Before Christopher Nolan, Matt Reeves and Zack Snyder tackled Batman; Darren Aronofsky was in line to take on the caped crusader. Aronofsky is known for films such as Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler. Darren never got a chance to see his vision come to light but he has shared some new details about the film with Empire. Joaquin Phoenix just won the Oscar for Best Actor in Joker but if Darren had his way, Joaquin would have played Bruce Wayne/Batman in his film. That is right! Darren wanted Oscar winning actor Joaquin Phoenix for Batman. While I feel Joaquin was perfect for Joker, I am not sure how he would have fared as Batman.
Darren says WB had another actor in mind for the role, Freddie Prinze Jr. Yep, the guy from I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scooby-Doo. I love some Freddie Prinze Jr. but WTF was WB thinking with that casting choice?
“The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix, I remember thinking, ‘Uh oh, we’re making two different films here.’ That’s a true story. It was a different time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a way different type of take than they ended up making.”
Darren also said his film would have been inspired by films such as Taxi Driver, The French Connection and Death Wish. Was Batman about to be killing people on screen again? Darren says he wanted to undermine Batman & Robin and reinvent the character after that movie. I cannot say I blame him because Batman & Robin was a total garbage fest.
Darren also says Frank Miller was writing the script for his film and was shocked that Aronofsky was taking Batman into “Torture” territory.
“It was an amazing thing because I was a big fan of his graphic novel work, so just getting to meet him was exciting back then,”
WB moved on from Darren and the rest is history. Chris Nolan took over and Christian Bale became Batman.
Would you have wanted to see Joaquin as Batman? Does Darren’s vision of Batman make you glad it never happened or would you have loved to seen it?
DC Fanboy! Superman is the greatest comic book character of all time. Favorite movies are Man of Steel, Goonies, Back To the Future