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Darren Aronofsky Wanted Joaquin Phoenix to Star in His Batman Movie, Which Was Too Dark to Get Made

He wanted the film to be like "Travis Bickle meets 'The French Connection.'"

“You Were Never Really Here”

With everyone who’s actually seen “mother!” — which, as reflected by its “F” CinemaScore, wasn’t too many people — arguing what Darren Aronofsky’s new movie is actually about, the writer/director himself is reflecting on the film he never got to make. Aronofsky was in talks to direct a new “Batman” movie before the role eventually went to Christopher Nolan, and now he’s revealed who he wanted to play the Caped Crusader: Joaquin Phoenix.

“I always wanted Joaquin Phoenix for Batman,” he said to Yahoo! Movies. “It’s funny, I think we were just sort of out of time with our idea. I understood that [with] comics, that there’s room for all different types of titles, but I think Hollywood at that time was still kind of in the Golden Age of comics, and they were still just doing the classic titles in classic ways.”

Aronofsky conceived of an R-rated take on the superhero that he’s described as “Travis Bickle meets ‘The French Connection,'” which was too dark for Warner Brothers; an executive said he “wanted to do a Batman he could take his kids to,” which ended up being Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Read his full interview here.

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