There aren’t very many cinematographers in the same class as Robert Richardson. Not only is he a big collaborator with director Quentin Tarantino, with the most recent ‘Once Upon a Time’ sporting Richardson’s work, but he’s also a three-time Oscar-winning director of photography for his work with directors like Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsese. Needless to say, Richardson has no trouble finding work and is basically at the point where he can pick and choose his own projects, including a ‘Batman‘ film.
In a new HappySadConfused podcast, the DP talked openly about one project, in particular, that he wasn’t able to work on due to its abrupt cancellation. And it’s probably not a film that you’d think would be on Richardson’s radar.
“I wanted to shoot ‘Batman’ with Ben [Affleck] cause that was the next film we had,” said the cinematographer. “There was a script, but not a loved script. There was a lot of work he was doing to it to change it.”
He added,“He was going into the more insanity aspects…He was entering more into the Arkham, he’s going into where everyone was bad.”
When Richardson was asked if his reference of Arkham alluded to the famous Arkham Asylum where Batman’s greatest villains are kept, the DP confirmed and said, “That’s where we were going. I was very interested in that one.”
During the long, drawn-out process of developing Affleck’s “The Batman,” there was a script written by the actor-filmmaker. Then, of course, he took a step back and allowed others to craft the film. But throughout it all, the speculation was that his film would be Arkham-focused, featuring many different faces from the hero’s rogues gallery, which Richardson seemingly confirms.
Whether or not you long for the solo Batfleck film that never happened is up to you. When we talk about that era of the DCEU, your mileage varies based on your devotion to Zack Snyder’s vision. Either way, it doesn’t ever look like we’ll ever know what Affleck truly had up his sleeve. But it definitely sounds like he had a different type of “Batman’ film in his mind.