Did you know Joaquin Phoenix was supposed to play Batman, not Joker?

While his performance as Arthur Fleck garnered praises and awards alike, can you imagine the actor as Bruce Wayne?

Entertainment Desk April 18, 2020

Hollywood's Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal as Arthur Fleck in DC's latest offering, Joker, made all the buzz. The actor's stellar acting prowess made him the winner of every Best Actor award year, including the coveted Oscar.

However, did you know that at a time, Phoenix was actually the choice to play Bruce Wayne, aka Batman?


According to Darren Aronofsky, Phoenix was the first choice to play Batman. Aronofsky was slated to make a Batman film in the early 2000s before the project fell apart and Christopher Nolan rebooted the franchise with Christian Bale.

In a recent interview with Empire, the director shared that his idea of making Phoenix Batman was snubbed by the studio.

“The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix,” he recalls. “I remember thinking, 'Uh oh, we're making two different films here.' That's a true story. It was a different time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a way different type of take than they ended up making.”


Aronofsky’s Batman film was said to be heavily inspired by Frank Miller’s graphic novel, Batman: Year One. Miller was, in fact, writing the script himself.

“It was an amazing thing because I was a big fan of his graphic novel work, so just getting to meet him was exciting back then,” Aronofsky recalled.

The film would have released just a few years after George Clooney’s Batman & Robin tanked the series. “The Batman that was out before me was Batman & Robin, the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, so I was really trying to undermine that, and reinvent it,” Aronofsky said. “That’s where my head went.”

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.