Alex Kurtzman On His Failed Pitch At Batman Before Nolan’s Batman Begins

The history of Batman on film is pretty interesting. After really emerging successfully under Tim Burton’s guidance, the franchise quickly petered out after the much-maligned Batman and Robin film hit theaters. After that train wreck of a movie, no one really wanted to touch Batman with a ten-foot pole (yes, I know that sounds dirty). The studio didn’t really know how to approach it. How could audiences ever take the character seriously again?

Christopher Nolan came in, pitched a darker, more grounded take on the Dark Knight of Gotham City, and the end result of that was Batman Begins. If that movie wasn’t great enough, just a few short years later, we got the instant classic thriller film The Dark Knight, which landed Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar as the Joker.

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But, as is usually the case with many big properties, Batman Begins wasn’t necessarily the only attempt the studio made at developing a new film for the character. As it turns out, Star Trek overlord Alex Kurtzman worked on a new take for the character — but he had actually missed the memo that they were looking for a darker take, as he revealed to THR.

“We went in for Batman before Christopher Nolan, not realizing that they wanted to shift to that [darker] tone. Halfway through the meeting, after three or four weeks of planning, the executive stopped us: ‘Did nobody tell you that we’re not going in that direction at all?’ We just said, ‘Thank you for your time. We should probably stop here.'”

Ouch, that’s gotta really hurt. I can’t help but wonder how that little piece of direction was lost. Personally, I want to know what the style and tone of that film were like. Was it as goofy as the Joel Schumacher films or something different altogether? At the very least, it’s clear Kurtzman hadn’t had the darker style in mind when pitching.


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