Exclusive: Gabbing with Goyer – Part II

SHH!: Speaking of horror stories, were you at all worried that you may run into some of the same problems that was facing the Superman franchise for years?

Goyer: What was happening with Batman was the opposite with what was happening with Superman, which seemed to be fraught with all of these problems and these changing personnel, and everything that was going on with Batman went very smoothly. We pitched our story, I turned in a treatment, which is 90% of what the finished film has become. We turned in the script and they greenlit it. It was very smooth.

SHH!: What inspiration do you get from the comics when you’re working on a script?

Goyer: Any time I approach something that is preexisting as a comic book, I go back and reread all the stuff I can pertain to it. With Blade II and Blade Trinity, the movie has been different from the comic book depiction, so I didn’t necessarily go back to the comics, since I was already off and running on my own tangent. Obviously, I had already read a lot of Batman comics, and I reread a lot. I went through the archives at DC and had them pull a bunch of stuff. Batman is particularly daunting because there have been so many comics written and so many different interpretations of Batman. The Bill Finger Batman is very different from the Doug Moench Batman, which is very different from the Frank Miller Batman.

SHH!: Are you looking at the new Batman movie as a completely separate entity, as if the other movies never happened?

Goyer: Yeah, it’s a reboot. We can do a new Joker or a new Two-Face story. As far as our movie is concerned, [the first four movies] never happened.

SHH!: Is there going to be a lot of CGI in the movie?

Goyer: Some, but that’s not the kind of thing [Chris] leans to. There’s this great moment in the film where Batman crashes through a window of a high rise with his cape on fire onto the roof of a car. That was all done for real. There wasn’t any CG. It was kind of cool. They did this movie right.

SHH!: Were you able to spend any time on the set while they were making it?

Goyer: I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I would have liked because I was finishing Blade. Our shooting schedules overlapped and then I was editing it. Trust me, I would have preferred to have been on the set much more.

SHH!: Of course, you must know that there’s a ton of excitement about this movie, right? I don’t think I’ve seen so many people get excited whenever someone new was cast.

Goyer: No, I know there’s a ton of excitement! It was kind of neat, because I feel like fans seem to be appreciating every single casting choice we’re doing on Batman Begins.

SHH!: And that never happens…

Goyer: I know! It’s one of those times where everything seemed to go right.

SHH!: Are you still working on the Ghost Rider movie too?

Goyer: I might be getting an executive producer credit, but I’m really not involved. Once they decided that they didn’t want it to be R-rated, Norrington and I basically left. I think there are some remnants of my script in there, but I haven’t even read Mark Steven Johnson’s new script. I totally wish him luck, but I’m really not involved.

SHH!: So I guess we won’t be seeing a Midnight Sons movie anytime soon?

Goyer: No, there won’t be a crossover. It’s really hard when the film rights to the different characters go out to different studios.

SHH!: That seems to be the big problem with Marvel’s movies, because at least at Warner Brothers, you could eventually expect to see some sort of crossover between their characters.

Goyer: But it’s also why, by the same token, Marvel is more competitive. I think that’s why they’ve initially had more success in marketing their properties for film, because they can go out to the town, whereas DC is really hindered in that way.

SHH!: Now that you’re doing stuff with Warner Brothers, have you talked much with Avi Arad about it and would either of you have any issues with you doing another Marvel movie?

Goyer: No, I would still do both. Originally, I was talking about doing a Nick Fury Agent of Shield movie, like a real one instead of the crappy TV movie that got made with David Hasselhoff. (Note: Goyer neglects to mention that he wrote that television show.) I was talking about doing that, and then I got the call for Batman, and when I called up Avi, he had already heard and he understood.

SHH!: Can you tell us a bit about Y: The Last Man and how you got involved?

Goyer: It’s an adaptation of a Vertigo comic book that I liked. Warner Brothers passed on it, and New Line is an affiliated company and I said to Paul Levitz that I’d like to take this over to New Line and he said okay. It’s not something I’m writing, just producing. I’m helping to try to shepherd that project. Jeff Vintar, who adapted I, Robot is working on it right now. We just got a first draft and it’s pretty good and we’re working on it.

SHH!: Is writer Brian K. Vaughn involved with it at all?

Goyer: No, he had so many comic book commitments. He’s been involved and we’ve had a couple meetings with him and we’ve been sending him the drafts as they’ve been coming in.

SHH!: What other comic books do you still read?

Goyer: I don’t read a lot of Vertigo, but I read Y: the Last Man, Fables and 100 Bullets. I’m still reading Bruce Jones’ The Hulk plus I read The Ultimates and Supreme Power. I’m really interested in Warren Ellis’ Iron Man. Over at DC, I read all the stuff that Geoff Johns writes because I used to write JSA with him.

SHH!: You also are working on a new television show with Harry Potter producer Mark Heyman. What is that about?

Goyer: It’s called Threshold and again, it’s not something I’m writing. We call it a science fiction show for people who don’t like science fiction, and it’s about how society would really react if aliens landed. I don’t think it’s the way that we’ve seen in the movies.

SHH!: So it’s not like V or Alien Nation?

Goyer: No, we never really see the aliens. I don’t want to give too much away, but they don’t appear in the way that traditional aliens have appeared before. We’ve got a young writer working on it right now, and we’ll see how the script turns out.

SHH!: Do you have any interest in any other superhero or comic book movies besides the stuff that you already have in the works?

Goyer: I’ve always loved Thor on the Marvel side. On the DC side, I think an Atom movie would be fun; it would be cool to do a serious take on the shrinking man film. I think Flash would be cool. I love all those characters. Some of them are harder sells as films than others. I think there could be a cool Warlord film made if someone did it right. [Note: For those under 30, that’s the Mike Grell comic book about a pilot who ends up in the lost land of Skartaris.] I could see a cool version of an Adam Strange film as well. I like what they’re doing in the new comic book. But it just depends. Who would have ever thought Blade would be a cool movie? I maintain that if we can make Blade a cool movie, given the right treatment and the right person doing it, you can do almost anything.

SHH!: Have you ever thought about adapting a Grant Morrison or an Alan Moore comic book, if that’s even possible?

Goyer: I love those guys but their stuff is so self-reflexive that I don’t know how they’re going to do Watchmen.

SHH!: So are you getting sick of superheroes yet?

Goyer: In a perfect world, I’d like to do something different next, but I’m sure I’ll end up doing some other superhero movies.

SHH!: Anything you want to add or say to your devoted fans at Superhero Hype!?

Goyer: I think it’s a great website, and I think you guys do a great job. I definitely check it out, and I know that most of us involved in these comic book films really do care what the fans think and we don’t take them for granted. Certainly on the Blade and Batman films, we feel that we owe them a certain debt of gratitude and that we don’t want to let them down.

Blade: Trinity comes out nationwide on December 8. Batman Begins comes out next summer.

Source: Edward Douglas