In 2005, writer-director's Darren Aronofsky's enormously popular noir movie, "Batman: Year One" premiered in 3,858 cinemas across North America, grossing $48 million in its opening weekend and eventually grossing $370 million worldwide.
"Batman: Year One" premieresThe film shares its title with the American DC Comics story arc written by Frank Miller in 1987 which recounts the beginning of Bruce Wayne's career as Batman and Jim Gordon's with the Gotham City Police Department. Aronofsky's genius was to shape a brutally realistic version that was nearly unrecognisable from either Miller's story or the previous Batman mythos, for example potraying Alfred as a mechanic called Big Al who helps Bruce Wayne.
Given the writer-directors limited commerical success in his career to date, the studio was taking on a huge risk. It was even rumoured in the press that the studio also considered a more mainstream project called "Batman Begins" to be directed by Christopher Nolan. And yet Joel Schumacher's dreadful 1997 movie Batman and Robin was a critical failure which appeared to have destroyed Warner Bros' franchise forever, and so the studio was reduced to truly desperate measures.
Christian Bale, fresh from the success of American Psycho, was rumoured to star. But at the last, both the studio and director fully committed to a non-derivative movie, and instead the role was given to the relatively unknown Australian television and film actor Heath Ledger. This inspired decision led to "Batman: Year One" becoming without question the most incredible summer movie of 2005.