Back before we got Tim Burton's iconic 1989 take on Batman, the Dark Knight struggled for a significant time to get anywhere near the big screen. The 1960s campy approach to the character had all but killed him as a viable character and almost nobody wanted anything to do with Batman.
One person who had faith - however malformed - was Adam West. The first movie Batman actor had a lot of affection for his most famous role and wasn't willing for it to be mothballed entirely, even though his TV show (and a similar change in tone on the page) had coincided with a serious downturn in Batman comics sales.
West's plan to revive the Bat was to pitch his own movie.
He revealed all in an interview in the June 1989 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, in which he also bitterly dismissed Burton's Batman as "Robocop in Gotham City". And along with that jab came details of his frankly bonkers movie pitch:
"Bruce Wayne had basically retired to his ranch in New Mexico after having cleaned up Gotham City. Most of the main villains were in madhouses or penitentiaries. So I invented a new supervillain called Sun Yat Mars, who was so heinous he inspired to spring them on one horrible stormy night, making them his minions - Marsies. Moreover he was kidnapping college kids from all over the world, taking them to his Zombie Satellite, which was very Alien looking, and there they marched like Dacua, filing in long lines into these terrible machines that sucked their brains out.
It just escalates. It's quite mesmerising. And there's more.
West says the film would also reveal signs of alien invasion, moonlit romantic horse-riding and the Boy Wonder as "a singing medical intern... He's chasing nurses around with his guitar - the Bruce Springsteen of Mercy Hospital."
Singing. A singing Robin. WHAT?!
Naturally, the film never made it - possibly because someone had the audacity to actually read the pitch - and West had to return to the drawing board. Undeterred by rejection and a clear indication that nobody would let him be the captain of the good ship Batman Movie, he decided he didn't need to have official names like Batman and Superman.
Instead, he'd just rip them off:
"I also wrote a thing called Superbat when it was clear I'd never get film rights to the Batman character. It was a hybrid of Batman and Superman who came from another galaxy, but he now lives in this vast cave."
It sounds incredibly odd, but then in 2008, Grant Morrison's Final Crisis mashed the two characters up, only that version of the character went way further than West's. After all, his only vision for his Superbat's powers was "being so rich he can do anything" and living in a cave for some reason.
Again, nobody took his bait.
And West's attempts to make a Batman project for himself didn't stop there...
As an appendix, West also revealed that when the 80s Batman movie was already in early planning stages, he conceded defeat on getting his own movie made and changed approach. He decided to pitch a musical instead:
"At another point I went to DC Comics and tried to sell them on the idea of a big Broadway play called A Night In Wayne Manor, which could've been a musical. But by then no one would touch Batman. The movie was in the works."
You almost wish he'd got his way...