Aronofsky’s “Batman” Was Too Dark For Miller

Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Batman: Year One” comics are always cited as amongst the most seminal works of Batman, the works that reinvented the franchise in a dark, gritty and adult way – a formula that became emulated not just by other comics but in other forms of media as well.

At one time several years ago, there was talk that Miller and Darren Aronofsky were teaming for an adaptation loosely based on Miller’s Batman comics – a version that ultimately didn’t get off the ground. Speaking with Heat Vision this week, Miller revealed that the project had a troubled start because the filmmaker thought Miller’s take on Batman was “too nice”:

“It was the first time I worked on a Batman project with somebody whose vision of Batman was darker than mine. My Batman was too nice for him. We would argue about it, and I’d say, “Batman wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t torture anybody,” and so on.

We hashed out a screenplay, and we were wonderfully compensated, but then Warner Bros. read it and said, “We don’t want to make this movie.” The executive wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to. And this wasn’t that. It didn’t have the toys in it.

The Batmobile was just a tricked-out car. And Batman turned his back on his fortune to live a street life so he could know what people were going through. He built his own Batcave in an abandoned part of the subway. And he created Batman out of whole cloth to fight crime and a corrupt police force.”

Miller of course is also known for his politics, an unabashed believer in right-wing politics. Because of that, claims have been lobbied against him for turning Batman in a fascist. He responded: “Anybody who thinks Batman was fascist should study their politics. The Dark Knight, if anything, would be a libertarian. The fascists tell people how to live. Batman just tells criminals to stop.”