Later this month, we'll see Batman v. Superman, loosely based on Frank Miller's Batman comics. But we almost got a Batman film from Miller and Darren Aronofsky, based on Batman: Year One. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Miller explained what that looked like, and it was very, very strange.
Top image: DC Comics
Miller says that his Batman project with Darren Aronofsky was troubled, since Miller's Batman was "too nice" for Aronofsky. That boggles the fucking mind. Miller apparently had to say to him, "Batman wouldn't do that, he wouldn't torture anybody." Which means that Aronofsky's Batman and Zack Snyder's Superman would probably actually get along.
Once the two creators did get on the same page, their Batman script had an interesting twist:
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.
Raise your hand if you're sad we never got to see homeless Bruce Wayne building a Batcave with his own two hands.
Miller also explains that he got really into Batman after he was mugged at gunpoint. He says there's something humiliating about being at someone else's mercy like that, and it was how he realised "that Batman was the most potent symbol DC had in its hands" because "Batman turns me back into that guy who is scared, and at the same time the guy who can come and save him. It's a perfect myth."
And then. Well, this happens:
Some have said you turned Batman into a fascist. Agree?
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.
Batman's a libertarian! Of course, it all makes sense now. He's well known for his hatred of the national debt and love of pot. Get the government out of people's lives, says Bruce Wayne. As he attacks criminals, dressed as a giant bat.
I'm going to have to quibble too with the idea that Batman "just tells criminals to stop." Again, he dresses as a giant bat and hunts them down. He doesn't just tell them to stop and, if they don't, just shrug and walk away. Also, not to say anything positive about fascists — but they are also largely against crime. They just have much more expansive definitions of "criminal," and "telling them to stop."
Miller is also brutally honest about his attempts at movie making, especially the RoboCop sequels he wrote — which he says deserved to fail because they were bad. But also The Spirit, which he wrote and directed. He wishes he'd done better, which is nice.
You can read the whole interview — and you should, we're just scratching the surface here — at the Hollywood Reporter.