6. Batman: DarKnight (2000)
Warner did, however, take on board some of what Schumacher said, that the franchise needed to return to darkness, far away from the neon-lit excesses of the director’s two stabs at the property, and so Lee Shapiro and Stephen Wise, who were previously tasked with writing Batman Triumphant, were asked to pitch a whole new sequel concept. The awkwardly titled Batman: DarKnight, had Bruce Wayne hanging up the cowl for good after realising that criminals were no longer scared of him.
Dick Grayson is meanwhile studying at Gotham University, where he meets Dr. Jonathan Crane, who experiments with his fear toxin, using his classmates as lab rats, and of course, turning himself into the Scarecrow.
A result of Crane’s experiments is that his co-worker, Dr. Langstrom, is turned into Man-Bat – with Terence Stamp being groomed for the role – which Gotham’s citizens idiotically mistake as Batman’s vengeful return to the city. With the chaos Man-Bat causes, the actual Batman has to emerge from retirement, save the day and restore his good name.
So, what happened? Inevitably, of course, Warner soured on the idea, and it faded into the ether.