Darren Aronofsky’s unmade movies, from Robocop to Batman Year One

Darren Aronofsky he is undoubtedly one of the most divisive directors working today. While many of Aronofsky’s films have won critical acclaim, the extreme content he includes and his aptitude for telling dark stories about human morality have given his films a reputation for being “hard to watch”. Aronofsky’s interest in religion and spirituality has also split his audience in half; while the movies like Fountain and Pi they were praised for how they tackled existential issues, both Noah and mother! has drawn criticism for their mishandling of Christian imagery.

Amid a career of controversial films, Aronofsky’s latest project may have inspired his most outrageous press run yet. The whale it is based on a play by the playwright Samuel D. Cacciatore, who adapted his own work for the film’s screenplay. The story revolves around the life of Charlie (Brendan Fraser), a 600-pound gay English professor who lives a secluded life in his apartment. While Fraser’s performance has earned him rave reviews since the film’s debut at the Venice Film Festival, the film itself has been accused of being fat-phobic and emotionally manipulative.


Aronofsky’s audacity is certainly worthy of admiration, even if his films aren’t for everyone. Throughout his career, Aronofsky often toyed with potential projects that he ultimately didn’t realize. His history of unmade films is almost as interesting as his filmography itself.

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Ronin graphic novel
Image via DC Comics

Shortly after the release of his directorial debut, PiAronofsky was set to direct an adaptation of Franco Millerthe graphic novel ronin. Miller was in charge of writing the screenplay, for what would be the first major adaptation of one of his works for the big screen. However, the progress of the production dragged on due to the uncertainty surrounding comic book movies at the time. While Aronofsky eventually left the project to direct Requiem for a dream instead, it wouldn’t be the last time he flirted with a Miller adaptation.

Sector 7

Copy of Sector 7
Image via Clarion Books

Aronofsky has an intrinsic interest in the oblique sides of art and many of his films may require multiple successive viewings to fully comprehend. This may explain why he has begun to show interest in the adaptation David Wiesneris the illustrated book without words Sector 7 for Nickelodeon Movies after wrapping Requiem for a dream. Though it certainly would have been interesting to see what (if anything) Aronofsky played from Sector 7the film remained in development hell for years as Aronofsky once again turned to a comic book movie.

Batman: Year One

Batman: Year One
Image via Warner Home Video

Following the critical and financial disaster of Batman and robin, Warner Brothers wanted to reboot the franchise with a “dark and gritty” tone. Aronofsky seemed like a natural fit, and in 2000 he signed on to direct an adaptation of Miller’s origin story Batman: Year One; again, Miller was attached to write the screenplay. George ClooneyThe days of Batman were over and Aronofsky hoped to appeal Joaquin Fenice play Bruce Wayne. However, internal disagreements between the studio, Miller and Aronofsky over the film’s tone (which Aronofsky imagined was even darker than Miller’s original work) stalled the production process. Warner Brothers also envisioned a younger actor like Freddie Prince Jr. like Batman, and future Batman begins star Cristiano Bale was also approached. However, the delays ultimately inspired Warner Brothers to shelve the project and begin work on it Wolfgang Petersonis an idea for Batman versus Superman.


Flickering book cover
Image Via Chicago Review Press

Theodore Roszak‘s novel flicker it has a lot in common with Aronofsky’s directorial debut; the 1991 novel follows a young film scholar Jonathan Gates who becomes obsessed with the films of fictional B-movie director Max Castle. Gates’ obsession eventually draws him into a dark web of conspiracy and paranoia. Although Aronofsky was signed on to direct an adaptation when he was at Regency Studios, he left the project when he moved to Universal.

Black flies

Black flies book cover
Image Via Harvill Secker

Shannon Burk‘s medical novel Black files explores the emotionally overwhelming experience of a young ambulance technician in New York City. The film was projected as a major award contender, with Fight Club screenwriter Jim Uhls attached to write the script. However, Aronofsky has once again left the project, which is currently under development A prayer before dawn director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire.



You may never have expected to hear Aronofsky’s name mentioned at Comic-Con, but the 2008 San Diego celebration included an announcement from MGM that Aronofsky had been hired to direct a remake of Robocop. While Aronofsky left his concert as director The fighter to address the new remake, the 2009 Comic Con included an announcement that he would have to abandon the project to focus on Black Swan.

Break the bank

Lee Murray
Image via UFC

A biopic on the controversial MMA legend Lee Murray in Break the bank it seemed like it would be up Aronofsky’s alley, as Murray’s conflicts with the law had the potential to be a drama. However, Aronofsky’s production setbacks continue Noah forced XYZ to replace it with The Raid: Redemption director Gareth Evans.


Like many great filmmakers, Aronofsky became interested in working on an HBO project after the “prestige television” boom began in the early 2010s. The WolverineAronofsky has signed on to direct the period thriller series Leprechaun for HBO. Aronofsky and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon began work on a story revolving around a group of magicians and con artists working to defeat the rise of Adolf Hitler during World War II. However, HBO decided to pass on the project, prompting Aronofsky to leave.

The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Once again, Aronofsky has been brought on to direct a soft reboot of a failed superhero series based on Miller’s work. After the disastrous The Origins of the X-Men: Wolverine20th Century Fox has hired Aronofsky to work on a new Wolverine-centric movie starring Hugh Jackman. The Wolverine became a priority for Fox, but Aronofsky felt that leaving the United States for an expensive and time-consuming job abroad would separate him from his family for too long. His departure from the project allowed James Mangold intervene and take over The Wolverinewhich led to the success of Logano.

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