Miles “Batkid” Scott wasn’t yet two years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, prompting him to undergo years of tests and chemotherapy treatment. To get through the ordeal, the Northern California toddler watched reruns of Adam West’s 1960s Batman series with his father between treatments and fell in love with the Caped Crusader, inspiring his request to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: “I want to be the real Batman.”
When his application to become a superhero for a day landed on the desk of Make-A-Wish Foundation CEO Patricia Wilson, the organization went all-out to turn San Francisco into Gotham City. They put out a request for a few hundred volunteers to bring Miles’ dream to life. Thanks to a huge outpouring, an estimated 25,000 volunteers and would-be Gothamites answered the call.
The ensuing social media phenomenon that resulted on November 15, 2013 went viral as Miles, in character as Batkid, helped “save” Gotham from the Riddler and the Penguin as the world watched. The stunt garnered a staggering 1.7 billion Twitter impressions, warmed hearts in 117 countries, and even earned a President Obama shout-out.
It also caught the attention of filmmaker Dana Nachman, who culled footage from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Scott family, and several additional sources filming that day into the feature-length documentary Batkid Begins, which Warner Bros. will release on June 26. For Miles, whose cancer is in remission, the Batkid adventure began a day early when he paid a visit to San Francisco’s Circus School and was greeted by Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, and The Flash for a round of superhero lessons. Take a look at his Batkid prep in the Daily Beast exclusive video below: