|Ten years after I wrote the "definitive Batman" for DETECTIVE COMICS, I got a call from DC Comics publisher Jenette Kahn. It seems that when those DETECTIVEs appeared, Mike Uslan, producer of the Swamp Thing film, told an interviewer they showed him, for the first time, how to do a Batman film for adults. (The Adam West "Holy Pow!" Batman was still the dominant image for the general public.) |
In the ten years since, he had tried, first as an independent and later in association with Warner Brothers, to translate my story into a single film. A series of scripts involving Silver St. Cloud, Boss Thorne, and a truly insane Joker had been generated by Hollywoods finest writers, but somehow they werent working. So now I was asked to return to the Batman.
When I got involved I was told that the Joker and the Penguin and Robin were all going to be in the picture. I argued that that was several characters too many, but was overruled, so my first treatment went that route. The Powers That Be not only liked it, but for the first time saw the Batman "picture" clearly enough to realize that two villains and a boy wonder were masking (so to speak) the Batman story, which is what it should be all about. So I got to do the second treatment with just the characters that eventually hit the screen: Bruce Wayne, the Batman, Silver St. Cloud, and the Joker.
When I was done we had all the elements in the right places, and most importantly, we had Batman's ambiance, the thing no one else could do. So screenwriter Sam Hamm and director Tim Burton took over, and three years later - after Silver and Boss Thorne had their names changed for various reasons - the one Batman movie everyone liked hit the screen. If I'd had any sense I'd have continued working in Hollywood then, but I was enjoying comics and games...