to his pet Rottweilers, due to the line "My dogs are hungry!"). The meeting was interrupted by multiple "Batmen", normal civilians armed with automatic weapons and homemade Batsuits, who wanted to fight crime as inspired by the real Batman. As a majority of them swarmed in against the mobsters, one went after Scarecrow (but he gassed him with his fear toxin). Batman himself arrived and fought off all the gangsters and false Batmen. While Batman fought off the mobsters, Scarecrow jumped in the truck and attempted to escape. Scarecrow managed to make it to the bottom floor of the garage, but Batman used his high tech boots and slammed onto the roof (smashing it and causing the Scarecrow to slam into the wheel). Batman then tied up Scarecrow, ripped off his mask and left him with the other gangsters (strangely Scarecrow was actually smiling happily). Scarecrow was left for the police along with the gangsters and false Batmen.

The Dark Knight Rises

"Your guilt was determined, this is merely a sentencing hearing. Now what will it be? Death, or exile?"
―Jonathan Crane [src]

After Bane takes control of Gotham, Crane is put in charge of the courtroom held by the city's lower classes, offering the rich and powerful a choice between death or exile. When Commissioner Gordon and a group of police officers and detectives are "arrested", they are sentenced by Crane whose verdict is "Death by Exile".



  • Canon (3 films)


  • Jonathan Crane is the only villain who appeared in all of the Nolanverse movies.
  • Actor Cillian Murphy, who portrayed Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in the trilogy, originally auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.


Batman Begins

Batman: Gotham Knight

The Dark Knight

See Also

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