Feast your eyes on what could have been! In the early- to mid-2000s, Warner Bros. was still recovering from 1997’s Batman & Robin, and in search of a director who might be up to the challenge of reinvigorating the franchise. One of those filmmakers was Christopher Nolan, who obviously went on to get the gig, but another was Darren Aronofsky who teamed up with Frank Miller to pen a screenplay called Batman: Year One that actually had nothing to do with the classic comic-book storyline. Instead of the traditional elements of the Batman mythos, this new version featured Bruce Wayne as a homeless vigilante and Alfred as an African-American mechanic going by the name Big Al.
Although the approach was scrapped in favor of Nolan’s Batman Begins, the project still lives on in the form of concept art. Comic Book Movie scored the following batch of images, giving you a look at what might have been. You can see a slew of costume designs as well as takes on the Batmobile, some weapons and even Catwoman and Jim Gordon. Aronofsky clarified last night on Twitter that, “none of that year one batman art circling the web originated from mine or frank’s work. so can’t take credit or blame for it,” which may mean the designs were commissioned by Warner Bros.
After Year One, Aronofsky was attached to direct The Wolverine, but dropped out when he was told production would take him away from his family for a good deal of time. He also directed The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Aronofsky’s next film, Noah, debuts March 28, 2014.