The Hughes Brothers were offered to Direct THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and wanted Clint Eastwood as Batman
This little bit of news kinda blew my mind, because I really wish it would have happened! This is one of those great “what if?” scenarios that actually could have been. The Hughes Brothers have been out talking about their new film The Book of Eli, and in one of their interviews with MTV they revealed that a few years back they were offered to direct the big screen film version of Frank Miller's comic, The Dark Knight Returns with none other than the idea of Clint Eastwood starring as a retired Bruce Wayne/Batman. The explain,
Three different Batman projects were presented to us over the years. The first time, it was 'The Dark Knight [Returns].' I remember how dark the comic book was. Batman was old. He had to rely more on his tools and other sh--, and he was a decrepit, 60- or 70-year-old man in this comic book. I remember saying to them back then, 'We want to do this, and you should get somebody like Clint Eastwood to do it.
Could you imagine Clint Eastwood in that role! He would have been perfectly awesome for it. Hopefully one day Frank Millar’s comic book will get a decent film adaptation one day. The Hughes Brothers pretty much turned down the offers to do it in the long run. They joke around saying they would have killed the franchise, but the fact of the matter is Joel Schumacher made sure that happened.
It was a different regime at the time at Warner Brothers, and they did offer it to us a couple times, but we were never going to do that. Nolan's done a phenomenal job with Batman — especially the first one — and that's what we would've done if we were interested, but we were never going to do a Batman or Superman movie. I know we couldn't do that. After our first movie, we were getting offered everything, but we're not capable of delivering a corporate project like that. It's not in our blood.
Zack Snyder has expressed interest in directing The Dark Knight Returns, but I wonder if Warner Bros. would ever do it. I definitely think they should, but as a stand alone movie separate from what Nolan has already done.
If this movie was going to get made who would you like to star in and direct the film?