Brett Ratner wanted to direct Batman?

Did Mr Ratner want to helm the Batman film? And what's this about a Joker spin-off...?

Mr Brett Ratner

Just yesterday, we were reporting how fans of Conan may be in for shaky times ahead, given the rumours were suggesting that Brett Ratner was linked to a remake/sequel/reboot of the hack and slash flicks. But it could just be the wider world has had a lucky escape, as Ratner has now given an interview to MTV where he talks about Batman, the Joker, and potential spin-offs.

“As a kid, Batman was my thing,” he’s quoted as saying. “I’m a little jealous that I didn’t get to direct it, although Nolan did a great job. But there are so many characters in the Batman series, so many characters that I love, that the opportunities for spin-offs are endless.”

Is it just us that this statement sends shockwaves into the soul of? Firstly, can you imagine The Dark Knight under Ratner’s stewardship? The nuances, the subtleties, the scale of the film wouldn’t have stood a chance. But should we also read this statement as Ratner wanting to do a Joker spin-off movie himself?

Well, there are surely two problems with that, if true. Firstly, a Joker spin-off sounds like a bad idea, and not just because the last attempt to spin a Batman villain into a standalone film failed so miserably (Catwoman). Surely Batman’s nemeses work so well because they’re part of a broad ensemble, and making any one of them the focus of their own feature film would dilute that. Look what happened to Hannibal Lector when he was suddenly made the centre of attention in Hannibal and Red Dragon. All of a sudden, one of cinema’s greatest menaces lost his edge.

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Secondly, with all due respect to Mr Ratner – and take this from someone who didn’t mind the third X-men movie – he’s simply not good enough to tackle a Gotham City flick of any shape or form. Heck, I didn’t mind Family Man either, but as Brian Levant so ably demonstrated with his Flintstones movies, passion for a subject matter doesn’t automatically lead to good films.

Ratner, in the interview, does suggest Robert Downey Jr as a future Joker, but to be honest, we’d suggest Robert Downey Jr for pretty much any role right now.

You can read the full interview here.