It seems like a Batman movie could have featured Joaquin Phoenix. Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky revealed that Warner Bros. pursued him to helm a Batman movie in the early 2000s. While the project never took off, the director recently made revelations about it.
Speaking to Empire, Darren revealed that he wanted to cast Joaquin Phoenix but Warner Bros. wanted Freddie Prinze Jr. The project eventually fell apart. “I remember thinking, ‘Uh oh, we’re making two different films here.’ That’s a true story. It was a different time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a way different type of take than they ended up making,” Aronofsky said.
He further revealed that the project could have had nods to Death Wish, The French Connection and Taxi Driver. “It was an amazing thing because I was a big fan of his graphic novel work, so just getting to meet him was exciting back then,” the director recalls. “The Batman that was out before me was Batman & Robin, the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, so I was really trying to undermine that, and reinvent it,” he explained. “That’s where my head went.”
Warner Bros. eventually approached ace filmmaker Christopher Nolan to direct the Batman trilogy with Christian Bale cast as the Caped Crusader. Nolan’s The Dark Knight is considered one of the finest superhero flicks of all time.
Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix ended up winning accolades and all major awards for Joker which was helmed by Todd Phillips last year.