david goyer batman v superman

Eventually, someone is going to write the comprehensive book about the superhero movie boom of the past fifteen years and it’s going to be a fascinating read. In the meantime, all we can do is pick through the rubble, dredge up trivia, and examine the broader strokes of how this genre, and the people making these movies, have changed.

And sometimes, an interesting nugget of information bubbles to the surface. In this case, it’s a quote from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice screenwriter David S. Goyer, who called the mere idea of a Batman vs. Superman movie terrible. Over a decade ago. While promoting Batman Begins. Which he also wrote.

This entire L.A. Times article is fascinating as a piece of Hollywood history. Published on May 8, 2005, a month before Batman Begins arrived in theaters, it explores how Warner Bros. killed the Batman franchise and their many attempts to bring it back to life. Eventually, they put their trust in a young filmmaker named Christopher Nolan, who pitched a left-field, back-to-the-basics approach. This was before Nolan became a widely known and beloved filmmaker. This was three years before Iron Man and The Dark Knight would change the superhero movie landscape forever. And it was eleven years before Batman v Superman, so David S. Goyer could get away with saying this:

Batman Vs. Superman is where you go when you admit to yourself that you’ve exhausted all possibilities. It’s like Frankenstein meets Wolfman or Freddy Vs. Jason. It’s somewhat of an admission that this franchise is on its last gasp.

What’s especially interesting about this quote is that Warner Bros. almost made this movie over ten years ago. A script called Superman Vs. Batman was written and the film was deep into development when it was cancelled, causing a big rift amongst a few producers and executives at the studio. In that context, Goyer’s quote becomes even more interesting. This is from a time when Batman, as a cinematic character and movie franchise, needed saving in a big way and some thought the only way to rehabilitate him was to team him up with Superman. Now, the character feels bulletproof – they brought Batman in to prop up an ailing Superman after Man of Steel underperformed at the box office.

While some will be quick to roll their eyes at Goyer or call him a hypocrite, it’s important to remember that he made this statement over a decade ago. The way comic book movies are made has completely changed the people who make them have evolved as well. So consider this quote something to be amused by rather than something with which to damn Batman v Superman. The movie is already good at that all by itself.

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