Saturday, September 22, 2018

one dark knight...

With all the buzz surrounding the Todd Phillips directed, Joaquin Phoenix starring Joker movie culminating in the first stills of Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime being released this week I remembered a very lucid bat-based dream I experienced a couple of years back after partaking in a few ales.

"Laugh Now!"

Luckily I awoke to find a pen and paper on the bedside cabinet and excitedly wrote it down.

Obviously I did this before I noticed the dead rent boy at the bottom of the bed but that's a different story.

Obviously it has to be based on The Dark Knight Returns due to the fact that in the passed 30-odd years it appears that no fucker as ever read anything else.

So anyway, here goes*.

"No, Joker. You’re playing the wrong game. The old game. Tonight you’re taking no hostages. Tonight I’m taking no prisoners!" John Cassavetes as an older, wiser Bruce Wayne.

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns'

(loosely) based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller.

Nicolas Winding Refn.

Prod: Stanley Kubrick.

Adapted for the screen by Truman Capote and Anthony Burgess

Original music: Cliff Martinez and Wendy Carlos.


Bruce Wayne/Batman: John Cassavetes

The Joker: Malcolm McDowell

Commissioner Gordon: Lee Marvin

Two Face:
Udo Kier

Alfred Pennyworth: Vincent Price

Robin: Emma Stone

Superman: John Phillip Law 

Bruno: Ajita Wilson

Oliver Queen: Doug McClure

Selina Kyle: Helga Line

Dave Endochrine: Dustin Hoffman.

For added realism McDowell actually underwent a painful bleaching process to obtain The Joker's deathly pallor.

Despised by critics yet loved by cinema goers,
the big screen adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns popularity among lefties annoyed it's creator, Frank Miller so much that vowed never to allow another one of his stories to be adapted in any medium. 

Eventually, after realizing that he needed cash for a new cowboy hat he relented and finally allowed all of his properties to be adapted by anyone with a dollar and/or right wing leanings.

The Bat mask interior as envisaged by  Jean Giraud


The behind the scenes story is as exciting as anything on screen tho', with triple Oscar winner Nicolas Winding Refn taking over the project after Dario Argento, Alejandro Jodorwosky, Shane Black, John Boorman, and Takashi Miike failed to stay attached to the film. 

During the Jodorwosky production, Mick Jagger was slated to play the Joker, tho' Jagger reportedly actually appeared on set, his scenes shot at various locations around the world due to The Rolling Stones being in the middle of a world tour.

These scenes were to be inserted into the final film at a later date using technology created by producer Stanley Kubrick. 

It was this period that saw pre-production costs spiraling 12 years and 250 million dollars over-budget, almost bankrupting Warner Brothers and causing Jodorwosky to secretly escape from America seeking refuge in Mexico where he hoped to film the entire movie and where construction of the full sized Gotham City sets had begun in earnest

The Jean Giraud inspired Batmobile. 47 different versions were built for the film.


Some of the concept art by French cartoonist Jean (Moebius) Giraud were eventually used in Terry Zwigoff's stage adaptation of Marvel's Alpha Flight (2019).

Scarily Klaus Kinski was cast as the Joker for Argento's version and 70% percent of his scenes were in the can before he became increasingly deluded that he was being stalked by Mick Jagger in revenge for 'stealing' his role. 

Three weeks before the end of shooting Kinski disappeared on the same day that Jagger went missing from a Florida hotel room.

After a countrywide search it was discovered that after numerous phone altercations with the Jagger, Kinski had kidnapped the singer in an attempt to replace him on stage and during a gig in Washington blow himself and the rest of The Stones to pieces in revenge for what he said were Great Britain's crimes against popular culture.

No charges were filed.

*If anyone from Warner's is reading this I'm available.

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