Sr Member
Fans of Troy (2004), Batman Begins (2005), or The Fountain (2006) may enjoy this illustration I put together. Reading into each production’s backstory, they turn out to have been surprisingly-intertwined by the movements of their directors and one of their stars. I imagine shuffling like this probably happens all the time, but if nothing else, it serves as an interesting case study in how interdependent multiple films’ paths to fruition can be.


[Note that I believe this is all accurate, but if I mixed anything up, please let me know!]

In 2000, Wolfgang Petersen, Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky all added major pegs to their filmographies. For Petersen, it was a blockbuster success continuing a string of 90s hits with The Perfect Storm; and for Nolan and Aronofsky, it was a breakthrough second feature with Memento and Requiem for a Dream. Within short order, both Nolan and Aronofsky landed higher-budget projects: Insomnia for Nolan, while Aronofsky was somewhat surprisingly hired to direct the next installment in the Batman franchise – Batman: Year One.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. was weighing strategies for reviving its superhero properties, and in 2001 they tapped Petersen to direct Batman V. Superman as an alternative first entry. This move put Aronofsky’s Batman: Year One on hold, though it was convenient timing as he had just been hired to direct The Fountain with Brad Pitt (fresh off of Ocean’s Eleven) in the lead. Nolan, for his part, completed Insomnia and started work on The Prestige.

By 2002, Batman V. Superman was viewed as the definitive bet, so Batman: Year One was formally abandoned. This might not have been such terrible news for Aronofsky if it wasn’t for The Fountain floundering simultaneously; Pitt exited over script disagreements mere weeks before shooting, and the production was abruptly shelved. Then, almost as suddenly, Batman V. Superman itself was put on hold. Warner Bros. had been considering Nolan for their upcoming Troy, but unsure if he had sufficient experience to helm such a giant epic, they decided to bring over Petersen. Of course, also landing on Troy was Pitt, contractually obligated to move to another WB production.

As we all know, however, Nolan didn’t leave Warner Bros. empty-handed. In 2003, the studio changed gears once again and decided that a standalone Batman origin story along the lines of Batman: Year One was the right way to go after all. Batman V. Superman was shelved, Nolan’s The Prestige was placed on hold, and Batman Begins began. [And not to leave Aronofsky completely out to dry, The Fountain eventually resumed production in 2004.]
Last edited:

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.