Gotham Knight Interviews

Batman: Gotham Knight

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Gotham Knight Interviews

I was at Wizard World Chicago this past weekend and had an opportunity to sit down with a few guys from the new Gotham Knight movie. The interviews served to give me some insight in to the movie. I hope this does the same for you, and rest assured they’re 100% spoiler free.

Executive Producer Bruce Timm

Q: What was your involvement in the movie?
A: “Well it was kind of an odd position for me. I was hired to not give notes. I still had to oversee things; it was along the lines of being a traffic cop. I was involved early on at the script stage. Sat out on the pre-production, and then more involved again in the post-production. It was an interesting project because we would get the storyboard back from the Japanese (artists), and I would say ‘cut away here, close up here’ and I would have to stop and say ‘that’s how I would do it’. Would it work? Well, honestly there were times when I wasn’t sure, but in the end it did.’

Q: Was there a pre-set order?
A: “Yes, the scripts were laid out in such a way that they had a pre-set order.”

Q: How was it having Kevin Conroy back as Batman?
A: “It was great seeing him again. It was cool. The thing that surprised me the most was that he was a little bit rusty. He did his whole performance in ADR [additional dialogue recording], it gave me a whole respect for people who do dubbing. It took a little massaging to get it right. The thing that worried us the most about using Kevin was that in one of the segments the animation house designed Batman looking very very young and we weren’t sure that Kevin could get his voice quite in that natural placement. But it turned out good in the end.

Q: Was it weird to hear Kevin’s voice coming out of a different character?
A: “We were initially concerned about that, but there’s been so many different Batman’s that it wasn’t really a problem.”

Q: Were there other name actors that you wanted to get for this movie?
A: “Initially we wanted to use the Dark Knight cast, but we just couldn’t make the schedules work. It didn’t take long to fill in the blanks after we got Kevin.”

Q: Are you concerned with Gotham Knight coming out so close to Dark Knight?
A: “It might overshadow it to a degree, but this is an opportunity to add our PR in with the movie. So far that’s been very successful. I think the pros outweigh the cons.”

Q: Is this a purely DVD release?
A: “Save for one episode ‘On Demand’ [Comcast] there’s no plans to release the episodes individually.”

Q: So is Wonder Woman your next project or is Teen Titans next?
A: Teen Titans is still on the backburner for various reasons, but Wonder Woman is our next project. Footage is starting to come back so far it looks great. It will be coming out in the beginning of next year.”

Writer of Working Through the Pain segment: Brian Azzarello

Q: How were you chosen to write for Gotham Knight?
A: “Greg Noveck contacted me, a week before I was going to Europe. He asked me if I would be interested in doing this. I said sure, and he said ‘well I’m going to need it in two weeks.’ So I had a nice hotel in Barcelona but I can’t tell you much about the city itself.”

Q: Why Working Through the pain?
A: “Because I was interested in telling something about the process of learning how to be Batman. I didn’t have much interest in writing about Batman himself but Bruce Wayne was something I wanted to do. It was hard, because fans want these movies to be super heroes jumping around. And this is Bruce Wayne learning to be the badass we know as Batman.”

Q: How would you describe Bruce Wayne psychologically?
A: “Really [email protected]#%ed up, it’s that simple. Bruce Wayne is somebody who hasn’t progressed beyond one event in his life. He’s done everything he can to stay at a certain point in his life. He took over his father’s business, lives in his father’s house, he’s constantly haunted by his past.”

Q: Was it tough writing such a short segment?
A: “It was okay, considering I only had two weeks it was awesome. I hit my 2 week deadline on the day.”

Q: Is there a reason there’s no official villain in your segment?
A: “Yeah, they told me I couldn’t write a villain in, it’s that simple!”

Writer of Deadshot segment: Alan Burnett

Q: When were you brought on Board?
A: “I was brought on as it was happening. There was a storyline that they had all laid out, and I was brought on after everything else was written.”

Q: How different was the process from working on the various series.
A: “Not that much different, but being Direct to DVD I was able to use a villain that television would never let me use, Deadshot. They don’t like guns on children’s television. The audience for this DVD is a bit older.”

Q: What do you think of the six segment style?
A: “I really like it I’d like to see them do another one”

Q: Were you given a beginning point and an ending point or allowed to go hog wild?
A: “Well, there’s a certain progression to it. I wasn’t given firm guidelines but had to follow the progression. Like in the beginning the cops are afraid of Batman but by the end they’re secretly working for him.”

Writer of Have I Got a Story for You segment: Josh Olsen

Q: What led up to your involvement in the movie and you’re segment ‘Have I got a story for you?’
A: “I’m a huge Batman fan, and I had just bought a house. The most exciting thing about my house is that I have a closet that can hold my comic book collection, and there’s room to keep it up for 10 years. That’s how valid I am. So, I’ve always been a fan. History of Violence [his previous movie] was based on a graphic novel, but that’s not really like this. I had done some stuff through (Gregory Noveck in the past; I was asked if I was interested in doing it. I can still hear my agent screaming at me. I had just been nominated for an Oscar. It raised my profile and I had just turned down a huge studio project right before I took Gotham Knight. I love the idea. It was more then just a Batman cartoon.”

Q: What did you think of the animation style?
A: “I was surprised by the detail, it seemed like no background was used twice. Even the most mundane scene would have very precise detail. It’s truly amazing.”

Writer of Crossfire segment: Greg Rucka

Q: When were you brought on board?
A: Azzerallo and I were on the same call, and they gave us the whole back story. They asked if I wanted to do Gotham Central. I said ‘What?’ they told me about the story and I said ‘yeah’ and that was that. ”

Q: What do we see in this segment?
A: Gordon gets a promotion, and is chummy with Batman. We’ve always known Batman is a good guy, but the people in Gotham don’t. There’s no reason for anybody to believe (with the exception of Gordon) Batman is a good guy.

Q: Were you happy with the voice characterizations
A: “Yeah, you know it was weird. This is the first time I wrote animation, primarily I wrote two cops talking in a car. It become tonally different after the voice actors put there spin on the lines. That was different for me.”

Q: How difficult was it writing it into the rest of the story.
A: “It’s like a party game. You have to use the words, car, geranium, and piston rotary engine, go! Yeah, it might sound funny, and I like collaboration, just like 52. As hard as the work is, it’s incredibly rewarding”

Q: How different was the script from the screenplay you turned in?
A: “Except for a few minor changes it was remarkably close to my original draft. There were a few basic plot changes throughout but those were fairly few.”

Composer for In Darkness Dwells and Have I Got a Story For you Segments: Chris Drake

Q: What do you think of the finished product?
A: It’s a Batman like you’ve never seen before. Visually and musically it’s six totally different movies.

Q: What’s your best segment?
A: In Darkness dwells, I love the theme for it. It turned out so appropriate.

Q: Is it all synth?
A: “It’s 100% synth. I take great pains to make it sound like a full orchestra. The biggest thing is that I add mistakes. This makes it sound more real”

Q: Does anyone help you with your music?
A: “My son. I’ll bring him in and ask if it’s cool or not. I know it’s cool if he throws the horns; it’s all about the horns.

Highlights As stated above Bruce Timm’s next project will in fact be Wonder Woman! He also mentioned that Teen Titans isn’t quite dead yet. Expect Eye Crave to be on top of any Wonder Woman news that might come out. You can buy Gotham Knight July 8th in 3 DVD versions, 1 disc standard, 2 disc special edition (This is my pick, it includes commentary, and lots of other fun extras), or Blu-Ray

CLICK HERE TO BUY IT!

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