The director of Aquaman, James Wan, wanted to do a horror movie about Batman before he landed the big-time undersea gig. Wan has quite an eclectic career as a director. Aquaman is his first foray into official superheroes, though Wan did direct Furious 7, which was essentially a pulse-pounding superhero movie without any actual superpowers or costumes. Before Aquaman and Furious 7, though, Wan’s career was entrenched in the horror genre.
The director rose to prominence first with 2004’s Saw, a movie he also helped write. After Saw, Wan moved onto Insidious and The Conjuring franchises. It’s this horror background and sensibility that Wan believes could be a great fit for the Dark Knight. However, it’s unclear if Wan will ever be able to make his horror dreams or nightmares become a DCEU reality.
In an interview with Heroic Hollywood, Wan was asked about his superhero ambitions before landing the Aquaman gig. While Wan's heart currently is with the King of Atlantis, he did consider taking the reins of the Caped Crusader. It wasn't just an idle daydream either. Wan explained:
In the past like most people I loved the idea of directing Batman, but a horror version of Batman. That would be a potential fantasy of mine, but I feel like he’s been done quite a fair bit. But, I do love the idea of doing an outright scary Batman. I feel like that’d be really cool.
The concept of Batman as a horror figure has been played out on the big screen before Wan floated this idea. Tim Burton’s Batman had obvious Gothic overtones. As it dealt with the villain Scarecrow, Batman Begins had a few choice moments that could’ve belonged in a horror movie. Even Batfleck’s DCEU debut in Batman V Superman had the masked vigilante skittering on the ceiling like something out of a creature feature. Batman movies have always come up short of really embracing the scary elements of the character, though.
Currently the only known Batman movie in the near future is the Matt Reeves-helmed The Batman. It’s a project that’s shrouded in a lot of mystery with rumors that it’ll be prequel that recasts Affleck as Batman and others that suggest it won’t even be a part of the DCEU. In other words, it’s far too early to guess at what type of tone Reeves wants his Batman to have in the cinemas.
However if The Batman is a part of the DCEU, a horror movie tone would fit quite nicely with the character’s journey in the DCEU. Affleck’s Batman has been one of the most brutal parts of the movie universe even by the character’s usual dour standards. Batman is not someone who is as respected and revered like other superheroes. He’s a violent figure, who's lurking in the shadows. But to make Batman a completely terrifying figure, turning him into something that even the most hardened criminals are frightened of would be an interesting and unique take on the character. Sadly with Wan committed to Aquaman, which is on track to become the second best received entry in the DCEU, it's likely the DCEU won't make a horror movie with Batman in the foreseeable future.
Source: Heroic Hollywood
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