Frank Miller Thought Darren Aronofsky’s Unmade ‘Batman: Year One’ Film Was Too Dark

4932780-wallpaper-batman-year-one-david-mazzucchelli-2Prior to Christopher Nolan coming on board to breathe life back into the Batman franchise with his Dark Knight Trilogy, director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan) was going to take a crack at the next big screen outing for the superhero and worked on a screenplay for a film with writer Frank Miller. The director had planned a loose adaptation of Miller’s Batman: Year One for the big screen but it seems that his vision was too dark even for Miller. And that’s definitely saying something coming from the man behind The Dark Knight Returns.

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller commented on cancelled project and his issues with Aronofsky’s incarnation of The Capsed Crusader.

“It was the first time I worked on a Batman project with somebody whose vision of Batman was darker than mine. My Batman was too nice for him. We would argue about it, and I’d say, “Batman wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t torture anybody,” and so on. We hashed out a screenplay, and we were wonderfully compensated, but then Warner Bros. read it and said, “We don’t want to make this movie.” The executive wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to. And this wasn’t that. It didn’t have the toys in it.”

It seems that the director definitely had a “unique vision” for the project and this would be  much different version of Batman than we’ve seen on the big screen before. Miller revealed some of the differences that were featured in the unmade project’s script.

“The Batmobile was just a tricked-out car. And Batman turned his back on his fortune to live a street life so he could know what people were going through. He built his own Batcave in an abandoned part of the subway. And he created Batman out of whole cloth to fight crime and a corrupt police force.”

Sounds like an interesting take on the character that I’d have been into seeing but definitely does not sound like something that the more hardcore “stick to the source material” fans would have been pleased with. Actually, I don’t even think the general audience could have fully gotten in to this one. Would you have like to seen Aronofsky’s vision on the big screen? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Source: THR

Shawn Madden

Shawn Madden

I write stuff. Sometimes.

  • Joseph Chaisson

    I thought Nolan’s vision was perfect. Begins was a great film.

    • Victor Thomas


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  • Brennan Klensch

    I personally would’ve loved to have seen this; very radical and very dark – would’ve been cool to see, if even as just a 1-off

  • Jake Bucsko

    This is why I don’t mind that Aronofsky had to drop out of The Wolverine. He’s a great filmmaker, but his awful awful ideas for this (there’s more about it elsewhere, you can Google it) make me think that he’s just not right for comic book movies. And that’s fine, keep making movies like The Fountain and The Wrestler, Darren.

  • Math

    I would love to see his interpretation one day. Back then was not the right time to do it though. It could have buried the Batman franchise for another 10 years. This feels more like a low budget one off, a parallel universe reinterpretation kind of like one of the short stories in Batman Gotham Knight. It is interesting, but not a direction you take to build a franchise or a shared universe on.

  • H.I McDunnough

    The infamous “Gordon has a beer and cheats on his wife” script from AICN back in the day. I assumed that was fake, but this confirms at least one or two elements were the same.

  • Archfiend_Baramos

    I agree. One of the first scenes in the script is Gordon sitting in the bathroom with a gun in his mouth debating killing himself. Gordon was clearly depressed in Year One but the character has never been at the point where he’s about to blow his brains out. This is a character that eventually goes through the mental anguish of The Killing Joke and survives. As bad as his situation was in Year One, it was way too extreme to have him sitting in a bathroom about to kill himself in the adaptation.

    The script had a lot of weird changes, too (like Alfred being a black mechanic named “Big Al” who makes the Batmobile). It was just too out there to be made.


    Meh, I’m kinda glad that this never happened. Kinda like the whole Superman Lives thing as well. Too many different interpretations can weaken the brand, in my opinion. These characters need a definitive version of them, before people start coming out with these weird, off-color versions.