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Joker Joaquin Phoenix Would Have Ended Up Playing Batman if Director Darren Aronofsky Had His Way

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

Director Darren Aronofsky was in talks with Warner Bros for a new take on Batman, and he wanted Joaquin Phoenix to play the role.

Actor Joaquin Phoenix took the iconic character of Joker and reinvented it once again in an Oscar-winning role. But in another world he could have ended up playing the Joker's crime-fighting counterpart - Batman.

The star was reportedly pegged as a potential Batman by Darren Aronofsky in Warner Bros project with a new take on the Dark Knight some years ago. His vision didn't materialise, but in an interview to Empire magazine, the director but opened up about his plans at the time, and how far they differed from those of the studio.

Warner Bros fancied a much more clean-cut Bruce Wayne. "The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix. 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," Aronofsky said.

Christopher Nolan, who eventually bagged the project, borrowed elements from Frank Miller's Batman: Year One comic. Aronofsky's take was a closer adaptation of that influential series, with nods to Death Wish, The French Connection and Taxi Driver.

Aronofsky wanted to go very dark, with Batman veering into torture territory. "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," he explained.

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