After Joel Schumacher’s DISASTROUS Batman & Robin and before Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, there was Darren Aronofsky and Batman: Year One.
Now if you’re saying “WTF? There was never a Batman: Year One film,” you’d be right because the film never happened. According to Comic Book Movie, after the hell that was Batman & Robin (a film that was so bad, even its star George Clooney apologized for “nearly killing the franchise.”) WB was at a crossroads as whether to lay the caped crusader to rest or suck it up and forge ahead.
With ideas floating around that included Batman vs Superman (which I would see in a HEARTBEAT…but it MUST be an animated rather than live action), a Batman Beyond script from LONGTIME Batman vet Paul Dini (he created Harley Quinn, people), but it came down to the aforementioned Batman Begins and Batman: Year One.
Based on Frank Miller’s four-issue story arc of the same name and the script written by both Miller and Aronofsky, WB went with Nolan’s vision for a number of reasons…mainly that it changed all we new about Batman and really skewed the Year One series as well.
The script, according to CBM writer Levitikuz, went a little something like this:
Know who likes THIS Batman? Prince (probably).
“Bruce Wayne wasn’t a billionaire playboy but was homeless, living on the streets of Gotham. Alfred is an African-American mechanic who isn’t even called Alfred but instead called Big Al. Also Batman drives a souped up Lincoln Towncar. Also Bruce Wayne gets the idea of Batman because when he beats up wrong-doers down on the streets of Gotham he punches them with a mighty ring on his finger bearing the initials of his father: Thomas Wayne… T-W… which ends up looking like a bat symbol on the foreheads of said criminals… hence The Batman. Aronofsky has said he still wishes to adapt this story into a comic AND/OR eventually make it into a movie.”
Now we all know what eventually happened; WB chose Nolan’s script over Aronofsky’s and the world not only came to know a new Dark Knight in the form of Christian Bale but also one of the MOST AMAZING performances ever put on film in ANY film by late actor Heath Ledger in his Oscar-winning performance as The Joker.
In the concept art provided by CBM, we see several design ideas for Batman as well as concept designs for Jim Gordon (who we later come to know as Commissioner Gordon) and Catwoman (above), the Batmobile and one of his Batweapons (below).
Now before you have a complete thrombo and have a go at Aronofsky, he himself took to Twitter yesterday to set the record straight.
Tweaks are great but trying to convince me that Bruce Wayne never had money AND the refined, reserved ENGLISH butler Alfred is now an African-American mechanic named “Big Al” is like handing me a plate topped with used band-aids and tissues and telling me it’s bacon and eggs.
While Batman: Year One finally did see the light of day as an animated film (which I actually preferred) in 2011, I wouldn’t count out Aronofsky doing a Batman film at some point; as the guy who wrote/directed Requiem For A Dream and Pi AND earned an Oscar nod for directing Black Swan – Aronofsky could really do something great with DK; just as long as he sticks to the source material AS WRITTEN.
Does the small Batmobile design center left remind anyone else of Frankenstein’s car from the original Death Race 2000 film?
Don’t give up, Darren; just don’t deviate, either!
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