Apparently, crazy ideas for ‘Batman’ movies are not a new thing. Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against Darren Aronofsky and I have really enjoyed many of his films over the years, but his latest ramblings about how the new ‘Joker’ origin film resembles very closely story ideas he pitched back in 2002 for a ‘Batman: Year One’ film make him sound a little crazy, and a little egotistical.
Basically, Aronofsky is claiming that he saw this “dark and gritty” superhero movie trend coming 15 years ago, but no one would listen to him, so he was forced to let it go and sit back and watch as Christopher Nolan came in instead to usher in the era of the realistic superhero film.
“… I think with Chris [Nolan’s] work, which was great, it was just – he hit it [out of the park]. He was able to get the darkness in, and the psychology of the character, yet he was still able to give the gizmo thing, which I wasn’t ever really interested in.”
According to Aronofsky:
“You know what, I think it’s finally… 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. 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. Yeah, with two bus engines, all duct taped together. It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman.”
When speaking to First Showing on the subject, Aronofsky stated:
“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 but and now they’re finally doing that. They’re doing the spinoffs, which is great. This is an exciting time because they’ll be able to take more risks and we won’t be seeing the same superhero movie over and over again. You’ll get things like Deadpool, which was a relief as compared to seeing the same film over and over again.”
However, Aronofsky did notice that some of his concepts seemed to have made it into ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice:’
“Some of my ideas got out there through other films. 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. 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.”
So, first of all, there’s more to the story, Aronofsky’s outline for ‘Batman: Year One’ basically talks about having Bruce Wayne grow up as a homeless orphan in Gotham, eventually adopted by “Big Al” and then later growing up to fight crime wearing a ski mask, brass knuckles, and a cape, thus giving birth to Batman. And let’s not forget the part about him driving around in a Lincoln Continental. There may have been some other elements besides the dark tone that prevented your movie from being made Mr. Aronofsky, like the fact that you don’t seem to understand the material you are adapting at all, and seem more intent on forcing your own artistic vision down our throats than staying true to any part of the character or the spirit of the comics you are bringing to the big screen.
But hey, maybe I just don’t understand what he was trying to do. Either way, I am perfectly happy that Aronofsky was 15 years too early, though I am still not sure how I feel about making stand-alone DC films that do not fit into the main DCEU continuity, but that is a topic for another day.
What do you think about Aronofsky’s comments? Would you have wanted to see his…odd, version of ‘Batman?’ Share your thoughts in the comments below!