Published in 1986 and written by Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns sees a much older, more grizzled Batman than fans might be used to.
Widely regarded as one of the Dark Knight's best and most popular stories, the four-issue comic book miniseries is set in a dystopian future where Gotham City is terrorized by a gang known as "The Mutants." Bruce Wayne, having retired from crime-fighting after the death of Robin, must again don the cape and cowl to put a stop to the criminal element in Gotham.
Zack Snyder has been at the helm of quite a few DC film projects. He directed 2009's Watchmen before also directing Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice , the latter of which featuring a slightly older, more gritty Batman of its own.
Snyder is currently prepping his own director's cut of the 2017 DC film Justice League , but it seems he has his sights set even beyond that partiuclar project.
Snyder said he's "obsessed" with The Dark Knight Returns :
"I saw a tweet recently like 'Snyder needs to stop reading Dark Knight Returns, he needs to read another Batman comic.' I almost tweeted back. I'm sure Jay [Oliva] replied like 'there aren't any others!' I'm so obsessed with that comic. I've always thought that maybe one day down the road as a one-off, just as a crusty old Batman, we'd just do it. It's a dream I have."
WHAT THIS MEANS
2016's Batman v. Superman : Dawn of Justice took quite a bit of inspiration from TDKR . From an older, disillusioned Bruce Wayne to Batman's armored suit which he uses to do battle with Superman, there are no shortages of calls to the infamous comic. There are even a few shots in that film that were practically ripped from the pages of the comic.
As for Snyder's dream of adapting The Dark Knight Returns , one wonders exactly what that would resemble. Would it include Ben Affleck's Batman, or would Snyder cast someone else? If anything, Affleck is bordering on being quite age-appropriate for the role.
At any rate, Zack Snyder has miles to go before he's done with the current project of his own cut of Justice League , especially since he confirmed he even has a story for a potential sequel in mind .