The year was 2000. After two great Tim Burton films, and two jokey Joel Schumacher films, Warner Bros. was looking to reboot the Batman franchise, with a darker, R-rated edge. They brought on Darren Aronofsky to develop the reboot.
Aronofsky was fresh off his award-winning, visually striking Pi, but this was before his dirty, haunting Requiem for a Dream. He was going to base his Batman movie on Batman: Year One, the legendary comic book by Frank Miller, and even teamed up with him to develop the script.
Sadly, Aronofsky's Batman never went anywhere, but now we know who he saw as his Batman: Joaquin Phoenix.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies to promote his new film, Mother! (which is in theaters today), Aronofsky admitted that Joaquin Phoenix was his choice for Batman. But as we all know, Aronofsky's Batman never happened.
“It’s funny, I think we were just sort of out of time with our idea,” Aronofsky told Yahoo Movies. “I understood that [with] comics, there’s room for all different types of titles, but I think Hollywood at that time was still in the Golden Age of comics, and they were still just doing the classic titles in classic ways. I think audiences now, they’ve seen enough comic films that they’re game for that. So I think we were a little bit out of time for our idea.”
What do you think of Joaquin Phoenix as a Year One Batman? Would he be your choice?