While we wait eagerly to find out what the Hughes Brothers (Albert and Allen) are each going to do next (whether individually, or together)…
Did you know that, before Chris Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise, the brothers were offered the opportunity to adapt Frank Miller’s comic-noir classic "The Dark Knight Returns"?
The kicker? They wanted Clint Eastwood to play Bruce Wayne! Imagine that – Dirty Harry in a Batman suit.
No surprise that studio executives didn’t immediately take to the idea, and the project was eventually shelved!
I think I actually would’ve liked to see what they had in mind, because, quite frankly, it couldn’t have been any worse than the piece of sh*t that was Joel Schumacher’s "Batman And Robin" in 1997, which starred George Clooney as the caped crusader.
The age thing comes into question, when one considers Eastwood in the role. "The Dark Knight Returns," which I haven’t read, is said to tell the story of Bruce Wayne, who at 55 years old, returns from retirement to fight crime and faces opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government. Eastwood still would have been a little old for the role. He’s 84 years old this year; though I’m not sure when the above idea was being kicked around. Obviously it was before Nolan’s first crack at the franchise, which happened in 2005. So this would’ve all taken place probably some time between their most recent film at the time, "From Hell" (released in 2001) and 2005, making Clint about 70 years old then! A 70-year-old Battie, played by the squinty-eyed Eastwood, a grumpy old curmudgeon like the character he played in "Gran Torino"?
Sure, why not? I would’ve entertained that idea. I can imagine an aging, tough, devil-may-care Batman, reluctantly coming out of retirement to clean up the streets of Gotham. Clint certainly has shown that he has the temperament; he certainly has the height, and the build, somewhat. Plus, the scowl… and more; directed by the Hughes Brothers, who would’ve brought their indie-minded gritty style to the project.
I’d have been curious to see that.
Over at the Complex magazine website, you’ll find a list of 7 movies the Hughes Brothers almost made before "Book of Eli," including the above project, as well as "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," "Lone Ranger" and more. See the full list here.