Frank Miller Talks About Darren Aronofsky's Unmade Batman Movie

Frank Miller has been one of the most fascinating people in the comic industry for over thirty years now, writing and drawing stories that have left a profound impact on how we view the medium. He's also created his fair share of controversial material, work that forces you to confront his earlier comics in a new light. He's not the kind of artist who you simply embrace. To appreciate Frank Miller is to struggle with Frank Miller and the giant thumbprint he's left on superhero comics.

And he's impacted few characters quite like how he's impacted Batman. In fascinating new interview, Miller speaks about his work, his politics, whether or not he watches movies influences by his work, and, most fascinatingly, the work he did with director Darren Aronofsky on an unmade Batman film.

You can find the full interview over at The Hollywood Reporter (and it is very worthy your time), but here are some of the highlights.

It's no secret that Darren Aronofsky, the director of Requiem For a Dream, The Wrestler, and Noah, almost made a Batman movie in the early '00s, before Christopher Nolan came along and redefined the character's cinematic legacy with Batman Begins. After the debacle of Batman and Robin, Warner Bros. seemed willing to take a chance on anything, even an ultra-violent, R-rated take on the character that was loosely based on Miller's iconic Batman: Year One. Miller worked on the screenplay with Aronofsky and says that the director had a even darker vision than he did:

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. We would argue about it, and I'd say, "Batman wouldn't do that, he wouldn't torture anybody," and so on. 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." The executive wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to. And this wasn't that. It didn't have the toys in it. 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.

And that's only the tip of iceberg – the full story of what this movie would have been is completely wild.

The interview also touched on upcoming films and shows that draw obvious inspiration from Miller's work. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice borrows quite a bit from The Dark Knight Returns, which concludes with an aging Batman taking on Superman in one final brawl. Netflix's Daredevil already imitated Miller's tone with the title character, but the second season will introduce Elektra, an antiheroine of his own creation. But Miller refuses to watch either:

No. I didn't make up Batman, I didn't make up Daredevil, I have no right to be possessive, but once I've worked on a character, it's hard to see any other way than my way. By and large, most of what they do, I'll just get grouchy if I see it. So I tend not to look at it, except for few exceptions.

For more, including whether or not Miller thinks Batman is a Fascist, hit the link above. In the meantime, Batman v Superman opens on March 25, 2016 and Daredevil season 2 premieres on March 18, 2016.