After the Batman film franchise fizzled out with “Batman and Robin” in 1997, Warner Bros. Pictures tried to revive the property with several different attempts, each of which would’ve taken the Caped Crusader back in a darker direction.
One was Joel Schumacher’s “Batman Triumphant” which was reported about extensively on this site back in its earliest days. Another was Darren Aronofsky’s “Batman: Year One” project, and a third was a live action take on the animated series “Batman Beyond” which “Remember The Titans” helmer Boaz Yakin was attached to.
The one least talked about was the latter as the project didn’t move very far along. In a new interview with IGN, Yakin has briefly spoken about his early ambitions for it and how he ultimately opted out of the project:
“I had just made Remember the Titans and my inclination is to always go off a trend: make an independent film after I make a studio film. I spoke to my agent, and he said, ‘I think you need to do another studio movie before you do that.’ I was just basically like, ‘Well, if I’m going to do a studio movie, like, I want it to be Batman’ — which at the time I just meant, if I’m going to do a studio movie, I want it to be a big ol’ thing.
He came back to me and said, ‘I have a meeting set up for you at Warner Bros. about Batman.’ I was like, ‘What!? [Laughs] Okay.’ I guess at the time I think Darren Aronofsky was developing a Batman: Year One type of thing. So I said, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do,’ and I came up with this pitch on Batman Beyond.
It was almost like Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ but a little bit darker – a teenage, kind of futuristic, cyberpunk Batman thing. [I] very quickly got the feeling that I would be in the zone, the madness, and I didn’t really have the heart for it at the time, and I basically bailed after one draft. I just went, ‘I can’t do this’.
It might have really hurt my career. I went off and wrote the best script I ever wrote that never got made. But it was just one of those moments in time where you think you want to do something, and then you realize you don’t really want to do it, and for some reason it’s on your IMDb page for the rest of your life. [Laughs].
Batman seems to be popular in any iteration. I think [Batman Beyond] is apart enough from the regular Batman that people are allowed to play in that playground, without sort of f—ing with continuity and all this stuff that people are so concerned with. It’s a different look at the character.”
Of course the franchise ended up righting itself several years later with Chris Nolan’s “Batman Begins” in 2005 and the rest is history.