Darren Aronofsky says his ‘Batman’ film got scrapped because he wanted to cast Joaquin Phoenix

The studio wanted someone very different to take on the superhero's role

Darren Aronofksy has shared what got his Batman movie scrapped – his desire to cast Joaquin Phoenix as the Caped Crusader.

The director was in the running to helm a film in the DC Comics universe in the early ‘00s, but the project didn’t end up going ahead.

Speaking to Empire, Aronofsky explained he had a difference of opinion to Warner Bros when it came to casting decisions. “The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix,” he said. “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.”


Freddie Prinze Jr
Freddie Prinze Jr CREDIT: Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

Christopher Nolan ended up being brought on board to direct the studio’s next iteration of Batman, while Phoenix would later enter the DC Extended Universe in 2019, playing The Joker.

Meanwhile, a new Batman movie, The Batman, is currently in the works, with Robert Pattinson playing the titular superhero. The upcoming movie will be directed by Matt Reeves and is scheduled for release on June 25, 2021. However, the current coronavirus pandemic has forced production to come to a halt and it is as yet unclear if that will have an impact on the film’s release.

After Pattinson’s casting was announced last year, the actor was on the receiving end of a backlash from fans. Producer Michael E. Uslan responded by telling the public to “trust the filmmaker and give the filmmaker, and the filmmaker’s vision, the benefit of the doubt”.

“I couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be more enthused, as a Batman fan, that Matt Reeves is the filmmaker in charge and has selected Robert Pattinson to be his next Batman,” he added.

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