Actor Robert Wuhl has revealed that his role as Alexander Knox in 1989's Batman nearly turned out very differently in the 1989 movie, with one iteration of the script including the journalist's shock death.
Director Tim Burton's brooding affair was a million miles away from the campy years of Adam West's Batman TV series and famously put the dark in Dark Knight for a wide audience.
Featuring an all-star cast of Wuhl, Kim Basinger, and Jack Nicholson, Burton reinvented the character and cast Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne's titular alter ego. Over the years, Batman has become a genre-defining superhero movie, but it all could've turned out very differently.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Wuhl explained, "I actually died in the original script." Instead of today's secretive nature of only giving actors portions of their scripts, the Batman cast was privy to the whole story. Knox was originally supposed to die in the Joker's final attack, but instead, the theatrical release included him being knocked unconscious while trying to defend Basinger's Vicki Vale.
Wuhl went on to discuss a tense table read with Blade Runner's Sean Young, who was originally cast as Vale. Young was injured and had to back out of Batman, which led to the studio nearly casting Michelle Pfeiffer. Fans will know that Pfeiffer went on to play Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, in Burton's lauded Batman Returns.
As for Vale and Knox, the pair made it out of the finished Batman story alive. Despite Burton returning for the sequel, neither Vale or Knox were part of the story. While Selina Kyle and Bruce discussed his break-up with Vale is a passing conversation during Batman Returns, Knox's future was left unknown. Burton stepped away from the franchise after Batman Returns, meaning fans will never know what happened next for Vale or Knox.
John Peters and Peter Guber produced Batman, and it was apparently Peters' love of Wuhl that spared Knox from his tragic fate. In Daniel Waters' first draft of Batman, Knox was supposed to be discovered crucified to the Bat Signal — a scene that was later used for Carmine Falcone in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. Despite Wuhl's character being relatively minor to the overall story of Batman, it's still interesting to know what was originally supposed to happen to Alexander Knox.