Now that Darren Aronofsky's dipping his toe into superhero cinema with The Wolverine, he's also returning to his abandoned idea for a Batman film. It'll be a comic, but Aronofsky hints it could still turn into a movie eventually.
You might think that Aronofsky's take on Batman has already been a comic book — since it was based on Frank Miller's foundational Batman: Year One. But Aronofsky's version takes a lot of liberties with the concept, way beyond what Miller did, and he's planning to turn it into a graphic novel, the same way he did with his original concept for The Fountain. Talking to Clothes On Film, Aronofsky says:
It hasn't really been announced, I don't know if I should give you the scoop! But we're getting there. We're doing a comic book of a script that's really hard to make and we're going to do a comic version first and see what happens… It seems like if you come up with an original script, in Hollywood it's not as effective as a comic book. It doesn't even have to be successful as a comic; I mean how successful were Kick-Ass or Scott Pilgrim? Those were fringe comics, right, and they were basically turned in to big pictures.
So it sounds like Aronofsky's comic book version of his Batman storyline would be a movie pitch in graphic-novel form, aimed at getting him the Bat-gig after Christopher Nolan's third and final movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
So what would Aronofsky's comic and possible movie be about? Not that much is known, but a website called DC on Film did a fairly detailed script review in 2005, which is still available at Archive.org.
Among other things, Bruce flees after his parents are murdered, and goes to live above a car garage with Big Al, and his son Little Al. Big Al eventually dies, and Little Al becomes Bruce's mentor and the "Alfred" figure. Bruce turns a Lincoln Continental into his Batmobile, but he doesn't really set out to be a bat — he disguises himself first with a scar, then with a hockey mask and cape. He is hitting criminals with his father's old signet ring, leaving the initials "TW" on their faces — but everybody thinks this looks like a bat-shape, and they start calling him the Batman. So he finally decides to go with it and dress like a bat. We meet Harvey Dent and Selina Kyle before they become Two-Face and Catwoman, and also glimpse the Joker. Despite these differences, some scenes and strands are lifted directly from Miller's graphic novel.
So it'll be interesting to see if Aronofsky can make this into a graphic novel so compelling, Warner Bros. will be dying to realize it on film. A lot probably depends on how successful The Wolverine is, of course.
[Clothes on Film]