Frank Miller Talks YEAR ONE Movie Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: June 26, 2015
It seems that one of two things is true about the never-made BATMAN: YEAR ONE film project.
1) Darren Aronofky and Frank Miller – who collaborated on the project over 15 years ago – came up with two different versions of the story/script.
2) Frank Miller is doing some “misremembering” when it comes to the project. OR...
Maybe it's a case of both.
(You can read the actual script HERE, though it's credited to Frank Miller. However, Aronofsky had more to do with it than Miller as Darren told me himself at San Diego Comic Con 2006.)
Here’s what Mr. Miller recently said about the proposed YEAR ONE film (via HEAT VISION)...
"[Bruce Wayne] forced himself to live in poverty [after his parent’s murders] and went to live on the streets he was going to defend. So he lived like a bum. He was a short order cook until he finally proved to himself that not only could he become the greatest crime fighter the world had ever known, but he could support himself."
So according to Miller, after Bruce’s parents were killed, he rejected his inheritance and lived a monk-like existence in poverty in Gotham. AND THEN…
”He then took the fortune on, and traveled the world studying every kind of martial arts and detective school he could go to. He became a master of all of them and he became the greatest crime fighter the world would ever know."
In Aronofky’s YEAR ONE script (read my review of it HERE), young Bruce wandered the streets after the murders and was eventually taken in by garage owner “Big Al” and his son “Little Al.” Working in the garage in a seedy part of town full of hookers, pimps, street criminals, and junkies, Bruce toils away in the garage as his inner rage and desire for vengeance grows. He eventually takes on the guise of “The Bat-Man” and begins to beat the hell out of the criminals on the streets of Gotham. Bruce’s eventual ally, Jim Gordon, is depicted as a chain-smoking police detective who struggles with not only police corruption, but thoughts of suicide.
In the end, Little Al realizes who Bruce really is – the heir to the Wayne fortune – and Bruce goes public to claim his inheritance and place in Gotham society. He moves into Wayne Manor, taking Little Al with him.
Now some of what Miller says jibes with Aronofky’s script. However the biggest difference is Bruce accepting/claiming before becoming Batman and, apparently, he’s totally aware of whom he actually is while living in poverty. Also, in the Aronofsky script, Bruce never travels the world learning martial arts and detective skills as Miller says.
Ultimately, I think Miller is simply recalling a certain version or draft of the YEAR ONE script that’s a bit different from the one that’s been floating around the Net for years and attributed to Aronofsky. While Miller’s script – or recollection of it today – seems to be more loyal to the Batman mythos, it apparently was as hard-edged and R-rated as the Aronofsky one.
So what do you all think? Two versions of the same project or some revisionist history by Mr. Miller? Post your thoughts in the comments section below!