There's always something interesting in the path not taken.
Way back in the early parts of 2000, Warner Bros. approached Darren Aronofsky, coming off the back of Requiem For A Dream, to take on Batman and bring it in a much more darker, realistic tone. Up until this point, Aronofsky's work was particularly gritty and almost nihilistic, something that Warner Bros. felt meshed with the much more adult iterations of Batman being seen in comics.
In fact, Frank Miller's Batman: Year One was to serve as the basis for the screenplay. Sure enough, Aronofsky approached Miller to help out with the screenplay. Miller had some experience working with screenplays, having written the sequel to Robocop, as well as writing and creating Sin City, Elektra and working on dozens of well-known comics.
In a recent and quite rare interview, Miller briefly discussed his work on Batman: Year One with Aronofsky, describing just how messed up the director's take was. For one thing, Batman was an out-and-out torturer. "The Batmobile was just a tricked-out car. And Batman turned his back on his fortune to live a street life so he could know what people were going through. He built his own Batcave in an abandoned part of the subway. And he created Batman out of whole cloth to fight crime and a corrupt police force," explained Miller in a recent interview.
There's much more than just that. A leaked script that surfaced online a while ago suggest that Aronofsky's version of the whole Batman mythos would have been much, much different. For one thing, Alfred would have been an African-American mechanic, Commissioner Gordon would have been a suicidal cop trying to leave Gotham for the sake of his pregnant wife and the Batmobile would have been an old Lincoln Continental.
Yeah. Keep in mind, however, that the previous version of Batman was Joel Schumacher's take, who'd brought it right back to '60s Adam West campiness. Naturally, the suits at Warner Bros. rejected Aronofsky and Miller's version because, well, it was WAY too dark.
Of course, there were some hold-overs from Aronofsky's time with Batman. For one, he was the one to originally consider Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman. Not only that, the realism and grittiness was there with Christopher Nolan's version - albeit much more toned than what Aronofsky and Miller had in mind.
It'll be interesting to see where Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck take the character, especially considering the home release of Batman V Superman will be rated R in the US.