David S. Goyer & Charles Roven—Batman Begins—05/03/05

Over the last decade, David S. Goyer has established himself as the go-to guy for comic-book and "genre" movies. As a screenwriter, he wrote or contributed to the scripts of The Crow: City of Angels, Dark City, the Blade trilogy, and the upcoming Ghost Rider. As a director, he took the reins of Blade: Trinity, and plans to direct his own script for The Flash, as soon as he's done writing it. First, he must promote Batman Begins, which he co-wrote with director Christopher Nolan. At the L.A. press junket for Batman Begins, Goyer shared time with producer Charles Roven, who—since 1983—has produced some of Hollywood's top movies, including Twelve Monkeys, Fallen, City of Angels, Three Kings, the Scooby-Doo movies, Kicking & Screaming, and, of course, Batman Begins. His slate of pending films includes Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm, Get Smart, and The Flash. Since Goyer was battling laryngitis at the junket, he sounded a bit like Batman himself...

Groucho: David, you pay homage to the comics, but make this story your own. Can you talk about the integration of the well-known characters—Gordon, for example, shares an element of Dr. Leslie Tompkins, and Ra's Al Ghul becomes a part of Bruce's training.

David Goyer: There's a long question—the integration from comics to our film? And I have fucking laryngitis! (All laugh.)

DG: We pulled from a lot of different sources. We pulled from sixty-four years of material. We had to boil it all down—figure out what would work best. I mean, yes, Gordon is a little bit of Tompkins. We based a lot of it on Year One. Ra's Al Ghul we pulled from the '70s Denny O'Neill and Neil Adams stuff. Jesus, it's a hard question to answer right now.

Charles Roven: But I think it's really—it's more we found bits of the characters than drawing from other characters. Not that amalgamating characters. Your question was the amalgamation of characters, right?

DG: There wasn't a lot of amalgamation. Was not a lot. It's more like, "Oh, we'll pull Ra's from this story." I mean, in some cases—a lot of the lines Chris and I came up with on our own. But in some cases, I literally took this line of dialogue from this issue, and this line of dialogue from that issue. And then wove it all together.

[For the complete L.A. junket press conference transcript, click here.]

[For Groucho's review of Batman Begins, click here.]