Back before Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman mythos for the big screen with 2005’s “Batman Begins,” Warner Bros. had a different strategy for bringing the Caped Crusader back. The idea: a “Batman: Year One” film written by Frank Miller, writer of the “Year One” comic and writer/artist on “The Dark Knight Returns,” and directed by Darren Aronofsky. But after Miller and Aronofsky finished work on a draft of the film, it was abandoned by Warner Bros. Now, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Miller has revealed what exactly went wrong.
First, Miller discussed his collaboration with Aronofsky. “It was the first time I worked on a Batman project with somebody whose vision of Batman was darker than mine. My Batman was too nice for him,” said Miller, whose “Dark Knight Returns” is often credited with the darkening and maturation of the superhero comic in the ’80s. “We would argue about it, and I’d say, ‘Batman wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t torture anybody,’ and so on.”
The pair did write out a screenplay, and concept art for the project was created, and then it went to Warner Bros.
“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,” said Miller. “It didn’t have the toys in it. The Batmobile was just a tricked-out car. And Batman turned his back on his fortune to live a street life so he could know what people were going through. He built his own Batcave in an abandoned part of the subway. And he created Batman out of whole cloth to fight crime and a corrupt police force.”
THR then suggested Miller turn the screenplay into a graphic novel, to which Miller replied, “Maybe I will.”
Batman returned to the big screen with Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, which spanned from 2005 to 2012. The Dark Knight will once again return to the silver screen in Zack Snyder’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” a film that draws heavily on Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” “BvS” opens on March 25, 2016.