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David S. Goyer Says He Had To Tell Christopher Nolan What The Batman Canon Was For 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 25, 2013 at 11:34AM

While Christopher Nolan certainly deserves the praise he's received for taking Batman, and updating the character with a 21st century makeover, and placing the superhero in a gritty, realistic context, perhaps his greatest asset was not being overly familiar with the source material. And thus, he wasn't beholden to any preconceived notions of what "The Dark Knight" trilogy of films could and couldn't be. But with that being said, there were still rules to follow, and Nolan had a little help in setting up that framework.
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Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight Rises

While Christopher Nolan certainly deserves the praise he's received for taking Batman, and updating the character with a 21st century makeover, and placing the superhero in a gritty, realistic context, perhaps his greatest asset was not being overly familiar with the source material. And thus, he wasn't beholden to any preconceived notions of what "The Dark Knight" trilogy of films could and couldn't be. But with that being said, there were still rules to follow, and Nolan had a little help in setting up that framework.

Heading to London to participate in the the BAFTA And BFI Screenwriters' Lecture, screenwriter David S. Goyer said that, "Chris had never read comic books. He didn't know the world. So he trusted me on that franchise and with Superman to know what was canon: what could be changed and what couldn't be changed." 

"I identified the ten things that remained sticky about Batman and Superman," Goyer added. "Wrote them up and said to Chris 'These are the 10 things that should be in the movie. Like the Ten Commandments. As long as we honour that, we'll be good.' " But the pair took their dedication to staying true to the character one step further, by meeting the very people who make their living thinking up new adventures for Bruce Wayne—the comic book writers behind the cape and cowl.

"We said, 'What do you think should be in a Batman film, and are there any rules that you absolutely would not break?' It sounds simple, but none of the other writers had bothered to do that," Goyer explained. "They dismissed the comic books and their creators. We earned their trust."

But even then, right down to the details, Nolan had questions. "Early in 'Batman Begins' he said 'does he have to have a utility belt?', and I said 'yes'. And he said 'why?' And then he showed me a design and it was all black. And I said 'it has to be yellow', and he said 'oh…,' " Goyer reveals.

So, the lesson in all of this? You don't have to be a diehard fan to do right by a comic book franchise, and it might just help if you have no attachments at all. Food for thought, and as you likely already know, "The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector's Edition" is in stores now. [The Guardian via Yahoo!]

This article is related to: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises


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