Joaquin Phoenix's performance as 'Joker' was enough to win him an Oscar, but how would have he fared as the Caped Crusader?
While the actor was previously associated with 'Doctor Strange' in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was once touted for Batman by director Darren Aronofsky. In a lengthy interview with Empire, the director of 'Reqiuem For A Dream' and 'mother!' opened up about the Batman that never was.
"The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix," Aronofsky explained. "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."
Of course, 'Batman Begins' was a huge success and catapulted Christopher Nolan to stardom in the aftermath. For Aronofsky, though, his take on Batman was closer to 'Death Wish', 'The French Connection' and - wait for it - 'Taxi Driver'.
"The Batman that was out before me was 'Batman & Robin', the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, so I was really trying to undermine that, and reinvent it," Aronofsky explained.
Not only that, the director met with Frank Miller, who wrote 'Batman: Year One', the comic series on which Aronofsky's take was based upon. While 'Batman Begins' did have some similarity and inspiration taken from it, Aronofsky's was a strict adaptation.
"It was an amazing thing because I was a big fan of his graphic novel work, so just getting to meet him was exciting back then."
Of course, as we know, Phoenix went on to star in 'Joker', Christopher Nolan went on to do 'Batman Begins', so maybe it all worked out in the end.