Darren Aronofsky wanted Joaquin Phoenix to star in his movie Batman: Year One
A few years before the release of Christopher Nolan Batman begins in cinemas, the cinematographic future of the Dark Knight was in the hands of Darren Aronofsky. In 2000, Warner Bros. hired Aronofsky to write and direct a live shoot of the acclaimed films of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. Batman: first year story, with Miller himself offering a contribution on the script. It never happened. But as with other un-made superhero movies (for example, Superman lives, Justice League Mortal), it remains a source of intrigue among comic book fans. Now, Aronofsky opens up on the reasons why the project was abandoned.
While speaking with Empire, Aronofsky said he was in the mood with Warner Bros. executives on whom to play Bruce Wayne. Aronofsky was apparently keen to launch the man who would be Joker, Joaquin Phoenix, as a novice crime fighter. However, the studio had its eyes fixed on another actor who was still riding the wave of his heart status.
“The studio wanted Freddie Prinze, Jr. and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix,” said Aronofsky. “I remember thinking,” Uh-oh, we’re making two different movies here. “It’s a true story. It was another time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a different type of take than what they ended up doing. “
Surprisingly, Aronofsky also encountered some resistance from Miller in the tone of the script. Miller’s Batman the stories have always stood out with their grainy depictions of the criminal underworld of Gotham City. But some of Aronofsky’s narrative choices, which included Batman torturing his opponents, even made Miller blush. Apparently it was intentional. Aronofsky explained that he wanted his film to serve as a palace cleaner for those who couldn’t shake their campy memories of Joel Schumacher Batman movies.
“The Batman who was before me was Batman & Robin, the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, “added Aronofsky. “I was really trying to undermine it and reinvent it. This is where my head went. “
Do you think Joaquin Phoenix would have made a good Batman? Would you have liked to see Aronofsky’s darker interpretation of the character? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended reading: Batman: first year