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Darren Aronofsky Batman: Year One Concept Art Surfaces

darren aronofsky batman batmobile 2

Feast your eyes on what could have been! In the early- to mid-2000s, Warner Bros. was still recovering from 1997’s Batman & Robin, and in search of a director who might be up to the challenge of reinvigorating the franchise. One of those filmmakers was Christopher Nolan, who obviously went on to get the gig, but another was Darren Aronofsky who teamed up with Frank Miller to pen a screenplay called Batman: Year One that actually had nothing to do with the classic comic-book storyline. Instead of the traditional elements of the Batman mythos, this new version featured Bruce Wayne as a homeless vigilante and Alfred as an African-American mechanic going by the name Big Al.

Although the approach was scrapped in favor of Nolan’s Batman Begins, the project still lives on in the form of concept art. Comic Book Movie scored the following batch of images, giving you a look at what might have been. You can see a slew of costume designs as well as takes on the Batmobile, some weapons and even Catwoman and Jim Gordon. Aronofsky clarified last night on Twitter that, “none of that year one batman art circling the web originated from mine or frank’s work. so can’t take credit or blame for it,” which may mean the designs were commissioned by Warner Bros.

After Year One, Aronofsky was attached to direct The Wolverine, but dropped out when he was told production would take him away from his family for a good deal of time. He also directed The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Aronofsky’s next film, Noah, debuts March 28, 2014.

darren aronofsky batman costume 1

darren aronofsky batman costume 2

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darren aronofsky batman costume 4

darren aronofsky batman costume designs

darren aronofsky batman catwoman jim gordon design

darren aronofsky batman batmobile 1

darren aronofsky batman gun


  • CM Towns

    The concept arts cool but thankfully they didn’t go with this take.

  • Elayem

    The first pages of batsuits looked terrible, but the case study #2 ones were okay. Catwoman designs are better than TDKR, but all the batmobiles look campy.
    Glad Nolan got the job, I dont want a homeless Batman.

  • ziza9

    Or “Big Al.”

  • Jgubicza

    Is that Alex Ross art?

  • edge007

    Flawed concept, but I vastly prefer Aronofsky’s designs.

  • MC Clap Yo Handz


  • Jack

    Looks way better than the crappy tacticool shit Nolan gave us but still not ideal.

  • Steve Rosa

    HELL NO!

  • PietroMaximoff

    cool! catwoman and the weapons look steampunk.

  • NeronWillRise

    I think it’s a cool concept and would like to see a book about it.

  • Michael Fitz-Gibbon

    The designs are what we need in Batman movies. The storyline, however, I’m glad we avoided.

  • Greg Hyatt

    Is that John Cassaday’s art on those Batman designs?

  • Vito Delsante

    I believe that is David Williams:

  • Ken Lashley

    those designs were pulled off my old site, Draxhall jump entertainment. those were a mix of toy design and movie development work. its good to see that stuff again…it must be almost 10 years now. some of it is good..some not so good…but it was all fun.

  • Guest

    The first few Batman concepts look like John Cassaday.

  • demoncat_4

    the art looks cool but thankfuly they did not go with a version of the classic now out of continiuty batman story of his first year out as batman. too bad Darren has not gotten a crack to do batman on screen again. yet

  • Ldamasceno

    I would say Rodolfo Damaggio is the artist.

  • jim foreman

    i remember draxhall jump! that was awesome. Do you have a new site?

  • el_caifan

    first few definitely look like cassady. so glad we dodged this bullet…

  • adplusultra

    Those first few Batman designs look very Gatchaman esque

  • Rodrigo Diaz

    This concepts of Batman looks a lot like Watchmen’s Night Owl, which funny means to be a copy of Batman.

  • nailsin

    Wow look it all that stuff but how does a homeless Bruce Wayne afford all of this?

  • libra113

    I’d like to know how a ‘homeless vigilante’ could afford the car and all the gadgets.