Before Christopher Nolan‘s highly acclaimed and fan beloved Dark Knight Trilogy, there was word of a darker and more realistic version of Batman to emerge from director Darren Aronofsky. Warner Bros, the distributor of the film series, was looking for something a little darker after the destruction of the franchise with Batman and Robin. Aronofsky would have most certainly been the correct choice, but then we wouldn’t have received what we have now.
“I pitched the complete opposite, which was totally bring-it-back-to-the-streets raw, trying to set it in a kind of real reality — no stages, no sets, shooting it all in inner cities across America, creating a very real feeling. My pitch was ‘Death Wish‘ or ‘The French Connection‘ meets Batman,” Aronofsky said in David Hughes’ book Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? It was always clear that his version of The Caped Crusader was going to be one that was divisive and frightening. Not that the thought of this wasn’t clear after directly coming off of what some would call (myself included) his masterpiece, Requiem for a Dream.
In a recent interview with Frank Miller at The Hollywood Reporter, Miller (whose comic Batman: Year One would be the basis of the film), spoke on the unmade project. “It was the first time I worked on a Batman project with somebody whose vision of Batman was darker than mine. We hashed out a screenplay, and we were wonderfully compensated, but then Warner Bros. read it and said, ‘We don’t want to make this movie.’ The executive wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to. And this wasn’t that.”
Aronofsky had said that he would cast Clint Eastwood as the iconic character and shoot in Tokyo to double for compensation. He said, “That got their attention.” It seems like it just wasn’t what they were looking for. Dare to dream, I suppose.
If you’re looking for your upcoming dose of the character, Batfleck will fly into theatres later this month with, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.