No, the Colin Farrell Batman movie in the title isn’t in reference to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, where the Irish actor portrays Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, and stars alongside Robert Pattinson who plays the Dark Knight. Make no mistake about it, though, Farrell steals the show as he is almost unrecognisable as the wannabe crime kingpin of Gotham City. Before Battinson, before Batfleck, and even before Baleman, Farrell almost donned the cape and cowl for his own Batman movie.
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Now, in Hollywood, rumours circle every week about an actor or another being in the running for a coveted role – and nine times out of ten, it’s totally bogus and wishful thinking. However, this time around, the screenwriter for the film confirmed that Farrell was indeed locked and loaded for the part. And here’s the clincher: This Batman movie sounded far darker than anything to come out of the DC Extended Universe.
What was the Colin Farrell Batman movie called?
DC fans will be familiar with the name Akiva Goldsman. The filmmaker has a special history with the brand, having had a hand in the scripts for 1995’s Batman Forever and 1997’s Batman & Robin and serving as a co-creator of the Titans series. Much like anyone else in showbiz, Goldsman has a pile of what-if projects lying around. One of them is Batman vs. Superman – no, not the one that Zack Snyder did in 2016, but an earlier version of the film.
Before Christopher Nolan took the reins of the Batman franchise, Warner Bros. tossed around ideas for a reboot. Seven‘s screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker wrote the first draft for a Batman vs. Superman movie before Goldsman took over for the next reiteration. The planned director for the film? Wolfgang Petersen of The NeverEnding Story and Air Force One fame.
Speaking to Collider, Goldsman said, “I wrote on […] this version of Batman vs Superman [around 2001 or 2002] – when Colin Farrell was cast as Batman and Jude Law was cast as Superman and Wolfgang Petersen was directing – we were in prep and it was the darkest thing you’ve ever seen.”
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What was the movie about?
Akiva Goldsman believed the script to be something special, likening it to The World’s Finest run that would see Batman and Superman become super friends – albeit taking a darker trajectory along the way. The filmmaker opened up about the story, revealing some shocking twists and turns that would have inevitably upset the fans.
“It started with Alfred’s funeral and Bruce has fallen in love and renounced being Batman, the Joker kills his wife, and then you discover it was all a lie,” Goldsman said. “Just that the love itself was constructed by the Joker to break [Bruce].”
Goldsman’s script also reveals that Clark Kent and Lois Lane are divorced, while the Man of Steel serves as the best man at Bruce’s wedding. After Bruce becomes obsessed with revenge, Clark tries to stop him and that’s what causes the conflict between them. In the end, it’s revealed that Lex Luthor is the mastermind behind this as he attempts to destroy both Batman and Superman.
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No second chances – except for one
While Colin Farrell never got a chance at playing Batman in a movie again, his intended co-star Jude Law had another opportunity to play Superman in Bryan Singer’s 2006 movie Superman Returns. However, he turned down the role.
Speaking to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Law revealed his reason. “It didn’t float my boat, you know, like I just really didn’t want to go there,” he said. “First of all, I’m an Englishman and I felt like, I don’t know, it just didn’t seem to fit, and I was always worried about the outfit, and I just didn’t fancy it.”
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Tell us, would you have liked to see the Colin Farrell Batman movie made? Let us know!