Beaks with David Goyer and beats the truth out of him regarding everything! BLADE, BATMAN, IRON MAN, BROTHER VOODOO...
Hey folks, Harry here... Personally I'd love to see a Brother Voodoo movie and a Jonah Hex flick. Now... if they ever fucking make a "PREZ" movie... that's when to hang up the 4-Colors for a decade or so. Here's Beaks and a whole helluvalot of Goyer... Read on...
This is the third interview I’ve conducted with David Goyer this year, and, this time, I finally had the latitude to cover a full range of topics I’d been holding back. Below, you’ll find out more about BLADE: TRINITY and BATMAN, glean a thing or two on IRON MAN, and, most importantly, have a definitive answer to the question: “When they make ‘x comic book’ into a movie, it’s time for the genre to go away for a while.”
Since we last talked, or, you know, that interview that is now lost to my technological travails.
You have to say that. You have to say that you lost it.
Oh, I know.* This is the second go-round with you, and—
I’m just trying to monopolize your time.
And I have to preface that I have a bad cold, but it doesn’t matter because it’s print.
We were talking about the ending of BLADE TRINITY at the time. You were tinkering with it and could possibly go in two different directions with it. Are you still working on that?
There are a lot of rumors about the ending, none of which are completely right. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that he dies, or that they changed the ending so that he doesn’t die. I don’t want to give anything away, obviously, but I love it when I read stuff online that is put forward with such complete (authority), and then it becomes canon because other websites pick it up and you just sit there, shake your head and say, “No, you don’t know. That’s not even remotely what’s happening.” But there are definitely different endings that we’ve been playing around with, some versions of which will show up on the DVD as deleted scenes. We’re doing a third test in the coming weeks, and that will be the ending that was scripted. We’ve never tested that ending, so we’ll see how that goes. There were also a lot of differences of opinion as to – and, unfortunately, until the movie comes out, I can’t fully reveal this. But there was a lot of internal dissent between different parties as to what way to go with the ending.
Between New Line and yourself?
And even Marvel, too. It’s actually been quite the happy family in the main, but there are just a lot of different people with wildly opinions about how, as the third movie, it should end. Everyone was very passionate about it, and I was surprised at the positions some of the party took.
I would think that some of this would have to do with maintaining the franchise, and going forward with the Nightstalkers.
Yes and no. I know this sounds crazy, but, originally, New Line… it could go any different direction. There could be another BLADE; there could not be another one. There could be a NIGHTSTALKERS; there could not be another one. There could be another BLADE without Wesley. New Line was willing to do that. It just depends. And I’m not trying to give you a bullshit Hollywood answer, but… at the end of the day all of these decisions are made, first and foremost, because of business considerations. It’s how profitable the film is… the DVD’s… things like that. How much money do they have to pay the star, and does that cut into their profits? Things like that. I remember at one point they were saying, “Oh, we should make another one with DMX.” And just because of DMX, it’ll be $10 million cheaper. But then will it make as much money? I don’t know.
I was going to say that I just received the KILL BILL VOL. 2 DVD the other day. Michael Jai White’s pretty badass with a sword in that deleted scene.
Different people online have said that he should be the new Blade. He’s a good actor, and he certainly knows martial arts. We used to talk about if we did a television show maybe he could play Blade. The difference between Blade and Batman, having another actor play the character, is that, with Batman, there had been the Adam West Batman, and then there was Michael Keaton. And people were wondering how the franchise would continue if it wasn’t Michael Keaton. With Blade, there’s only been one version, and it’s always been Wesley. If it were a prequel, I could see the audience buying it. Would the audience buy it if it wasn’t Wesley and it was a sequel? I don’t know.
The interesting thing with Wesley nowadays is that he does the BLADE movies, and that’s it.
He’s certainly, in the last decade, not really known for much else.
Getting back to the Nightstalkers, in the clips I’ve seen, and just watching her develop as an actress, Jessica Biel has always struck me as having a really assertive presence. I really can see her having a long career in this genre.
She could be a big star. I really believe that. People were skeptical because of SEVENTH HEAVEN, but, come on, she started when she was fourteen, and that’s the only role anyone ever knew her as, and—
I never watched that show.
I’ve never seen it, either, but you saw the one clip. Physically, she can obviously pull it off. That was all her. There wasn’t a single shot that wasn’t her. But she does a lot more than that in the movie, particularly in the climax. She’s obviously beautiful, and, physically, she can pull it off, but I actually think she’s a really good actress.
I like seeing her in these roles. I mean, she was good in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but—
She’s got a part in Cameron Crowe’s new movie. She’s shooting that now, and I’m curious to see what she does with that. She’s really interested in doing independent movies, and, then, big paycheck movies. I’ve been talking to her about some of the movies she’s thinking about doing, and some of the indie ones are really cool. She definitely doesn’t want to just be the paycheck girl.
Well, hopefully that means no more SUMMER CATCH.
But it’s hard. I don’t know how old she was when she did that. Seventeen?
You’ve gotta take the paycheck.
Hey, look! *A lot* of us started out like that. I mean, I did KICKBOXER 2, DEMONIC TOYS, ARCADE when I was twenty-three. I don’t know if you’re an aspiring screenwriter or not, but if somebody said, “Hey, I’m going to pay you $50,000 to write a kickboxing movie”, you’d probably do it.
I’d do it. Absolutely. But mostly because I love kickboxing movies on general principle.
But at the beginning, when you’re starting out you even think, “Well, I could do a good job of it”, or “I could try to do a good job of it.” I mean, I did a couple of these Charlie Band movies when I started out, and I knew they were never going to be genius because he was only giving me eight days to write them. He pre-sold the poster and said, “Here’s a poster: DEMONIC TOYS. Write this movie in eight days.” But I’m just a starving twenty-three year old in this crappy, roach-infested apartment, and I’m going to write a movie in eight days. I’m going to try to make it as good as I can knowing that they’ve got horrible people that are making it. Believe it or not, in ARCADE or DEMONIC TOYS, I consider it a huge victory that there are a couple of funny or ironic lines in there that somehow eat their way through the crap.
How difficult was it fielding questions on that BATMAN BEGINS panel without an inch of footage to support you? You know the fans are going to be asking for proof, and you have to go, “Take me at my word.”
I know. Warner Brothers actually apologized afterward.
Then the teaser shows up two days later online.
I was actually really annoyed by that. I agree with Ain’t It Cool and some of the other (sites). I do think they missed an opportunity. I think they underestimated the importance of Comic Con, and also underestimated or misunderstood the audience’s relationship with that franchise. How betrayed they felt, and how… if you don’t have something to show, then don’t show up at Comic Con. Next year will be different, but the studios are still learning how to deal with Comic Con, and there are definitely growing pains. It really has become the Showest of geeks. Some of the studios get it and some of the studios don’t get it. It’s just a learning process, and I guarantee you next year Warner Brothers, whatever they’re doing, will treat it differently.
Nobody was trying to slight the fans. Chris is a perfectionist, and he was still tinkering with the teaser. Now, I think the teaser is really cool, but it was always meant to be a teaser. It’s, I don’t know, thirty-five seconds long. It’s short. But I saw some people complaining that they didn’t show enough. The movie’s not coming out for *ten months*! And Chris is a perfectionist. I was talking to him before Comic Con, and I was encouraging him to release it. But it just wasn’t exactly what he wanted it to be. I know that Bryan Singer had brought some really early stuff (two years ago), but that’s just not Chris. He’s just a perfectionist, and he didn’t want it released. There were some shots in there that he had wanted to put in that weren’t ready that *aren’t* in, and, ultimately, the decision Warner Brothers made was, “Fine, fuck it, we’ll release it!” It was definitely weird that they released it two days later.
One of the suspicions was that this was payback for the script getting out early.
No, it definitely wasn’t that. There was a big meeting at Warner Brothers on Monday (following Comic Con), where they just said, “Well, we could’ve handled that better.” They knew some people would feel slighted by releasing it after Comic Con, but I think at that point the decision was, “Screw it! Let’s just put it out there.” Now, they could’ve waited until the convention in Chicago in a couple of weeks, or something like that. Was it the right decision to release it after the fact? People liked it. It got people excited.
It’s not an issue anymore. I think people were a little miffed, but then they were like, “Wow!”
Twenty-four hours later they were like, “Yeah, it definitely looks different than the Schumacher movies.”
Geeks don’t hold a grudge that long, so long as they’re happy.
At the end of the day, the movie’s got ten months to build up its promotion. I was sitting there on that panel saying, “Look, it couldn’t be further removed from the Schumacher movies.”
The great thing is that it looks like a Christopher Nolan film. That’s the first feeling I get. If I was watching that teaser and didn’t know what I was looking at—
You wouldn’t know it’s BATMAN. When Chris and I first sat down, we talked about the teaser, and we said, “How cool would it be for the audience not to know it’s the BATMAN teaser until the end?” And he did that.
I’m curious, though. The script got out online a while back, and I should preface this by saying that I have *not* read any drafts of this script—
And different versions of the script have come out, too.
How do you deal with that? Does it annoy you.
Yeah. (Long pause.) I think that the internet has helped some movies, but I also think it’s obviously hurt some movies. I remember when I was reading comic books as a kid, when you got to the cliffhanger you had to wait a month, and you wouldn’t know what happened until the next month when you went to the comic book store and opened it up. That was really cool, and that’s blown. Every comic book, every movie… it’s impossible to keep things out. That’s kind of sad because I just think, and it has nothing to do with a defensive posture when you’re trying to market your movie or something like that. But the experience of watching a movie is somewhat truncated by having all of this spoiler stuff out there. And even if you try not to read all of the spoiler stuff, stuff still leaks out or people talk about it.
Because, after a while, people assume everybody knows.
I also think (the internet) can be dangerous because I think you can have a very small group of people affecting the outcome of a movie, and that group of people might not be representative of the greater public. And I’m sorry, but the talk back group, and some of them are cool, but the good thing and the bad thing about the internet is that it sort of flattens everything out. Everybody’s on the same playing field. You can have some guy in Topeka getting as much play online as the director of the movie, or vice versa. That’s good and bad. But I’ve learned that the talk backs are much more negative than the general public. Why do you think that is?
Why do *I* think they’re more negative?
Well, because the people who tend to talk back nowadays, and this is not all of them, but the majority of them are bitter, probably older guys who need to have their voice out there. They want to be a part of the process. And if they can’t be a part of the process, they want to shit on it.
It’s funny because talk back and other things are not representative of what the general public is going to think, which is both good and bad, but then the studios print them out, and some guy, like the head of marketing, will say, “Hey, we got three really good reviews on Ain’t It Cool.” But were they plants, or—
“Did we write those?”
Exactly. And there are negative plants, too, because I know for a fact that there are producers and other writers that are online savvy that will go and trash a competitor’s film. Just write a vicious review.
I can think of one in particular.
So can I. The whole thing is so skewed. In the case of the script leaking, I would say that in the main the response was really positive. So, that was good, as opposed to the SUPERMAN reaction. Most of the internet reviews of the script – there was one on Superhero Hype and one on Latino Review – were very, very positive. So, it didn’t really hurt us. Obviously, though, it had an effect on SUPERMAN.
I think it was a positive effect, though, to get Bryan in there.
I agree. People were just so upset, and I know that the Warner Brothers people were looking at it.
Were you ever consulted on SUPERMAN?
Never. I was wondering every once in a while if I would get a call. It’s one of the few that I never got a call on.
Well, for those of us who haven’t read the BATMAN BEGINS script, it does seem that it is a deathly serious take. It doesn’t look like there’s much wisecracking in this at all.
It’s very serious and very sober. It’s dark. I mean, there are moments of lightness; you can have lightness and have it not be comedy. It’s a serious approach. It treats it like it’s not a comic book movie. I think I was saying on the panel that it treats it as if it was an Alexander Dumas novel, or any other classic piece of source material.
Last time we talked, you said, “Once you’ve nailed Batman…”
“… what else do you do?” I don’t know. Although I am talking about other comic book projects.
IRON MAN I’m not going to do.
You just consulted. It was you and Protosevich?
David Hayter, too. We were just paid by New Line to sit in a room for a couple of days to spitball and debate. Should he be an alcoholic in the first movie? Should he not be an alcoholic? Should it start period? Should it not? What villains should you use? I don’t know where they ended up, but I was *adamantly* opposed to using The Mandarin. I think The Mandarin is super dated and racist. I just don’t know how you make The Mandarin work in the modern day. You know, they had done a version of the script where they tried to make him a sort of Indonesian industrialist that was sort of tied into Al Qaeda, but it wasn’t really The Mandarin anyway.
Do you know if Hayter is incorporating Tony Stark’s alcoholism in the first film?
I don’t know. Protosevich and I felt that the versions that had come before were neither fish nor fowl. He had a drinking problem, but he wasn’t really an alcoholic. I know that Protosevich and I felt that for the first film he should drink a lot, but it should just be in the background. But the second film, you should face the alcoholism head-on. For the first film it just seems like such a downer. The thing that people forget, and I think it was incredibly brave for Marvel to make him an alcoholic, was they made him an alcoholic around issue number 125. He had all of these adventures, and *then* he became an alcoholic. To do it in the first movie, although it would be interesting, it would just be death.
Well, origin films are already crammed with exposition.
And alcoholism was not a part of his origin.
I do like the idea of him being a drinker in the first film.
Yeah. And maybe getting drunk in one of the scenes in the movie. It’s there, but if you’re successful, you take it on in the second film.
You said you had other comic books that you were being consulted on?
There’s one I’m talking about. One at D.C. and one at Marvel.
The D.C. one wouldn’t happen to be GREEN LANTERN, would it?
I know you’ve talked about the comic book genre as being cyclical. It will die—
But then it will come back.
But I have bit of criteria: when they make a “x” comic book into a movie, then I know it’s time for the genre to go away for a while.
And what’s the comic book?
Well, I have my ideas, but what’s yours?
I think if we see a DAZZLER movie, we should run for cover. If we see a BROTHER VOODOO movie, we should run for cover. In D.C., for me, it’s LOBO.
There are people who really want a LOBO movie.
I know. I’m not one of them. Or if you see a HAWK AND DOVE movie.
CLOAK AND DAGGER? Oh, but that’s Marvel.
I think you can make a good movie out of a third-tier character; I mean, BLADE is one. Maybe someone will come up with an amazing DAZZLER movie, or maybe someone will come up with an amazing LOBO movie.
I always thought JONAH HEX would be the one that’d bring it to an end.
But JONAH HEX could be cool if you did it ala HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, or something like that.
I guess. It’s just that the character has never…
You never had an affinity for it?
No. I mean, I’d buy it because I bought everything, but I would read it and wonder why I’m reading it, why it’s being written, who is actually enjoying this, and is there some guy waiting month to month for the further adventures of JONAH HEX? It ran for a while. It’s not like it was STRIKEFORCE: MORITURI.
But that they’re developing as a Sci-Fi Network series.
Maybe it does need to go away.
But some not well known comic properties might make for good movies. That’s the thing: you can’t just say that because it’s not well know, (it won’t work). The idea of a group of people who gain powers to fight an alien invasion, but know they’re going to die within a certain amount of time… that’s sort of interesting.
And there are certain authors that just don’t translate well. Alan Moore has been a bear, and I think they’ve been going after the wrong properties. I think, narratively, WATCHMEN is the most ideal for paring down.
I think WATCHMEN is difficult. I think of the Alan Moore stuff, it’s definitely the best thing to import to film.
The things that make Moore are the minutiae. It’s the texture. That’s why you read them.
But WATCHMEN is interesting because it’s a self-reflexive take on comic book icons. My question is: will the audience get that? When you read WATCHMEN, you’re like, “Oh, that’s Batman, that’s Superman, that’s Wonder Woman.” There are all of these iconic characters. Originally, he was going to do it with the Charlton characters. Is a filmgoing audience going to get that?
They might not pick up on those nuances, but I think the story is strong enough that, if they don’t get that, there’s still something there for them.
There’s definitely room for a revisionist superhero movie. I love that quote from Juvenal: “Who watches the Watchmen?” I like the idea of a world populated with superheroes, and, if they go bad, who’s going to save us? Somebody’s going to make a movie like that, whether it’s SUPREME POWER, or WATCHMEN, or whether it’s RISING STARS. They’re all basically about stripping away the hero myth. What happens if they go bad.
They’d be the UNFORGIVEN of the comic genre. But it took an awfully long time for the Westerns to get to UNFORGIVEN. When you’re done with these comic books, or just taking a break, would you go back to doing smaller stuff like ZIG-ZAG?
I’d love to do something like that again. You know, I was talking with a writer who said that we all have things that we’d like to do, but then sometimes you should go through the door that’s open. After BLADE and BATMAN… you have to weigh, “Do I go off down this tangent and make this artsy little independent film? It might work out well, or it might waste two years of my life, and I’ll be out of it.” It’s difficult. We all know directors who were the next big thing and completely squandered *that* moment. I don’t want to name names, they’re talented, but it’s like, “Where is their second or third film?” They’ve been silent for three or four years because... either they wanted to pursue something that nobody wanted, or they pursued a series of things that were maybe too big for their britches.
You constantly have to balance art versus… not commerce. I had this script that I really wanted to do, MURDER MYSTERIES, based on the Neil Gaiman short story that I wrote for me to direct. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and Neil thinks it’s the best thing of his that’s ever been adapted. I’m dying to do it, but… it’s definitely my DARK CITY. It’s going to require at least $30 million or $40 million to do it. Do I try to make it now, or do I try to get another big hit under me?
But you also have the luxury of people coming to you for possible writing assignments. You wouldn’t be wanting for work. You could be making this risky thing, but people would still know you a comic guy.
Right. I could always write THE AVENGERS movie.
Or THE DEFENDERS.
THE DEFENDERS. There’s one! If we ever see a DEFENDERS movie, we should probably take a break.
Hopefully, it never comes to that.
BLADE: TRINITY will hit theaters December 10th, 2004.
* (Beaks discloses: Look, the VOR on my recorder somehow got switched on down at San Diego, which means that my interviews with Goyer and Sarah Michelle Gellar got turned into indecipherable bits of disconnected conversation. I am the very model of a modern major internet journalist.)
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Aug. 9, 2004, 1:52 a.m. CST
to be here when it comes time to being FIRST!!!!!!...And thus, oh shit my glass is getting low! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:58 a.m. CST
shit....I'd pound out a script for a kickboxing movie FOR FREE!!!!!!...But then, that's just me.....And thus, they had Jim Beam on sale! - - - George, The 7th Chicken!!!!
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:05 a.m. CST
by el zar
Yep, he's made progress.
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:05 a.m. CST
The WB execs were in Chicago that week to approve the final cut and the next day it was on the net. Like Goyer said, they could of sat on it until the Chicago con, but they put it out there as soon as they were satisfied with it.
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:12 a.m. CST
Murder mysteries looks like it could be one cool movie. I hope he can get that goin.
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:37 a.m. CST
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:38 a.m. CST
After all he is the guy who loved The Butterfly Effect. Now I would say I am probably one of the more negative talkbackers on this site, but I am neither "older" nor "bitter about the industry". What I am is passionate about films. And I've seen too many terrible films come down the pipe to remain "glass is half full" when a new film project is announced. You hear of so many obviously bad ideas that it's nearly impossible not to speak up. Also it isn't the film projects that look good that need to be spoken up about. They will probably remain safely on track. The ones that look bad on the other hand need changing and talkbacks gives us a forum to do so. You also have to speak loudly if you want the studios to hear you so maybe we tend to go a little more negative in order to get a better response. I love how Goyer says that talkbackers are out of touch with the mainstream filmgoer. Yeah wouldn't it be a great idea if we just let the average filmgoer dictate what we get to watch?? I mean think bout it. By now we would have The Mummy 7!!!! That would be really fucking beautiful wouldn't it Goyer?? When it comes to popular art you NEVER let the average person dictate the style. You aim for the highest denomination of filmgoer and the drones will fall in line. I don't know about this guy man.
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:46 a.m. CST
by Mosquito March
You can shut the fuck up, now.
Aug. 9, 2004, 3:35 a.m. CST
I really enjoyed it. Goyer's pretty saavy about this whole comics and movies business. One of the problems that could lead to us someday seeing a movie about Beppo is the sad fact that Hollywood doesn't really have that many fresh ideas or concepts floating around. It seems like they've all but abandoned doing book adaptations unless they've been on the New York Times top 10. They've seen hefty returns on comic movies and they'll stripmine it for all it's worth. I am one of the many who have tossed their full support and faith behind Goyer and Nolan to deliver a Batman movie that will make us all proud. I'm glad they didn't go with the Joker for the first movie, but like everyone else I can't wait to see them do it. I'm watching Burton's Batman right now and while there is room for improvement there isn't much room for discussion that Burton crafted one of the best introduction scenes ever with the Joker. I can't wait to see pictures for the Scarecrow costume. Something tells me those pictures will have a lot to do with whether this film is viewed in a general positive by all.
Aug. 9, 2004, 5:52 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
The hell you say! Not showing that teaser at San Diego was a spit in the eye of fandom.
Aug. 9, 2004, 6:14 a.m. CST
Goyer seemingly caters to the test-screen, mall audiences -- which is fine if his aim is to try and line his pockets, however it is also the mark of a director that lacks a singular vision. I'd let a pack of negative talkbackers rip on a film in a constructive manner before I'd ask Jack General Audience what he'd like to see happen at the end of my movie.
Aug. 9, 2004, 6:59 a.m. CST
Goyer wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of Jeff Long's brilliant horror novel and was once set to direct at Dreamworks. What happened? What's the status of this project? Why didn't you ask him about it? Because it's not a comic book movie?
Aug. 9, 2004, 7:12 a.m. CST
by Drunken Fugitive
Joe Public knows Jack Shiit... why do you think we get aborted piles of celluloid crap like 'Catslut' and 'Thunderballs'! But hey without the shiit how would you tell when you've got a good flick... damn the 'verse, damn it to hell!!
Aug. 9, 2004, 8:37 a.m. CST
by Drunken Fugitive
Get off your ass and make 'The Descent' screenplay NOW!
Aug. 9, 2004, 9:57 a.m. CST
Hence the revolving door of too-cool-for-school shit-talking irreverance. But maybe I'm fooling myself, and most of the nastiest assholes here are waaaay old enough to know better. *************** Anyway, cool interview. I'm looking forward to the third Blade movie and I never thought I would. I'm surprised no comments on Ryan Reynolds, for better or for worse "the best thing in the movie" according to some reveiwers. I still think that he resembles Deacon Frost with a lumberjack beard. Would have been interesting if he actually *was* Frost made human again, but that might have been too dumb. Meanwhile, I really really want to like Batman Begins. The teaser just doesn't give me enough to know what to feel yet. I like that it's not just the same old urban sets, that it is clearly different from previous movies. And yet at the same time, because I don't see the familiar Batman elements, I'm left wondering what they'll be like. I mean, you can go 100% the opposite direction from the previous Batman movies and still not get Batman right. I'm hopeful. DC heroes need the break, and so does Warner Bros.
Aug. 9, 2004, 10:12 a.m. CST
Aug. 9, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST
Was that, for two issues of the Uncanny X-Men, the Mandarin was made cool again. Until he got his ass handed to him by an English ex-model psychic trapped in the body of a Japanese ninja. *** I always sort of assumed that all of the negative knee-jerk film bashers were all high schoolers. But then again, I'm old and bitter and hate youth.
Aug. 9, 2004, 11:24 a.m. CST
I am indeed old and bitter. I had to sit through years and years of lackluster Hollywood BS like The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren, hoping and waiting for someone to make a respectable comic book based film. So now that the ball is rolling, and we are getting quality comic book based films, people begin to shit all over them because they are too "fake" or too "unrealistic". Folks, individuals flying around in red tights and cape and shooting lasers from their eyes is FAKE! It doesn't really exist. When Blade II tried its best to present a film with extra-ordinary beings doing extra-ordinary things, the masses reply with "It looks fake!" CGI has come a long way, but there's still room for improvement. However, there is no substitute for a good fantasy story. And if the story is good, the effects can take a back-seat and still be worth my while (ex. Spiderman). Spiderman had some of the worst CGI ever in a Grade A film, but you could forgive that since the story in Spiderman was so good. Just a personal note, Batman is a movie that should require a lot less CGI than most comic book based films. Batman doesn't have lasers coming out of his eyes, and doesn't fly around. He's just a regular rich dude with a costume that kicks ass with his fists and with an arsenal of cool ass weapons.
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST
I, for one, get tired of getting slapped with a label ... of getting "grouped in" with people who supposedly trash EVERY movie based on a comic book character (or otherwise). When I say that I'm disappointed with Batman's costume design for "BATMAN BEGINS", it's because I am. I am not a plant. (I'm probably one of the older "talkbackers" ... past mid-thirties, trained with an artist's eye, and have always wanted to be a filmmaker ... to make the movies in my mind's eye which were originated by comic book sequential art, as a child.) I can appreciate what little else I've seen of "BATMAN BEGINS" ... with the certain amount of realism that Nolan is bringing to the character ... though I really like the exaggeration of the cape (just as I love the short run of artist Marshall Rogers on Detective Comics, back in the '70s). I'm crazy about the character of Batman, my favorite (though I like MANY superhero characters). And a Batman movie can be interpreted in a multitude of ways ... even as visually varied as the styles of art in which the comics have been drawn for years! Who knows, there may come a day ... probably long after I'm gone, that there will be a Batman movie that is so exaggerated visually that it's like a Simon Bisley comic book come to life. (See his painted art in his Judge Dredd/Batman crossover book. Batman looks like a professional body-builder ... and the Batmobile is so exaggerated that the scoop on the hood would be impossible to see over. But cool, none the less.) I'm not going to repeat myself in the details of which I explained in past "talkbacks" ... but the current Batman costume is a failure (to me) ... and if it's not "played as such" within the context of movie (where it gets a reaction of genuine laughter) where Bruce realizes that it MUST be better (and he creates an awesome design before the end of the movie ... which WILL strike fear in the hearts of criminals) ... then they have otherwise failed me on this level. I've just been hoping that the movie would be better than that. But I will judge the movie when I finally SEE it. -- And as for "IRON-MAN" ... if I was making the movie, I'd place it in the late '70s to early '80s (...and not "STARSKY AND HUTCH" comedy)... and pull from those Bob Layton comic books from the same era. (And I agree in how to deal with his alcoholism ... in that it doesn't come up within the story until the sequel.) Yeah, ... I know. It will probably be modern and will miss out on the greatness of those old comic books. -- I wouldn't (and couldn't) direct a movie unless the passion was there, ... and I personally wouldn't do "IRON-MAN" otherwise. Every artist/director should go where their passion leads them ... when it comes to his/her own unique vision. -- And one more thing. There will ALWAYS be a market for superhero movies ... as long as the movies are made well, as could be said for ANY genre.
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:10 p.m. CST
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:35 p.m. CST
Too bad he's almost 60 now, as Timothy Dalton was the perfect actor to portray Tony Stark. Alex Ross even used Dalton as his model for Iron Man when he painted "Marvels." Doncha just hate it when Hollywood misses the boat on a perfect match like that?
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:55 p.m. CST
by the G-man
Aug. 9, 2004, 1:58 p.m. CST
And who will line up to see "Batman Begins" multiple times, pushing it over the $100 Million hump - IF they're treated fairly well and shown a little dollop of respect? THE GEEKS. People like me. And him over there. And him. And her over on the corner. We're all around, man. We go to San Diego Comic-Con. We go to the Wizard World shows in Chicago, Philly, Dallas, and L.A. We go to Dragoncon in Atlanta. We spread good word-of-mouth and help hype genre films when we feel like the studios are at least CONSIDERING listening to our feedback. Do you know what the main difference has been between Peter Jackson's LOTR movies and George Lucas' Star Wars prequels? The way that the director treats the fans. I guarantee you that if Lucas was as fan-friendly and respectful to us as Peter Jackson and his ENTIRE crew of actors, producers, etc. has been, then the Star Wars prequels would have been met with much less hatred and vitriol from our contingent. For those of you who don't think that sites like AICN and shows like San Diego Comic-Con make a definite impact on genre entertainment, well, you're just being ignorant.
Aug. 9, 2004, 2:06 p.m. CST
by Tad Ghostal
Where's the love?
Aug. 9, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST
I cannot believe how many have not picked up on that yet. They don't liquidate the TB boards because it's the only way to show how big of an audience comes to this site. The use the TB as a form of studio clout. It's been that way for years upon years. Drew, Beaks, etc - they don't give a fuck what anyone outside their buddies think...everyone should leave and go to CHUD. Nick loves his Chewers...
Aug. 9, 2004, 3:56 p.m. CST
I don't think anyone fair-minded could deny that there's a significant amount of bitterness amongst talkbackers. A better (and weirder) term might be 'hopeful pessimism'. And, in case anyone cares, here's why. It's easy to shit on the first new thing that comes down the pike. It's easy to jump on bandwagons (or off them). It's easy to cr The truth is, suits, that we are hungry. We're hungry for that butterfly feeling in our stomachs that we felt the first time we saw King Kong climbing up the Empire State Building. The first time we saw the Death Star go up in a sparkling ka-boom. The first time we saw Indy reach through the stone doorway to snatch his fedora. The first time we saw Gandalf and the Rohirrim slam into the orcs at Helm's Deep. We aren't old or young, bitter or idealistic. We just want something better. We're tired of Hollywood studios that make movies by committee, to appeal to target demographics and maximize the merchandising tie-ins. Yeah, that's what it takes nowadays to get movies made. But that doesn't mean it's right. We're angry because we're tired of seeing shit, movie season after movie season. We're angry because we know that Hollywood can do better. Some of the most talented people in the world, perhaps in the entire history of civilization, are in the film business, but we still get garbage like Van Helsing and Batman Forever and Tomb Raider 2. Work harder and we'll be less 'bitter'.
Aug. 9, 2004, 4:29 p.m. CST
I'm a talkbacker and I hate many of my fellow talkbackers. Oh and if I may say so, PLANT!!!!!!
Aug. 9, 2004, 5:03 p.m. CST
"He had a drinking problem, but he wasn
Aug. 9, 2004, 5:56 p.m. CST
I don't mind contradicting you. We end up with Catwoman and Thunderbirds cos studios are chickenshit and won't put out anything they think Joe Public won't like sure, but if I'm not mistaken both these turds bombed, meaning Joe Public deserves a little credit...
Aug. 9, 2004, 6:21 p.m. CST
if they did a Weapon Zero or Soul Saga movie/cartoon/series/something.
Aug. 9, 2004, 6:50 p.m. CST
I really enjoyed the interview with David Goyer. You can tell that this guy knows comics and the key to translating them to the big screen. Jonah Hex in the style of my favorite western, HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER?... I am SO there! It's funny because I always envisioned a sequel to the Clint Eastwood directed film (although some would say that PALE RIDER qualifies as one) and calling it LAGO (after the town in which the original movie took place). Hey, Hollywood! If you're listening... ;) But seriously, my thoughts on Iron Man and his drinking problem are that he should be portrayed as a recovering alcoholic in the first film. He doesn't smoke because of his heart condition, and he doesn't drink because of his alcoholism. He would essentially be a James Bond without the social vices. As for the Mandarin... see BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Personally, I believe that they will probably go with Crimson Dynamo and/or the Titanium Man and make it a metaphor for the arms/space race. By the way, wasn't there an old Paul McCartney song which mentioned the two characters? lol
Aug. 9, 2004, 7:19 p.m. CST
by super Cucaracha
The freakin' trailer had a bad smell to it. It seemes that Blade is gonna take the backseat on this one; while Van Wilder and Ms. Sweet Pussy take over. Blade made Marvel a power on the movie industry. Avid Arad should be taking a big load of sticky goo from Wesley down his throat. AND YES I'M TALKBACKER AND FUCK YOU IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT. I made you...little bitch.
Aug. 9, 2004, 8:16 p.m. CST
It is dead-on casting, in my opinion (his friend Julia Roberts could cameo as Bethany McCabe and maybe draw in more of the female audience). Anyway, I think an Iron Man movie has great break-out potential for appealing to comic geeks and for bringing in non-comic geeks with all the tech stuff and spy thriller type approach.
Aug. 9, 2004, 8:44 p.m. CST
I like insider movie stuff as much as anyone, but I am really interested in casting, who directs, what the tone is, production design, etctera. I do not like spoilers and I avoid them like the plague. I agree with Goyer, and think that it can kill anticipation when scripts get out and are heavily "reviewed" before the movie is even made. It often takes the Internet thing too far. There needs to be a balance struck. *****And, as far as being "old and bitter" goes, I cop to old, but not to bitter. Furthermore, I very much would never "shit on" some movie idea online. I am critical only because I care. Occasionally I get carried away and insult an Idea, or a Director or an Actor that I do not particularly care for, but I have learned to try and refrain from such outbursts. I believe in constructive criticism, and try to practice it. Generally, I just want to put my two cents in about something that I enjoy and care about: movies. I really just want to see good movies get made, and I hate it when bad movies get made. I hate it when potential and money gets blown out the window by a movie that SHOULD have been good, but ended up sucking. I am not vindictive (or at least I try not to be), and I WANT studios to succeed and to make money, but ONLY by making good movies, not by making slick, over-marketed junk. Online posters get angry sometimes becasue they are passionate about movies. Admittedly there are many other posters that are just bad versions of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog; they just want to be vulgar and to put everything down. And, yes, sometimes you can get caught up in a Talkback that is just a tirade of insults, but that is just part of the Internet; the anonimty allows people to get out some of their more malignant thoughts. It's like primal scream therapy; it's not "real". But, I think that you can read past those kind of posts and find others that are actually smart and useful and interesting. Occasionally, criticism is helpful. The Internet is a rough, fun-house free-for-all version of the focus group. Opinion, however harsh, is sometimes worthwhile. For all the bad that has been said about Warner Brothers, I really do hope that they get it together and succeed with Batman, Superman, etc...I think that probably the Internet, as rough-and-tumble as it is, has helped them navigate some of their projects, sort of as a barometer of fan opinion...I think they ultimately have made the smart move with selecting Nolan for Batman, and the Superman project might "take off' (sorry) now that they habve Singer (much to X-Men fan's loss, I think). So, as harsh as the Internet can be as far as criticism and rudeness goes, it is ultimately of some use to the studios, who can use it to help the Internet as a rough sort of massive focus group. And, entirely apart from whatever partial impact that the Internet might have on the Industry and its decisions, for movie-fans, it is sometimes just plain fun to go online and have free-for-all discussions of movies with like-minded (and not so like-minded) people. Its a bit of a Wild West feel to it, and it is often just plain fun....
Aug. 9, 2004, 9:11 p.m. CST
Take the graphic novel. Get David Fincher to shoot it panel-for-shot word-for-word. Release as six two hour movies every two months for a year with the supplemental material as free ticket holders. Rake in cash. Rake in awards. Pat self on back and give talkbacker who started it all a special one-off DVD box set for his two bits.
Aug. 9, 2004, 9:33 p.m. CST
I think that's what he said... I just kind of skimmed the article. sk
Aug. 9, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST
You've all seen it. Mori writes a review, the TBers rag on him a little, and he's right there in the talkback defending himself. If he didn't care, he wouldn't respond (like Harry). That's why I tip my hat to Drew...his replies (even if they are snarky and condescending at times) illustrate that he is at least listening. ///// The guys over at CHUD may be more interactive with the "Chewers," but I find that a lot of times they have an air of superiority (most are cool, however), and it's a hassle navigating through the mess of boards. TalkBack is immediate, and relates to individual stories as opposed to broad subjects that trail off and sink as fast as they appear. Plus you won't find more wit than in TalkBack. There's laughs of all kinds here -- you got your belligerent idiots, the ultra-nerds, and the intelligent (albeit usually angry) wit-meisters. All humorous (for different reasons), but especially when they clash.
Aug. 10, 2004, 12:05 a.m. CST
by andrew coleman
If Blade 3 simply sets up for a spin off they are just bitches then, Blade movies have been R so they will just drop those movies to make some pg-13 crap with Jessica (I can't act) Biel? This already sounds bad. Also I hope if there will be a sequel to Batman Begins it better not involve the Joker that would suck they should try harder characters like Clay Face or Clock King haha. Or at least do Two Face or Posion Ivy or Mr. Freeze and do them right.
Aug. 10, 2004, 2:20 a.m. CST
... I'd love to see the Ventriloquist. Robin Williams would be great in the role ... but someone suggested John Lithgow. And the more I think about it, the more I entertain thoughts of seeing a balding, bushy-haired Lithgow with round glasses, carrying around his boss, Scarface. (heh,heh) And how about Hugo Strange, another great villain?! Another one of my personal favorites ... since I'm talking Batman villains ... is "Clayface 3(Roman numeral)" ... with his combination of intellegence, madness, ... the sickness that he carries that spells doom with a single touch ... and the powerful exo-skeleton he designed for himself. (See the classic "Detective Comics" illustrated by Marshall Rogers ... a great series that included Hugo Strange and Rupert Thorne.) But there would be two OTHER Clayface characters to deal with (to get to #3) ... so I won't hold my breath. (Though the three Clayfaces could all possibly be in the same movie.) And people might scoff at villains like Deadshot and the Killer Moth ... but I think they have great potential in the movies. -- Batman has such a great and vast rogues gallery of villains. I'd love to explore the entire list. Anyone know of such a listing on the web??? What villains would YOU (fellow talkbackers) like to see in future Batman movies??? -- Remember ... the Ratcatcher? How about Fire Bug? KGBeast? It's kind of amusing just to think back ... and remember those days of being so into comic books.
Aug. 10, 2004, 2:28 a.m. CST
I'm not 13 so I couldn't really care less about comics or men in suits beating other men up in the rain. I'd like to know when we will get a CGI-enhanced Cannonball Run 4 please.
Aug. 10, 2004, 2:49 a.m. CST
Aug. 10, 2004, 4:17 a.m. CST
You'd probably know better than I, the average talkbacker would, Beaks, but do you really reckon that most negative talkbackers are older people who haven't had successful careers in the industry? If that's true, you negative talkbackers ought to know that you come off seeming like eleven-year-old little twats.
Aug. 10, 2004, 11:52 a.m. CST
or will you also be doing it again?
Aug. 10, 2004, 3:13 p.m. CST
Blade coming out around Christmas? When will Hollywood learn that vampire and slasher films are best suited for October. Please stop screwing up the summer and winter holidays by releasing good movies at inappropriate times. Hint: "The Passion" was released during Lent, not for Christmas nor for the Summer blockbuster. It did well because it was good and because it was the right season to release it. Move this blood and guts fare away from my Christmas holidays and put it in October so I can get in the mood for Halloween properly. Sheeze.
Aug. 10, 2004, 6:27 p.m. CST
Count me as one who rates the script as being, for the most part, good but not great. I won't pretend to have an intimate knowledge of all things Batman, but the one thing that should be asked of Goyer is how he could have -- SPOILER -- Bruce Wayne offer to give up being Batman for his girlfriend at the end of the movie. That seems so far out of character for Wayne. I always took him to have a near compulsive need to be Batman and that nothing could change that, and that all other things in his life must revolve around that fact. So that bit of the script was the one thing that I thought sucked. Other than that perhaps more scenes could be devoted to his physical and mental training, but all in all its solid; easily better than any other Batfilm script.
Aug. 11, 2004, 5:19 a.m. CST
75 percent or 204.3 million Americans have access to the net. I guess they're all bitter old people for logging on and voicing opinions.
Aug. 11, 2004, 11:10 p.m. CST
by Bourne GreyElf
Mr. Freeze was awesome in the animated series. I loved it creepy cold voice. and um, if they make a sequeal, will it be called, Batman Continues? anyway, WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT ANIMATION IN THE CORNER??? HARRY AND MORI IN A 60 FUCKING 9????? fuck!
Aug. 12, 2004, 6:35 a.m. CST
by The Reef
Despite the fact that the majority of comic adaptations have not been up to their full potential for one reason or another (demographic studies - getting PG 13 - the fact that 2 hours isn't long enough to tell some of these stories, like WATCHMEN) there is one problem that is creeping up on us that should be considered. If comic book movies don't entertain for the right reasons, people stop buying comics. I wonder how many potential readers Catwoman has lost? Or Daredevil? If we extrapolate the inevitable decline in readership resulting from kids getting their first taste at a bad film, new writers and artists may not get into the medium and we could lose a nascent Ellis or Moore. Would Frank Miller decide to work on Daredevil after the film? I think not. P.S. WATCHMEN cannot be shortened to fit into 2 hours, try reading it and count the significant plot points that make this story much more than 'come out of retirement and chase the bad guy to the Arctic'. Because Dr Manhattan spends his time being philosophical I'll put money on the fact that he becomes 'blue background' and we never get to see his martian place or get to explore the ideas in 'The Blind Watchmaker'. Somebody please prove me wrong.
Aug. 12, 2004, 6:17 p.m. CST
I'm sorry, it just doesn't make sense to me. And why clayface? Is it because you don't want anyone to redue what jack nickelson did? I'm sorry to say, but if you actually take the time to read a batman comic you'll see that jack didn't do joker true justice. The best joker ever on the screen was voiced by mark hamill. Period. Joker isn't a fat old man. Joker didn't kill batman's parents. Joker should never get killed in a batman movie. Joker is the yin to batman's yang. And yes... I am a HUGE batman geek.
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