Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder let it be known last year at Comic-Con (during a Watchmen panel) that he, "would love to see Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns made into a movie." And creator of the graphic novel Frank Miller even gave his blessing, saying that Snyder could go ahead with it if he wanted to.
However that obviously doesn't in any way mean he would get the gig just because Miller gave it the thumbs up. Nor does it mean Snyder will be adapting the graphic novel just because he said he'd love to see it done. However thanks to our friends over at FirstShowing.net, via an interview with Snyder we get a bit more insight into what direction he would take if he were to direct a Dark Knight Returns movie:
"I think the thing that's awesome about Dark Knight, like Watchmen, is that it is a complete and total experience, that was unlike anything anyone has ever seen, and still is," Snyder said. "I think the big challenge for me would be - it's so 'montage-y' and so media thick, that you just have to - that's the techniques you'd have to develop and make work. But as far as the rest goes, the thing I'd be really interested in is that kind of Frank [Miller] narration over that cool action, that's a thing we haven't really seen in that context."
There's no doubting that it sounds like Snyder is at least interested in adapting the popular Batman story for the big screen. Snyder has already successfully adapted a graphic novel from page to screen with 300 (which like The Dark Knight Returns, is a Frank Miller work) and it looks like he's done it again with Watchmen. So even though Warner Bros. probably won't let Snyder direct a Batman movie any time soon (because of how successful Nolan's style has been both for box-office and how it affected how we now all perceive the franchise), I still think it'd be interesting to see.
Obviously Snyder's style is a heck of a lot different from Nolan's (could you possibly get two more opposing filmmaking styles?) but after Nolan has bid farewell to the series (as he most likely will do after the next one) I'd be very much interested in seeing the series switch styles to one we haven't seen before. If Snyder is liking the sound of the narration being a significant factor (as Snyder mentioned above that's something we haven't really seen before) there's no telling what other different things he could bring to the table.
It would be a different Batman universe, for sure, but an interesting one all the same. And who knows, maybe he will have a shot at directing it if, as fellow Screen Rant writer Kofi pointed out, Watchmen does well at the box office.
As far as adapting The Dark Knight Returns in general, I say now (or even five years down the line) is not the right time to do it. I think you should wait a good few years (probably ten at least) before touching a story which sees Batman in his 50s and retired from doing the hero thing.
This may be looking a little too far ahead but it would be very cool if they did it in real time with the current franchise - meaning that they wait 20 years or so and then adapt it, having Christian Bale back as Batman when he's actually at the age the character is supposed to be in the story (presumably Bale won't still be portraying Batman in 20 years time).
Do you think Snyder would do a good job of adapting The Dark Knight Returns onto the big-screen?