Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (mother!, Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) recently revealed that he thinks the Warner Bros’ Joker origin film sounds really similar to his Batman pitch from 15 years ago.
Before Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Aronofsky pitched Warner a “down to earth” Batman origin film. With a script co-written by Frank Miller and based on Batman: Year One, that film completely reimagined parts of Batman’s origins. For one, in this version, Bruce Wayne was homeless after his parents died and was raised by an African-American mechanic named Little Al (short for Alfred). It also saw an alternate version of the Batmobile, which basically was a souped-up Lincoln Convertible.
When Aronofsky was recently asked by First Showing if his Caped Crusader pitch was rejected all those years ago for being too dark, he answered:
“You know what, I think it’s finally… I think we were basically, whatever it is, fifteen 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… With two bus engines, all duct taped together. It was the duct tape MacGyver Batman.”
“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 [Snyder’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.’”
It is interesting to wonder what Darren Aronofsky’s Batman would have been like. There’s no doubt that it would have caused a stir with fans. Whether or not the idea is similar to Martin Scorsese’s Joker origin film remains to be seen.