With "Marvel's The Avengers" already smashing its international box office competition, Joss Whedon's superhero flick is poised to take the top spot here in the U.S. this weekend. However, before Whedon palled around with S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, there was another superhero on his mind: Batman.
Prior to director Christopher Nolan getting the "Batman Begins" gig, Whedon wanted to reboot the then-defunct DC Comics franchise. Although his idea was a little less epic and a little more introspective. (His words, not ours Whedon fans!)
In a recent interview with GQ, Whedon explained that his Bruce Wayne was a "morbid, death-obsessed kid."
There was one scene in particular, however, that still makes the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator well up: A young Bruce tries to protect a girl from being bullied in an alley, similar to the alley his parents were murdered in.
"That was the moment for me," Whedon said. "When he goes 'Oh, wait a minute; I can actually do something about this.' The moment he gets that purpose, instead of just sort of being overwhelmed by the grief of his parents' death."
Unfortunately, the studio executives didn't feel as passionate about the concept as Whedon did. "And the executive was looking at me like I was Agent Smith made of numbers," he said, making a reference to "The Matrix." "He wasn't seeing me at all."
As if one rejected project wasn't enough, Whedon received more devastating news later that day. "I was like, 'Why did I do that? Why did I get so invested in that Batman story? How much more evidence do I need that the machine doesn't care about my vision? And I got back to work and got a phone call that 'Firefly' was cancelled. And I was like, 'It was a rhetorical question! It was not actually a request! Come on!'"
Despite losing out to Nolan, Whedon has no hard feelings toward the "Dark Knight Rises" director. After all, there's more than enough room in the 'Verse for two superhero helmers.
For more on Whedon's rise, head over to GQ.com.
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