Why Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” was Rejected by Warner Bros.

Batman: Year One was rejected!

Before Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy – starring Christian Bale as the titular, traumatized Dark Knight – Warner Bros. had a very different idea for Batman’s return to cinematic prominence. According to our friends at The Hollywood Reporter, the plan was to create a Batman: Year One film written by Frank Miller – who actually wrote the Year One comic, and the paradigm-shifting series, The Dark Knight Returnsand directed by avant-garde filmmaker, Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, Black Swan). Unfortunately, the collaborative output was shelved, and Batman: Year One was rejected by Warner Bros. Why? Let’s allow Frank Miller to answer that very question in the following, excerpted interview.

Miller commented on his working relationship with Aronofsky and their conflicting takes on the Dark Knight.

“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.”

Miller and Aronofsky managed to put the draft together and hand it off to Warner Bros.

“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.”

Hmmm. This could have been very, very interesting, but it was almost too “real” for a “realistic” film based on Batman’s beginnings. And with Aronofsky on board, Batman might have ended up a heroine junkie, selling his body to a menacing Keith David in order to maintain his addiction. Ugh.

Would you be interested in seeing a homeless Batman beat the sh*t out of the local criminal element? Well, I sure as hell would. Express your love of homeless Batman, or shower us with your contrarian poop-talk in the comments section below!