So I’ve largely given this week over to posts reflecting my devotion to Christopher Nolan and his films. However, the film which made him a household name was nearly directed by one of my other nerd heroes. The Buffy, Firefly and Avengers mastermind Joss Whedon was also approached to direct Batman Begins.
“Well, I actually did pitch a ‘Batman’ film when [Warner Bros. began developing “Batman Begins”], and it wasn’t what they did but the vibe was very similar,” said Whedon. “Mine was a bit less epic. It was more about the progression of him and it was more in Gotham City. He didn’t go to Tibet and meet cool people, but it was very similar in vibe [to Nolan’s “Batman Begins”].”
After a little prodding, Whedon opened up a bit about his “Batman” idea, even going into detail about what villain he planned on using…or not using.
“In my version, there was actually a new [villain], it wasn’t one of the classics — which is probably why they didn’t use it,” he laughed. “It was more of a ‘Hannibal Lector’ type — he was somebody already in Arkham Asylum that Bruce went and sort of studied with. It was a whole thing — I get very emotional about it, I still love the story. Maybe I’ll get to do it as a comic one day.”
By way of a coda, this was not to be the last brush between this project and the Whedonverse. David Boreanaz (aka Angel) was considered for the part of Bruce Wayne before it eventually went to Christian Bale. I strongly suspect that was for the best.