Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Okay... got your salt ready? Pick out the biggest grain you can find, and then read on.
If this letter turns out to be true, then consider this your first break on what might be the next BATMAN film. The writers this guy mentions are interesting. Both were credited with passes on FROM HELL, and both of them have done plenty of great work in the past. Rafael Yglesias wrote FEARLESS, one of the great overlooked movies of the ‘90s, and Hayes is, of course, the writer of THE ROAD WARRIOR. If they really are bringing the Dark Knight back to the bigscreen, there may be reason to rejoice...
I managed to get my grubby little paws on a draft of what I assume may be the next Batman movie. My big bro works for a division of WB and handed me a photocopy of what is currently titled Batman: The Frightening and the credited writers are Rafael Yglesias and Terry Hayes. Neither name struck a bell so I wasn’t sure if I’d be enduring another Batman and Robin or something special. Well, I’ll be honest, this draft is something special. The date on the draft is from December 23rd of 2002 and was marked as a First Draft so I’m not sure what will be changed, but with a little work I think this could be a great turn around for the franchise.
I’m not sure what you’ve reported on this flick so far so I’ll give you a few quick tidbits on what is and isn’t in the script. The villain is The Scarecrow. Robin is not in the movie and is never referenced to, nor is Batgirl. Alfred is here of course and Gordon is in it quite a bit, in fact plays a very integral role in the entire thing.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the comics or the movies, but I think what I found most striking is how dark the entire thing was. I’m talking a complete 180 from what we’ve seen in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, and even a few shades darker than the first Batman. WB seems to be going an entirely different route with the franchise now. Batman is a detective first, crime fighter second. The means and technology he uses to unravel the crimes is some of the coolest stuff in the script.
The character of Jonathan Crane is the most riveting villain in, well hell, any comic book movie I’ve seen yet. He reminded me quite a bit of Norman Osborne from Spiderman, and his alter ego The Scarecrow is one of the most sinister sumbitches you’re likely to find period.
Now to get into a few spoilers. The script is written in flashback form. It starts off with Batman’s escape from Arkham Asylum, and then reverts back to what led up to the point of him going insane and being locked up. Throughout the main narrative there are flash forwards where we see Bruce Wayne struggling with what he had done to end up at Arkham, and the latter part of the film is him moving on past Batman and living with the scars he’s caused.
The action sequences, if filmed properly, should be pretty impressive. The breakout from Arkham is a pretty cool thing in and of itself, and introduces Alfred as a more integral part of Batman’s operation. The finale on The Scarecrow’s blimp is equally cool and relentless. Seriously, by the time I finished the script I needed to take a long nap, it hits hard in all the right spots.
A couple of things I didn’t care for were the slow spots right after the breakout. It takes awhile for the script to live up to its opening, and the detective work of Batman seems sometimes tedious in that we already know who the villain is and where the fear gas comes from. Btw, the fear gas is used in just about every which way possible here, including one very cool scene where Gotham’s Finest surround a factory, and then after being exposed to the gas see The Scarecrow's convey come crashing out of the walls in the shape of a rhino stampede, which leads to a very lengthy chase sequence.
Either way, I’ve got that scan software that can turn images into text and I've been trying to scan my copy of the text in but it doesnt' translate wells. If I can get it to work I’ll send you the script in a word document. Let me know if you care. Thanks.
I’m going to start poking around to see what I can turn up on this. I find it hard to believe Warner Bros. could have hired two A-list writers like that and had them turn out a draft without anyone hearing anything. Still, stranger things have happened. The days ahead will determine if this is just some fanboy’s dream, or a glimpse at where BATMAN is headed in the near future.