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Frank Miller talks Darren Aronofsky's abandoned Batman movie

03.04.2016

Batman: Year One Frank Miller Darren Aronofsky Banner

Most of you probably already know the story, so I'll keep this short: After Joel Schumacher kicked the Batman film franchise square in its codpiece with BATMAN & ROBIN, but before Christopher Nolan gave it new life with BATMAN BEGINS, comic book writer Frank Miller was developing a Bat flick loosely inspired by his Batman: Year One storyline with director Darren Aronofsky. Warner Bros. ended up passing on the project though, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But Miller is still often asked about the unmade film, and he shared some info on it during a recent interview with THR.

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. 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.

Obviously the movie is never going to happen now, however Miller did say "Maybe I will," after the site suggested that he turn it into a graphic novel.

Miller also went on to explain why he usually isn't interested in watching films and television series based on comic book characters he's written for or created.

I didn't make up Batman, I didn't make up Daredevil, I have no right to be possessive, but once I've worked on a character, it's hard to see any other way than my way. By and large, most of what they do, I'll just get grouchy if I see it. So I tend not to look at it, except for few exceptions.

How do you think casual moviegoers would have reacted to Miller and Aronofsky's BATMAN: YEAR ONE?

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, which shares some DNA strands with Miller's The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, will be in theaters on March 25th.

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Source: THR

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9:55AM on 03/05/2016
Yeah, I love Miller and Aronofsky, but none of what Miller was describing really made me want to see that idea happen, other than the fact that it was supposedly "darker." The character can be constantly reworked and reinterpreted, but this sounds like they were about to take an unnecessary step backward with Batman instead of trying something that would have enhanced his appeal. He's not Daredevil, The Punisher, or Spider-man. He isn't broke or in squalor, forced to scrounge his surroundings
Yeah, I love Miller and Aronofsky, but none of what Miller was describing really made me want to see that idea happen, other than the fact that it was supposedly "darker." The character can be constantly reworked and reinterpreted, but this sounds like they were about to take an unnecessary step backward with Batman instead of trying something that would have enhanced his appeal. He's not Daredevil, The Punisher, or Spider-man. He isn't broke or in squalor, forced to scrounge his surroundings to supply himself with resources for his crusade. Him turning his back on fortune seems so counter-intuitive for many reasons; the most prominent of which are the fact that he could never live a normal life as Bruce Wayne and also the fact that wasting your resources in order to gain a certain perspective is actually more selfish and counter-productive than just using them to help people in the first place!
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6:28PM on 03/04/2016
I like Miller's Year One and Aronofsky, but thank god this film didn't happen. Instead we got Batman Begins which is my personal favorite superhero film, and we ended up getting the best superhero series yet.
I like Miller's Year One and Aronofsky, but thank god this film didn't happen. Instead we got Batman Begins which is my personal favorite superhero film, and we ended up getting the best superhero series yet.
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2:22PM on 03/04/2016
Frank Miller looks horrible!
Frank Miller looks horrible!
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1:57PM on 03/04/2016

I kind of like the subway batcave idea!

This Batman does sound like it would have resembled the feared phantom or wraith like figure that people only whisper about in the dark corners of society. Like if Batman was a feared and as secretive as Candyman or something, but a Candyman just for the evil and the criminals who prey on the innocent. Ya know, without the bees and the gory hook hand, just the way society knows and fears the character. Does that make sense? Anyways, that would be a good version of Batman. The whole poor batman
This Batman does sound like it would have resembled the feared phantom or wraith like figure that people only whisper about in the dark corners of society. Like if Batman was a feared and as secretive as Candyman or something, but a Candyman just for the evil and the criminals who prey on the innocent. Ya know, without the bees and the gory hook hand, just the way society knows and fears the character. Does that make sense? Anyways, that would be a good version of Batman. The whole poor batman thing though, I don't know how that would work.
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10:02AM on 03/04/2016

One can only hope

Aronofsky's vision was probably in line with the rest of his filmography; a gritty psychological thriller that really captures a person's struggle balancing their morality with their own selfishness. I'm surprised Warner Bros said they wanted a "kids" movie given how much of a bad taste Batman & Robin left in everyone's mouth. Then again, the idea of not really getting much money in merchandising could always be the true reason. Perhaps in the future, Aronofsky will make a comic-book movie.
Aronofsky's vision was probably in line with the rest of his filmography; a gritty psychological thriller that really captures a person's struggle balancing their morality with their own selfishness. I'm surprised Warner Bros said they wanted a "kids" movie given how much of a bad taste Batman & Robin left in everyone's mouth. Then again, the idea of not really getting much money in merchandising could always be the true reason. Perhaps in the future, Aronofsky will make a comic-book movie.
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8:45AM on 03/04/2016
Thing is, and Miller's comic work is a prime example of this, Batman (and other comic characters) is open to constant revision, reinvention and reinterpretation - that's how these characters have survived so long without getting entirely stale (plus DC has a habit of rebooting things every 5 or so years) - and cinema caught up with this to a degree by giving us Nolan's trilogy then moving on to Snyder with something totally different - it's like a great writer or artist will stick with a comic
Thing is, and Miller's comic work is a prime example of this, Batman (and other comic characters) is open to constant revision, reinvention and reinterpretation - that's how these characters have survived so long without getting entirely stale (plus DC has a habit of rebooting things every 5 or so years) - and cinema caught up with this to a degree by giving us Nolan's trilogy then moving on to Snyder with something totally different - it's like a great writer or artist will stick with a comic title for a few months or a year or two if you're lucky, then a new team comes in and gives you their take. If cinema could reach a point where it was offering us multiple takes on Batman - parallel series going on at once - then there'd absolutely be room for this Miller and Aronofsky version, alongside a more mainstream DCU series, and maybe alternate timeline films like Red Son. That would be the dream scenario for me, with maybe DC modelling their film universe(s) more on what Disney's doing with Star Wars than what they're doing with Marvel - offering different time-periods as stand alone films - if they did that with DC it could be amazing.
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2:19PM on 03/04/2016
The thing is, Star Wars is trying to mimic the Marvel formula by having multiple movies focusing on multiple storylines, all in the same world, but separate from the main story (Star Wars proper). It works for Star Wars because there's so much beyond just the Jedis and lightsabers going on in a movie that you can tell so many other stories to get people's attention.

With DC (or even Marvel for that matter), I don't think the same concept would work. If they had the proper DC storyline
The thing is, Star Wars is trying to mimic the Marvel formula by having multiple movies focusing on multiple storylines, all in the same world, but separate from the main story (Star Wars proper). It works for Star Wars because there's so much beyond just the Jedis and lightsabers going on in a movie that you can tell so many other stories to get people's attention.

With DC (or even Marvel for that matter), I don't think the same concept would work. If they had the proper DC storyline going on (everything that stems out of BvS) plus they have Miller's own take on Batman told separately, plus someone adpating Red Son, plus someone else adapting something like All-Star Superman, etc. The average movie goer would have to do so much research just to figure out where the film falls into the DCCU to know what they were getting into that the whole idea would just turn them off and they'd go see something else instead.

In some cases, it would be nice to see our favourite one-off stories or graphic novels be adapted. But it just wouldn't work with DC trying to establish a connected universe. That's why WB Animation needs to step it up and start adapting more of these stories for blu-ray/streaming services.
8:43AM on 03/04/2016

Frank Miller must be dying

He looks like absolute shit lately. And hes not that old. Hes aged 30 years in the last 10.

Also his quote of "Batman would never torture anybody"

lol he wrote The Dark Knight returns before Year one and in that one Batman tortures people. lmao

[link]
He looks like absolute shit lately. And hes not that old. Hes aged 30 years in the last 10.

Also his quote of "Batman would never torture anybody"

lol he wrote The Dark Knight returns before Year one and in that one Batman tortures people. lmao

[link]
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11:09AM on 03/04/2016
Frank Miller looks more and more like that creepy dude from Poltergeist 2.
Frank Miller looks more and more like that creepy dude from Poltergeist 2.
3:45PM on 03/04/2016
@Netforce- Dude I was thinking exactly the same thing. Damn that guy used to scare the shit out of me.
@Netforce- Dude I was thinking exactly the same thing. Damn that guy used to scare the shit out of me.
7:35PM on 03/04/2016
Tell me about it! When I was a kid, there was a creepy old dude who looks almost the same like that Poltergeist 2 dude living close to our neighborhood!
Tell me about it! When I was a kid, there was a creepy old dude who looks almost the same like that Poltergeist 2 dude living close to our neighborhood!
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