‘Batman’ director Joel Schumacher: ‘I wanted to make ‘The Dark Knight”

Director reveals he wanted Nicolas Cage to play Scarecrow

Despite sending the Batman franchise into retirement, Joel Schumacher has revealed he wanted to make a fifth film similar to The Dark Knight.

The director, who helmed Batman Forever and the widely rubbished Batman & Robin, had been lined up for a third film, Batman Triumphant.

Schumacher wanted to base the film on Frank Miller‘s The Dark Knight Returns series of graphic novels and says he even had an actor in mind to play the villain.

He told The Playlist: “I was talking to Nic Cage about playing the Scarecrow.

I had begged the studio for (Miller’s novel) The Dark Knight Returns, but they wanted a family friendly, toyetic thing.

The franchise was put on hold after the George Clooney-starring Batman & Robin tanked at the box office and received a string of scathing reviews.

Batman Triumphant was planned to showcase Gotham’s finest battling the Scarecrow, later played by Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, with the villain’s ‘fear toxins’ forcing Batman to see his former enemies, including The Joker.

Jack Nicholson, still-under-contract at the time, would have made a reappearance.

It was announced last week Cillian Murphy will reprise his role in Nolan’s third Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, due for release in July 2012.