If Hollywood was high school, Darren Aronofsky might be the gothy flirt. It seems like there's no high-profile superhero project that the filmmaker hasn't touched. Ultimately, he's opted to go with his own, bringing the story of Noah and the ark to the big screen this weekend, which has thus far resulted in a sizable hit. But the Oscar-nominated director could have been at the head of one of last year's big superhero pictures as well. That's right. Darren Aronofsky was almost your Man Of Steel helmer.
Aronofsky guested on the Happy Sad Confused podcast when he revealed that he had "a few conversations" in regards to the Christopher Nolan-produced epic, specifically with Nolan and the WB brass. And while he was high on the Snyder version, he claims he would have "absolutely" taken the job. Says Aronofsky:
"I thought Zack was a great choice, and I loved his 'Watchmen' movie. I thought it was great. I thought that as a fan of the comic, you couldn't hope for a better interpretation. I liked the orthodoxy of it. It was interesting to add the pathos that they put into the character. It's a hard one to do. You look at what Christopher Reeve did, and it was perfect, because it captured that 'good old boy' thing. But to try and redo that again and bring that for a modern audience is tough in a post-'Batman' and 'Wolverine' world. It's hard to do that."Of course, this is not the first time Aronofsky has backed away from a superhero project. He probably takes meetings all over town for these things, even though it doesn't seem like he ever has any intention of making one, despite his praise for the Man Of Steel gig. In fact, it's probably just strategy in order to leverage with studios in regards to films he does want to make.
Case in point: Aronofsky's lunatic vision for Batman: Year One, where Bruce Wayne was a homeless kid living in a garage and working for "Big Al." That treatment, written with Frank Miller, was a hard-R re-imagining of the Batman mythos that Aronofsky did for the studio while attempting to get the funding together for passion project The Fountain. After the financial failure of The Fountain, he'd have a short chat with them about Watchmen as well, back before the film fell in the hands of Zack Snyder.
Later, Aronofsky would actually be attached to both The Wolverine and MGM's Robocop for a very long time, and it was likely the belief that those films would give him the ability to finance his dream project Noah. But once Black Swan unexpectedly made $329 million worldwide, suddenly he didn't need that mega-hit. As much of the polite company man Aronofsky tends to be, it does seem like he's basically humoring all these superhero movies. It’s not like studios really like dealing with this guy.
Of course, Aronofsky's style, which is grand, operatic and bombastic, would be aces for a superhero film. His take on The Wolverine would have been something of a masterpiece, fueling the soap-opera tendencies and implicit violence of the character with Aronofsky's sleek, feral auteur madness. What superhero film would YOU want Aronofsky to direct?