Frank Miller is a man whose creative legacy looms large over Batman. Though he still revisits the character from time to time (most recently with ‘Dark Knight III: The Master Race’), much of that clout is owed to his seminal works ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ and ‘Batman: Year One’ in the mid-80s. In a recent conversation with Variety, Miller described the form his ideal Batman movie might take, providing what some might consider a welcome contrast to the often bombastic superhero movies audiences have become accustomed to:
“My dream would be to make it much smaller. To lose the toys and to focus more on the mission, and to use the city a great deal more. Because he’s got a loving relationship with the city he’s protecting. And unlike Superman, his connection to crime is intimate; it has been ever since his parents were murdered. And he defeats criminals with his hands. So it would be a different take. But it will never be in my hands, because it would not be a good place to make toys from. There wouldn’t be a line of toys.”
Miller was, however, involved with at least one Batman project, though the film was never produced. In the wake of the legendary failure of ‘Batman & Robin’, Warner Bros was exploring several possibilities for the future of the franchise, including an adaptation of Miller’s ‘Batman: Year One’ that was to have been directed by Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky and Miller were set to co-write the screenplay before the project was shelved in favor of a path that would ultimately lead to ‘Batman Begins’. Of that project, Miller offered the following:
“That screenplay was based on my book ‘Batman: Year One’, and yeah it was much more down to earth. In it a fair amount of time is spent before he became Batman, and when he went out and fought crime he really screwed it up a bunch of times before he got it right. So it was a 90-minute origin story.”
Though the broad arc that Miller describes does have some similarities to ‘Batman Begins’, the finished film would undoubtedly have been a wildly different affair. What do you think of Miller’s conception of the Dark Knight on film? Is it a direction you’d like to see Warner take? Let us know in the comments!