Published Mar 03, 2016Graphic novel legend Frank Miller is responsible for some of the big-screen's most exciting adaptations, from Sin City and 300 to this springs Batman v. Superman (which drew heavily on his book The Dark Knight Rises). That wasn't the only Batman movie with Miller's involvement, however.
In the early 2000s, Miller teamed up with Darren Aronofsky (The Black Swan, The Wrestler, Pi) to adapt his Batman: Year One book into a film. The project was ultimately scrapped, but Miller has opened up about it in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"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," Miller recalled, explaining that it was hard to come to a consensus with Aronofsky. "We would argue about it, and I'd say, 'Batman wouldn't do that, he wouldn't torture anybody,' and so on."
Once they finally did finish everything, the studio ultimately passed on their vision. "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,'" Miller recalls. "The executive wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to. And this wasn't that."
Miller added that their version of Batman was much more down-to-earth. "It didn't have the toys in it," he said. "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."
Of course, Miller has still been an integral part of shaping Batman's story, and some have complained that he made the caped vigilante a little too ruthless. Miller also responded to those claims.
"Anybody who thinks Batman was fascist should study their politics," he said. "The Dark Knight, if anything, would be a libertarian. The fascists tell people how to live. Batman just tells criminals to stop."