Legendary comic book writer Frank Miller, who created one of the most iconic Batman stories of all times with his celebrated work on The Dark Knight Returns, has a few ideas on how to make the franchise better.
Speaking with Variety during an appearance at the geek-themed Lucca Comics & Games event in Europe, Miller outlined his vision for what the Batman film franchise should be.
“My dream would be to make it much smaller. To lose the toys and to focus more on the mission, and to use the city a great deal more, because he’s got a loving relationship with the city he’s protecting. And unlike Superman, his connection to crime is intimate; it has been ever since his parents were murdered. And he defeats criminals with his hands.
“So it would be a different take. But it will never be in my hands, because it would not be a good place to make toys from. There wouldn’t be a line of toys.”
And some lifelong Batman fans may agree. Sure, it’s cool to see the Caped Crusader teaming up with other superheroes, but some favorite Batman stories were never about the vehicles and the gadgets – they were always about the narrative.
There was a time when another of Miller’s influential Batman stories almost made it to the big screen, when Warner Bros. was developing a film based on Miller’s work with Darren Aronofsky attached to direct.
“That screenplay was based on my book ‘Batman: Year One,’ and yeah it was much more down to Earth. In it, a fair amount of time is spent before he became Batman, and when he went out and fought crime, he really screwed it up a bunch of times before he got it right. So it was (a) 90-minute origins story.”
Batman’s next cinematic appearance will happen in next year’s Justice League, and likely will be pretty far removed from the street-level vigilante that Miller immortalized in his books. But hope isn’t lost yet, as Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film is expected to be a much more grounded, intimate take on the character than what Zack Snyder has given us.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he can deliver.
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