Batman: DarKnight is the name of a screenplay by Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise. After the Batman Unchained script was discarded, new writers were hired to come up with an entirely different story also featuring the Scarecrow. The project was going to be made by Warner Brothers executive Greg Silverman without the involvement from Joel Schumacher after Batman & Robin was almost universally panned by critics and audiences.
At Bruce's urging, Dick Grayson is in college, though he still has plans to fight crime. At school, Dick clashes with Prof. Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow), who suffers from a disease that prevents him from feeling physical pain. Dick challenges one of Crane's academic positions in front of the whole class, enraging the villain. The Scarecrow eventually kidnaps Dick, experiments on him and throws him in Arkham Asylum. Dr. Kirk Langstrom also played a role in the story, transforming into the monstrous Man-Bat.
- George Clooney as Bruce Wayne/Batman (refused to return)
- Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow (role offered)
- Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
- Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon
Why It Was Cancelled
- Batman & Robin was panned by critics, fans and audiences.
- Batman & Robin flopped at the box office.
- Warner Brothers was willing to wipe the slate clean following the disastrous performance of Batman & Robin rather than continuing to push the same continuity with the turn of the Millenium on the horizon.
- Warner Brothers put all future live-action Batman movies on hold until a new script was written and decided to focus more on making more animated direct-to-video and direct-to-DVD Batman movies as well as the 2001 series Justice League, which featured Batman as one of the major characters in the series.
- Warner Brothers became interested in doing a larger scale version of Frank Miller's Year One, and hired director Darren Aronofsky based on his pitch.
- A Batman Beyond movie was also in development (which that movie also was cancelled).
- George Clooney refused to return as Batman.
- The studio stayed interested in doing a larger scale version of Frank Miller's Year One, which eventually resulted in Batman Begins.
- The movie was supposed to take place during Halloween and have more dark themes than the previous Batman films had.