Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is generally considered to be the eighth Batman movie, after the 1989 original, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, although the number balloons up to 12, if you include films like 1966’s Batman: The Movie and the animated Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
Thing is, it could have been even higher. Here are five Batman movies that were discussed, but, for one reason or another, were never actually made.
Adam West’s Batman
Adam West, the star of the campy Batman TV series that ran from 1966 to 1968, is not a fan of Tim Burton’s dirty, gritty 1989 movie, which he dismissed at the time as “RoboCop in Gotham City.” He told Rolling Stone that he came up with his own Batman movie, and it sounds wonderfully bonkers.
“Bruce Wayne had basically retired to his ranch in New Mexico after having cleaned up Gotham City. Most of the main villains were in madhouses or penitentiaries. So I invented a new super-villain called Sun Yat Mars, who was so heinous he conspired to spring them on one horrible stormy night, making them his minions – Marsies. Moreover, he was kidnapping college kids from all over the world, taking them to his Zombie Satellite, which was very Alien looking, and there they marched like Dracula, filing in long lines into these terrible machines that sucked their brains out.
The picture would’ve opened with Bruce and his girlfriends out riding horses in the moonlight, and they come across a mutilated cow’s carcass surrounded by burned grass. You don’t know whether or not a spaceship is involved. It’s all very mysterious. Meanwhile, Dick Grayson has become a signing medical intern somewhere. He’s chasing nurses around with his guitar — the Bruce Springsteen of Mercy Hospital. We reunite and end up conquering all those guys.”
I need to see this movie. Batman can do the Batusi in it.
Batman Beyond is a fantastic show, and it could have been an equally great movie. Director Boaz Yakin, fresh off the success of 2000’s Remember the Titans, joked to his agent that “if I’m going to do [another] studio movie, like, I want it to be Batman.” The agent took him seriously, and got Yakin a meeting with Warner Bros. Playing with house money, he pitched an idea for a live-action film based on Batman Beyond, which had premiered on the Kids’ WB in 1999. “It was almost like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, but a little bit darker,” Yakin said, “a teenage, kind of futuristic, cyberpunk Batman thing.” He co-wrote a draft with Batman Beyond creators Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, but ultimately, “I didn’t really have the heart for it at the time… It might have really hurt my career. I went off and wrote the best script I ever wrote that never got made.” Yakin later wrote Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.