Darren Aronofsky says Joker origin flick has elements of his pitch for never-made Batman movie

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Sep 14, 2017

You might say Darren Aronofsky's getting the last laugh.

While making the press rounds to promote his latest movie, Mother!, the filmmaker was asked about his big-screen Batman pitch with Frank Miller, which Warner Bros. ultimately passed over in favor of Christopher Nolan's take on the Dark Knight.

And Aronofsky couldn't resist pointing out that shades of his gritty take on the Bat, better known as Batman: Year One, appear to have popped up in the Joker stand-alone movie the studio is now plotting.

"I think we were basically — whatever it is — 15 years too early. Because I hear the way they’re talking about the Joker movie and that's exactly — that was my pitch," the director shared with First Showing. "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 in it."

For the never-produced Batman: Year One, Aronofsky and Miller famously reimagined the Caped Crusader's beginning. Not only does Bruce Wayne loses his parents in a shooting, but he also loses his fortune, becomes homeless and runs an auto-repair shop where he fights crime with the aid of brass knuckles instead of a utility belt.

"It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman," added the auteur. "And some of my ideas got out there through other films."

One of those flicks was apparently Zack Snyder's Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice.

"Like the ring with 'BW,' Bruce Wayne's ring making the scar was our idea and I think that was in Zack's or something," noted Aronofsky. "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.' "

According to the Black Swan helmer, there's no ill will whatsoever.

"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, and now they're finally doing that. They're doing the spin-offs, which is great."