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During those years spent trying to erase the memory of Batman & Robin, we came up with a few ideas to help get over our caped fears. Listen up, Warner Bros. — BMR

PLAY BY THE BOOK. For Aronofsky and cowriter Frank Miller, that means sticking to the Year One comic’s gritty tone. Miller’s 1988 four-part comic follows both young playboy Wayne as he slowly assumes the role of the Dark Knight and fortysomething Lieutenant Gordon, who’s trying to thwart crooked cops.

CAST AWAY FROM THE NORM. Take a page from Sam Raimi. The director of Spider-Man brilliantly cast thoughtful thesp Tobey Maguire. Batman should be so lucky. Johnny Depp and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) have the brooding mien, though casting director Billy Hopkins (Chocolat) opts for American Beauty’s Wes Bentley: ”He’s all-American, and Batman’s supposed to be an American icon. Plus, when you look at him, you wouldn’t immediately think superhero.”

HAVE SOME FUN. Yeah, fun. Both Aronofsky’s and Yakin’s indie work show high-energy filmmaking chops, but they’re not exactly Friday-night popcorn flicks. Even Burton’s 1989 Batman was good for a few sinister laughs, thanks to Jack Nicholson’s gleefully malevolent Joker. And if the studio wants to go more retro, we’ve found a volunteer. ”They need me,” says TV Batman Adam West.