I didn't read all the posts here so if this was previously mentioned, forgive me. But I recall reading that when Smallville was in development there was also a Batman story also in development under the working title "Bruce Wayne." It was supposed to be narrated via Alfred who would recall an episode of Wayne's life. But it was in the same vein as Smallville, Wayne isn't Batman yet but on the path to becoming Batman. I believe casting was also in progress with Michael Rosenbaum set to play friend Harvey Dent. Once the Smallville approach was chosen instead of the Bruce Wayne series, he was cast as Lex Luthor.
I can't seem to find the source I read but here's more info on this proposed project:
""The script was pure beauty," we were told. "The characters were all dead-on, but better. More fully realized and modernized than they had ever been before. The opening tease... an unidentified young man kicking the ***** out of a jail cell full of street thugs, only to reveal Alfred at the end of it....could it possibly get better than that?"
The project didn't get far enough to go for serious casting, but an actor named Trevor Fehrman (Now You Know, Clerks 2) was considered for the role of Bruce, as was Shawn Ashmore (Bobby Drake/Iceman from the X-Men films). Michael Rosenbaum, later to be the iconic Lex Luthor, was once tossed around for the role of Harvey Dent. David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) was considered as a possible contender to play Jim Gordon."