Superhero movies were just starting to boom in the early 2000s, and even though Batman was one of the most famous characters in the world, “Batman & Robin” had effectively killed off the film franchise. The time would soon come for a reboot with Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” which rewrote the character’s origin story and focused on his first attempts to fight crime dressed up as a giant Chiroptera.
But years before “Batman Begins” hit theaters, screenwriter Tim McCanlies — who wrote the screenplay for Brad Bird’s animated classic, “The Iron Giant” — was pitching a similar idea for a TV series called “Bruce Wayne.”
“There’s a lot of similarities [to ‘Batman Begins’],” Tim McCanlies told Mandatory. “We were sort of drawing on some of the same subject matter but the comics usually were panel three, Bruce as a kid is over his dead parents. Then there’s a shot of him mixing test tubes in college, and then he’s in the costume.”
“So I wanted to explore that whole five or six-year thing and it became a big deal at Warner Brothers because they kept wanting to get movies mounted at the time. Darren Aronofsky was going to try to do ‘Batman: Year One.'” Unfortunately for McCanlies, Warner Bros. was so committed to bringing Batman back to the big screen that a live-action TV series was a very tough sell, even though the screenwriter says networks were interested. “Suddenly it came down to Alan Horn,” McCanlies recalled. “Lorenzo DiBonaventura was the vice president of Warners and I had done five things with him including ‘Iron Giant.’ He was sort of my guy over there and yet he really screwed up my TV thing saying, ‘No, it’s a features thing.’ I still give him s*** over that.”