Frank Miller’s work on Batman, most notably The Dark Knight Returns, has been the prototype for the character’s filmic appearances. Over the last three decades, we’ve seen numerous iterations of the Bat’s darker and gritty nature. However, the man behind these interpretations is very rarely pleased with the big screen outcome. It’s no wonder he took to Ben Affleck’s portrayal in this year’s Batman v Superman. The character’s almost ripped right from the pages of TDKR. But there are still a few things Frank Miller would change if given control of Batman films going forward.
The writer told Variety the following:
“My dream would be to make it much smaller. To lose the toys and to focus more on the mission, and to use the city a great deal more. Because he’s got a loving relationship with the city he’s protecting. And unlike Superman his connection to crime is intimate; it has been ever since his parents were murdered. And he defeats criminals with his hands. So it would be a different take. But it will never be in my hands, because it would not be a good place to make toys from. There wouldn’t be a line of toys.”
Batman’s connection to crime is intimate. His dedication to it is the reason he’s called the World’s Greatest Detective. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to see a live-action film where this aspect is given extensive attention. According to Affleck, that will change in Justice League and even more so in the solo Batman film.
At the heart of many great Dark Knight stories is a great detective plot. When Batman is able to focus on the mission at hand, demonstrating his tactical prowess and superior intellect, he’s at his best. Few things can come between him and an expertly executed crime narrative. It would be awesome to one day see that reflected on the big screen.