Whenever anyone asks me the question “What comic book story would you most like to see turned into a live action film” (and I do get asked that question a lot) I always respond with the same two answers. 1) The Age Of Apocalypse from the X-Men universe, and 2) The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (300, Sin City).
The Dark Knight is the book that got me into comics in the first place. The story is of a 55 year old Bruce Wayne who gave up on being Batman after the death of the second Robin (Jason Todd). Consumed by guilt Wayne become an alcoholic. Now, years later Gotham is overrun by gangs, drugs and crime. One night Bruce is confronted by gang members, AND NOW HE’S HAD ENOUGH! Bruce comes back as Batman, but this time he’s older, his body can’t do all the things that he used to do and the public sees him more as a menace now. However, he’s also more brutal than he used to be with no compassion for those who would break the law. He RULES! Eventually this leads to a confrontation with Superman that culminates in the most epic battle in the history of comic books (in my opinion anyway).
Whenever you hear people talking about wanting to see a “Superman vs. Batman” movie, this is where it comes from.
For decades now people have wanted to see a Dark Knight Returns movie… but one of the problems that has always existed was who on earth you get to play Batman/Bruce Wayne. Well… maybe Frank Miller himself has given us the answer. Our friends over at Cinematical quote an interview with Miller about who he thinks would be the right guy for Batman:
“Just that mouth of his, the scowl and the way it would look in a mask. I loved Rocky Balboa. This wounded warrior, that’s what Batman is in Dark Knight Returns. “
I’ll cut right to it. I LOVE THIS IDEA!
Sylvester Stalone is not the greatest actor in the world, although when he’s on his game he can be pretty good, but he embodies The Dark Knight at 55. He has the face, he has the pure massive physique, he has that rage, that anger and he also has that sadness that underlies Wayne in the story. I can 100% see this without question. If I had $100 million in the bank I would immediately start making phone calls and try to get this off the ground.
The great thing is that The Dark Knight Returns is set in another time. It’s 20+ years in the future from where the current Batman franchise is set and thus you don’t have to worry about pretending they’re in the same or different continuities. Which just feeds into another reason why you get Stallone for this… he’s just about the right age (actually, he’s a touch too old, but he would work).
Will this ever happen? Probably not in a million years, but that doesn’t change the fact that Sylvester Stallone as Batman in The Dark Knight Returns is a wicked idea. So good, that I’d pay for it myself if I could (you might be surprised to discover I can’t).
So put on your casting hats. What would you think of Stallone as Batman? If not him, who could you see as the aged caped crusader?