After the failure of 1997’s Batman and Robin, Warner Bros. explored multiple options on how to relaunch the franchise. One idea was director Darren Aronofsky’s pitch for a Batman: Year One adaptation, which he wrote with Frank Miller. This story would have been extremely different from your traditional Batman tale, and it was a very, very loose adaptation of the Year One comic. It would have also been rated R and “too dark,” so the studio chose to move on. The Year One comic was later adapted into 2005’s reboot Batman Begins.
Now, 15 years later, Aronofsky reflects on what his Batman movie would have been like. In an interview with First Showing, the filmmaker said that his pitch was “exactly” like the recently announced Joker movie, an Elseworlds story that retells Joker’s origin in a gritty, early 1980s crime thriller. “I was like: we’re going to shoot in East Detroit and East New York. We’re not building Gotham. The Batmobile – I wanted to be a Lincoln Continental with two bus engines in it… all duct taped together. It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman.”
Aronofsky adds that some of his ideas have popped up in other movies. For example, the idea of Bruce Wayne branding criminals with a bat-like symbol was featured in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He also praises Christopher Nolan’s vision, which included the classic Batman traits (like his gadgets) and an exploration of the character’s darkness and psychology.
Aronofsky goes on to share his thoughts on the comic book movie genre, as well as the need to take more risks. “I think we were ahead of our time. And I was always like; why can’t we make a more lower-budget rated-R [movie], just like in comics you have different brands but and now they’re finally doing that. They’re doing the spinoffs, which is great. This is an exciting time because they’ll be able to take more risks and we won’t be seeing the same superhero movie over and over again. You’ll get things like Deadpool, which was a relief as compared to seeing the same film over and over again.” He concludes by sharing his excitement for HBO’s Watchmen series, saying that the comic fits the television medium better than film.
For First Showing’s full interview with Aronofsky, click HERE. The filmmaker’s latest film, mother!, hits theaters tomorrow.
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