Before Batman Begins thrust the Caped Crusader back into the movie limelight, Warner Bros. was already planning a gritty reboot for the character. Batman: Year One, a movie written by Frank Miller and directed by Darren Aronofsky, was the chief candidate. The project was scrapped just after the first draft's completion, though. In an interview with First Showing, Aronofsky talked candidly about the canned film and how it would have been similar to an upcoming DC Comics adaptation.
Aronofsky revealed that the Batman: Year One movie was going to be very similar to the Joker origin movie in development and being produced by Martin Scorsese. That movie is said to be set in Gotham City in the '80s and will be thematically similar to Scorsese's Taxi Driver.
"I hear the way they’re talking about the Joker movie and that's exactly -- that was my pitch." Aronofsky said. "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."
Aronofsky continued to explain his vision for the Batmobile, and how he planned on reinventing the story of Bruce Wayne.
"It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman," Aronofsky said. "And some of my ideas got out there through other films. Like the ring with 'BW,' Bruce Wayne's ring making the scar was our idea and I think that was in Zack's or something. Which is fine, you write these ideas and they get out. We were all about reinventing it and trying to make it more Taxi Driver visceral. That was the whole pitch. But the toy people were like, "Oh it can't be a Lincoln Continental, you have to make a Batmobile."
Despite Aronofsky never getting to make his version of Batman, he was happy with what Christopher Nolan produced in the Dark Knight trilogy:
"I think with Chris [Nolan's] work, which was great, it was just -- he hit it [out of the park]. He was able to get the darkness in, and the psychology of the character, yet he was still able to give the gizmo thing, which I wasn't ever really interested in."
Batman will next appear, played by Ben Affleck, in Warner Bros.’s Justice League, which hits theaters on November 17, 2017. The upcoming Batman movie does not have an official release date at this time, although a 2019 release seems likely.