Joaquin Phoenix recently created waves with his Academy Award winning performance in Todd Phillips’ comic-book movie Joker. But he almost played Batman in a Darren Aronofsky directorial that was scrapped because Warner Bros wanted Freddie Prinze Jr in the role.
Aronofsky, known for off kilter movies like Mother, Black Swan, among others, told Empire magazine, “The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix. 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.”
This was after Aronofsky’s 2000 movie Requiem for a Dream so he would have been following in the steps of Joel Schumacher’s much reviled Batman & Robin starring George Clooney. So if Aronofsky had gotten his Batman movie, there would be no Batman trilogy from Christopher Nolan and no Christian Bale’s Dark Knight.
Also, likely no Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.
Talking about how his take on the superhero would have looked like, Aronofsky added, “It was an amazing thing because I was a big fan of (Miller’s) graphic novel work, so just getting to meet him was exciting back then. 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. That’s where my head went.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines