The Caped Crusaders Who Could Have Been: Every Abandoned ‘Batman’ Film

Darren Aronofsky, George Miller, and many more tried and failed to make the bat fly.
By  · Published on June 30th, 2017

Darren Aronofsky, George Miller, and many more tried and failed to make the bat fly.

I don’t know how it started, but I remember when Superman III was slated for release, there was a rumor going around that we might see a Batman cameo in the film. This would have been the first live-action version of the Caped Crusader since the great Adam West’s stint in the 1960s, and furthermore it would have been a solid indication that the Dark Knight was headed to the big screen in his own movie. It’s true that after the success of Richard Donner’s first Superman film that Warner Brothers started drafting a script for Batman, but for some reason or another that particular iteration never made it to screen, instead going through some drastic revisions over the next half-decade until eventually it became the basis for Tim Burton’s 1989 effort.

Then, around the turn of the century right after I had graduated college, we got the news that indy wunderkind Darren Aronofsky was going to save the Bat-franchise – recently ruined by Joel Schumacher – by adapting Frank Miller’s hard-boiled Batman: Year One graphic novel. This too amounted to nothing, giving way in time to Christopher Nolan’s vision. And who can forget just a few years ago when Armie Hammer (The Social Network) was actually cast as Batman in George Miller’s abandoned Justice League movie?

The point is, it feels like for every Batman movie that’s out there, there’s another one that was planned but never made. I’ve listed three above, but believe it or not, there are even more. Thankfully, the following, super-rad video from Looper had collected all stories of these “lost” Bat-flicks and compiled them into a “what could have been” survey. This is hands-down my favorite video of the week, and not just because I’m a huge Bat-freak. Looper’s done a great job separating the facts from the rumors and the result is an insightful investigation into not just the history of Batman on film, but the development process and the many snags that can derail it. Highest recommendation.

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