Nowadays, it should be considered something of an achievement when legendary comics scribe and penciler Frank Miller manages to get through an interview without saying something either grumpy or inflammatory or—in a move hereby referred to as “Miller Time”—both at once. Whether it’s being pissed off about Occupy Wall Street protestors, or making an entire comic that exists solely to allow Frank Miller the opportunity to punch Muslim terrorists in the face through the medium of drawing little lines very aggressively, the outspoken author of The Dark Knight Returns has become as well known for his political views as his comics in recent years. (Which is really a decent consolation, when you consider the alternative of being well known for creating the film adaptation of The Spirit.)
In a new interview with Variety, Miller manages to sound downright sensible, talking about how, were he to gain control of the Batman film franchise, he would take a very back-to-basics approach. “My dream would be to make it much smaller,” Miller says. “To lose the toys and to focus more on the mission, and to use the city a great deal more. Because he’s got a loving relationship with the city he’s protecting.” But, he adds, “it will never be in my hands, because it would not be a good place to make toys from. There wouldn’t be a line of toys.“ Clearly, he’s discounting the idea of a talking Batman doll that utters an array of Miller-scripted catchphrases, like, “What? Are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I’m the Goddamn Batman.”
Far more oblique is a comment Miller makes in reference to the most recent cinematic outing of the caped crusader, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. When asked for his opinion of the film, Miller—who famously hates every onscreen incarnation of the character—had this to say:
I’ll just say: ‘Thanks.’ What can I say? [Laughs.] No, actually I’ll withdraw that; I’ll say: ‘You’re welcome!’
It’s an unexpected response to the film, given his antipathy to every other incarnation. Does he feel vindicated? Paid? What could be the reasoning?