Darren Aronofsky has claimed his 2000s-era Batman movie was scrapped because he wanted Joaquin Phoenix to play the iconic superhero.
In an interview with Empire, the director opened up about his plans to reinvent the Caped Crusader almost 20 years ago, but also recalled how bosses at Warner Bros. weren’t enthusiastic about his choice of leading man.
“The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr. and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix,” he stated. “I remember thinking, ‘Uh oh, we’re making two different films here.’ That’s a true story. It was a different time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a way different type of take than they ended up making.”
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker went on to share that he was keen to overhaul the DC Comics superhero after George Clooney’s turn as the famed character in 1997’s Batman & Robin and noted that he was looking to adapt Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One comic.
“The Batman that was out before me was Batman & Robin, the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, so I was really trying to undermine that, and reinvent it. That’s where my head went,” Aronofsky added.
The project never made it into production and the role of Batman has since been played by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Ben Affleck.
Robert Pattinson will be taking on the part for Matt Reeves’s upcoming film, The Batman.
And while Phoenix missed out on playing Batman, he did end up portraying the Joker in Todd Phillips’ bleak 2019 drama, for which he nabbed the prize for Best Actor at the Academy Awards in February.
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