In all likelihood, this was a direct response to the success of the film X-Men, which similarly ended discussion of the Bruce Wayne TV series. The vision that ultimately emerged seems to have been closer to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver than to previous versions of Batman. Aronofsky also told Cinefantastique magazine that the film was to be a period piece set in the s and that he aspired to capture a cinematic feel similar to The French Connection. In fact, Catwoman gets the last shot of the film — as she finishes a cat burglary.
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In all likelihood, this was a direct response to the success of the film X-Men, which similarly ended discussion of the Bruce Wayne TV series. The vision that ultimately emerged seems to have been closer to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver than to previous versions of Batman. Aronofsky also told Cinefantastique magazine that the film was to be a period piece set in the s and that he aspired to capture a cinematic feel similar to The French Connection.
In fact, Catwoman gets the last shot of the film — as she finishes a cat burglary. As in the comic-book version, Gordon is a more important character than in Batman Begins. A subsequent scene between Gordon and his wife suggests some debate over raising children in Gotham, echoing a plot thread in the David Fincher film Se7en.
In the script, however, this scene inspires Bruce Wayne watching the scene on TV to become a vigilante. While having a tougher Gordon inspire Wayne makes sense, using screen time economically and rooting their later relationship, no such early connection between the two men has been seen elsewhere.
Later in the script, Gordon takes his wife out to a nice dinner and sees Loeb openly talking with a criminal.
After his office and apartment are ransacked and his Corruption Log is stolen, Gordon is placed under more pressure by Loeb to catch Batman. Much as he does in the comic-book version of Year One, Gordon stages muggings in an attempt to entrap Batman. Batman is later forced into a supposedly abandoned building as the police arrive.
Just as in a scene in the comic-book version, the police drop a bomb on the building. This evidence leads Dent to make his first corruption arrest.
Gordon shoots most of the cops but suffers a shot to the stomach in the process. He then confronts Loeb alongside Batman, whose mask has been torn off. But while the script is in some ways closer to the comic-book version of Year One than is Batman Begins, the script departs from Year One — and even the Batman mythos — in certain surprising ways. Little Al, we soon discover, promised his father Big Al , who apparently found and informally adopted Bruce as a boy, that he would raise Bruce as a son.
Later in the screenplay, Little Al hints that he served in Vietnam as a combat medic, giving him the needed skills to heal Batman when he returns home wounded.
Throughout the film, Bruce writes letters and speaks to his dead father about his growing rage and need for a sign to suggest his direction. Early in the film, Bruce even seems to be hallucinating. At times, his dead parents are drawn into the scene itself. He seems less insane by the end of the script, after Batman has given Bruce a way to vent his rage. When he steps in to save Selina Kyle, who will later become Catwoman, from assault by a corrupt policeman, Bruce is knocked unconscious by Selina.
She leaves him to awaken beside the corpse of her slain assailant, forced to flee the arriving police much like Marv in Sin City while believing himself the possible murderer. Bruce starts his war by hunting down Selena but quickly gets sidetracked beating up muggers, skinheads, and drug dealers. After a close bar fight, Bruce reads books and buys supplies. When he next attacks criminals, he wears hockey equipment. His workshop becomes his Batcave, where he stores his Batmobile — a souped-up Lincoln Continental.
During his ensuing bloody war on crime, Batman encounters Catwoman and attempts to turn her in to the police for murdering the corrupt policeman. Catwoman explains that, after Bruce was unconscious, her pimp arrived and killed the man. She recognizes him by his eyes and knows his identity. When Batman approaches Gordon with the Corruption Log, wishing to help, Gordon springs a trap and chases Batman into a supposedly abandoned building, which as previously noted the police bomb from a helicopter.
A recovering Bruce and Little Al who clearly has come to understand that Bruce is Batman see a TV report on the missing Bruce Wayne, but Bruce refuses to claim his inheritance, calling his war on crime his true heritage. We briefly see Little Al visiting the estate, enjoying the posh surroundings.
The screenplay also features Arkham Asylum, absent from the comics version of Year One. But while the comic-book version of Year One ends with a scene in which Gordon refers to the Joker at large, as does Batman Begins, the screenplay has no such scene. More subtly, the film script borrows from The Dark Knight Returns, including the interspersing of TV news programs that ironically juxtapose important commentary on the narrative with sports coverage and the like. Later, as Batman kicks a criminal in the crotch, he expresses joy at a criminal resisting because it gives him the chance to use violence.
While Batman spies on the mayor and the police commissioner in a corrupt meeting, he prepares to toss a hand grenade into the room. Bruce is so hardcore that he stitches his own wounds.
This violence extends to Catwoman as well: we see her cut razor blades into claws that she glues to her fingernails. Batman Begins pales by comparison.
For example, a man named Sanchez seems to traffic in imported women from all over the world — who he keeps malnourished and crawling on his floor, presumably used for sexual purposes. He tosses them potato chips. When the police bomb the supposedly abandoned building in which Batman hides, we see burning homeless people inside the building as Batman flees, battered and unable to help them.
Indeed, the script arguably demonstrates the power of the super-hero who lacks super-powers but still strikes out against crime better than more traditional versions.
Miller largely dodges the hard work of dramatizing this, of making it believable. It almost seems to beg viewers to take to the streets themselves, providing a road map for how to do so. Batman may be seen as the quintessential super-hero without super-powers, but such a departure from his traditional background seems an injustice to the character.
Batman fans would certainly not have tolerated such a high-profile project making such fundamental changes to the character — nor its reinvention of Alfred as Little Al. The collapse of this film has been the subject of some gossip and was included in the book Tales from Development Hell by David Hughes.
Reportedly, the film got as far as storyboards, completed in Most speculate that Warner Bros. The preceding is included in its final and revised form in Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen.
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Darren Aronofsky Reveals Studio Killed His Batman Movie Over Joaquin Phoenix Casting
The film itself was nominated for a special Jury Award. Bale later would be cast in the role for Batman Begins. Production was ultimately set for late October in Queensland and Sydney. Aronofsky said that Cage pulled out of the movie because Aronofsky wanted Rourke to star; Aronofsky said, stating that Cage was "a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but, you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race. She introduced Aronofsky to Mila Kunis , who joined the cast in It received a standing ovation whose length Variety said made it "one of the strongest Venice openers in recent memory".
Released back in , it helped usher in a new era for caped crusaders like the Dark Knight, where realism was king and everything was dark. Really dark. What we do know is that Aronofsky was working on a very different version of the Caped Crusader alongside renowned Batman writer and comic book visionary Frank Miller. And, if the stories are true, it would have been unlike any superhero movie fans have seen before or since. At this point, Warner Bros. But those plans went out the window when the studio got wind that 20th Century Fox was moving forward with plans for a movie based on the exploits of the Marvel superhero collective the X-Men, and that Bryan Singer, best known for The Usual Suspects, was on board. Eager to seek out a visionary filmmaker in the mold of Singer, they looked to Darren Aronofsky, who had just made a name for himself with Pi.