For all the success Joss Whedon's having with Marvel Comics characters these days, there's even more lack of success with DC Comics in his past. There was that Wonder Woman project that almost was, and then there was the time he got a chance to pitch his Batman movie to Warner Bros.
This was back in the days when Joel Schumacher's two Bat-films had already landed with a thud, and the studio was looking for a new direction for the franchise. Among the writers and directors trying their hand at a reboot was Whedon. Like Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, Whedon's Bat-tale would have also been heavy on origin, but it would have focused more on a very morbid adolescent Bruce Wayne.
Wayne is still obsessing about the death of his parents and hasn't yet found his purpose as Gotham City's Caped Crusader when Whedon begins his story, but the moment when it all comes together for young Master Bruce was crystallized in Whedon's head. It features 12-year-old Bruce trying to protect a bullied young girl in an alley, and realizing he can protect people all the time.
"And he's like this tiny 12-year-old who's about to get the s**t kicked out of him," Whedon said. "And then it cuts to Wayne Manor, and Alfred is running like something terrible has happened, and he finds Bruce, and he's back from the fight, and he's completely fine. And Bruce is like, 'I stopped them. I can stop them.' That was the moment for me. When he goes 'Oh, wait a minute; I can actually do something about this.' The moment he gets that purpose, instead of just sort of being overwhelmed by the grief of his parents' death."
But it was not to be. Nolan got the franchise (which Whedon is a fan of, by the way), and Whedon got his superhero fix writing Astonishing X-Men for Marvel before The Avengers came calling. Things seemed to work out just fine, but we can't help but remember that the Bat-franchise will be seeking a new leader after this year. Is anyone else thinking it's time for Whedon to get back in line?