Legendary writer Frank Miller will have his name forever etched in DC history with his reinvention of Batman in the mid 80s thanks to his iconic story, The Dark Knight Returns. DC fans, critics, and general comic book fans rate the story as one of the all time greats. Most recently it was used as inspiration in Zack Snyder’s 2016 blockbuster film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Frank Miller was recently at Lucca Comics & Games and was interviewed by Variety and they asked him what he would do with DC’s iconic character (The Dark Knight) if he had full control. Miller explains:
“My dream would be to make it much smaller. To lose the toys and to focus more on the mission, and to use the city a great deal more. Because he’s got a loving relationship with the city he’s protecting. And unlike Superman his connection to crime is intimate; it has been ever since his parents were murdered. And he defeats criminals with his hands. So it would be a different take. But it will never be in my hands, because it would not be a good place to make toys from. There wouldn’t be a line of toys.”
Frank Miller also wrote Batman: Year One and at a point he was aligned to the Darren Aronofsky directed film adaptation. With Warner Bros holding the distribution rights to DC Comics material on the big screen, they decided not to go down that path. Did they want to take a more narrow focus on the story? Miller’s Response:
“That screenplay was based on my book ‘Batman: Year One,’ and yeah it was much more down to earth. In it a fair amount of time is spent before he became Batman, and when he went out and fought crime he really screwed it up a bunch of times before he got it right. So it was 90-minute origins story.”
If you haven’t read both The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One make sure you get yourself a copy of them. The animated films are also a great representation of the original stories if reading is not your preferred option.