Between the the critical panning of Batman & Robin and Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman Begins, director Darren Aronofsky had a pitch for an Elseworlds-influenced Batman movie that was ultimately rejected. Aronofsky now notes that the premise for the standalone Joker movie reminds him of his take on Batman, and also states that he has high hopes for HBO’s adaptation of Watchmen.
Aronofsky’s idea for a Batman movie was actually a very loose, grounded version of the concept, where a young Bruce Wayne would lose his fortune after the death of his parents and would have to seek the help of a man named Al to begin his quest to fight crime. The project was influenced by Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, but heavily deviated from its source material by having Bruce Wayne become a self-made superhero instead of a man who used his wealth and resources to handle his war on crime. But the pitch of a Joker movie that’s influenced by works such as Taxi Driver and set in the 1980s is giving Aronofsky a case of déjà vu, according to an interview with First Showing:
“You know what… I think [my Batman idea was] 15 years too early. Because I hear the way they’re talking about the Joker movie and that’s exactly – that was my pitch. 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, all duct taped together. It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman. 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 [Snyder’s movie] 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.’
And I think with Chris [Nolan’s] work… 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. So, I think that’s the back story. I think we were ahead of our time. And I was always like ‘Why can’t we make a more lower-budget rated-R [movie], just like in comics you have different brands?’ but and now they’re finally doing that. They’re doing the spinoffs, which is great. This is an exciting time because they’ll be able to take more risks and we won’t be seeing the same superhero movie over and over again. You’ll get things like Deadpool, which was a relief as compared to seeing the same film over and over again.”
“Watchmen as a TV show [is something] I think is fantastic. I think that’s perfect for that medium. And where it should have been, but [the production platform] didn’t exist at that time. And I think they’ll have much more fun in a more developed world.”
Perhaps if the stars align, Aronofksy could even get a shot at directing an episode of Watchmen. For now, audiences can catch his avant-garde horror movie mother! starting this weekend.
Source: First Showing
6 R-Rated Comic Book Movies Audiences Deserve
Logan and Deadpool have shown studios that R-Rated superhero movies can succeed. Sure, Watchmen and 300 kind of proved that same point in 2009, but now both Marvel and DC have said R-Rated movies are a possibility. Audiences are tired of so many comic book movies featuring similar plots, so opening more projects to the potential of being R-Rated makes it possible that different, mature stories can be told.
Some characters, like Superman and Spider-Man, should never receive the R-Rated treatment. If a character is defined by a sense of hope or optimism instead of a dark, gritty core that grounds all their actions, then a R-Rated movie likely won’t work.
Hit Next to find out more about six comic book movies that should be R-Rated!