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Aronofsky Talks Batman, Proteus...and Watchmen

Interview conducted by Colin Kennedy from concerning Darren Aronofsky's "Batman", Darren's Unnamed Scifi Movie and "Proteus." ("Proteus is now titled "Below")

Q. What's the current state of play with Batman?

A. Batman 5 won't be Batman 5. Batman 5 is Batman: Year One. It's somewhat based on Frank Miler's novel. Frank Miller is writing the screenplay with me, but it's going to be very different than anything in Year One (the comic), and anything you've seen. Toss out everything you can imagine about Batman! Everything! We're starting completely anew.

Q. Do you have a start date?

A. There's no start date or budget for either yet. We haven't even started writing the screenplay. Actually, they hired me to do a $60,000 Batman! Frank Miller and I haven't actually started to work yet. I imagine when I get back to America is when we'll start.

Q. Are you still interested in Miller's vision of Batman?

A. Well, I'm going to do a very extensive reading of the literature, but it's going to be very, very different. I liked Tim Burton's thing. I think all of the films will stand on their own. All I can say is that I want to do something which will totally reinvent the franchise.

Q. And Warner Brothers are behind you? They're not looking at any other Batman projects?

A. Well, let's see what happens with the screenplay.

Q. What else are you working on?

A. I have a project which I set up at Warner Brothers last week which is an original science fiction film I've been writing for the last eleven months, which is awesome. I've been pitching it as a post-Matrix, metaphysical Sci-Fi movie, and it's very different to anything you've seen. This would make a great comic book, this thing I'm writing now. But it's very ambitious.

Q. What do you mean by post-Matrix?

A. I call it post-Matrix because Matrix reinvented sci-fi in the same way Star Wars did, or 2001. I'm in a new environment, I'm trying to figure out what type of film would play to an audience now, and I think we came up with something really cool. I've been writing it with the smartest guy I've ever met, he was one of my college roommates and he just graduated. He got his PhD. in neuroscience from NYU, and he was telling me how he doesn't want to do research anymore. So I said, "you wanna write?", and he's so brilliant he could do anything, so I brought him on and we've been collaborating.

Q. And you're coming to London in the New Year?

A. I'm producing a Dimension film in London in February. Did you ever see the script I sold to Dimension called "Proteus"? It's a monster movie set on a World War Two sub. I'm producing it now and David Twohy, who directed Pitch Black, is directing it. I think it'll be an international cast, I think there'll be some celebrities, but you know, hopefully we'll cast some British actors, I mean we definitely will.

Q. Any stories you'd like to have a go at?

A. Mmm… "Watchmen" one day. [NOTE: Watchmen is a popular comic book written by Alan Moore.]