Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#DeletedScenes - That Batman movie we never got...

It is a well known fact that after the abysmal Batman & Robin by Joel Schumacher, the Batman franchise was put in development hell for the next decade.

But originally, plans to redeem the series were launched as soon as the bad reviews started to hit the film. After all, one bad movie or not, Batman is quite a lucrative worldwide popular brand name.

Here's a look at that Batman movie we never got before Nolan's reboot!

The original plans were for a fifth film, titled Batman Triumphant, to be launched right after Batman & Robin.

Warner Bros had Joel Schumacher return for another episode. It was originally going to feature the Scarecrow as main villain, as well as Harley Quinn (plus there was a rumored Joker cameo due to hallucinations from the Scarecrow's fear toxin). George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell and Alicia Silverstone were all set to come back once more.

And thanks to the negative reception Batman 4 received at the time, that film ended up being the last one killing effectively the Bat-franchise for several years.

That is when plans for an adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One were greenlighted for post production in mid-1998.

Schumacher wanted to come back, feeling he owned the audience a real "dark" portrayal of the "Dark Knight".

Several pitches later, the project now titled Batman: DarKnight was about a younger Bruce Wayne just starting out his career as a vigilante. Surprisingly the villain was still Dr. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow), being a professor at Gotham University where a young Dick Grayson (future-Robin) would attend school. It would also have feature Dr. Kirk Langstrom who would go on to become Man-Bat at the end of the film.

Sounds like too much, right? And that is when the project morphed into a straight reboot, back to basics.

The year was now 2000. Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was chosen to write and direct a simpler adaptation of Batman: Year One. He asked Frank Miller himself who has previously worked with him to co-write the scenario. In the end, starting anew and forgetting any prior incarnation of the Dark Knight, Paul Dini was then asked to write the script from scratch. Coincidentally enough, Aronofsky even approached Christian Bale for the role at the time.

Dini completely reimagined Bruce Wayne's origin. The death of his parents would have made the young Bruce ending up living above the nearby car garage owner Big Al, and his son Little Al. After the death of his own father, this little Al would have turned into Bruce's mentor, Alfred (!). They would then turn a Lincoln Continental into the first Bat-mobile.

Bruce would have been a much simpler vigilante, with only a basic mask. Leaving a "TW" engraved on his victims' face, people then would mistake the TW for a bat-symbol... and that is how Bruce would have become The Batman!

Of course, you can see why all this was scrapped. It was fairly original and unique...but also kinda out-of-the-box for such a well established character.

Here's several concept art developed by Warner for the film. It gives a distinct "Year One" while being fairly different. Also, check out this badass Catwoman - compared to what we got at the same time in that "solo movie" we better not think about:

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