David Goyer on Balancing ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Script & Characters

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 25th, 2014 at 2:34 pm,

Batman vs Superman Script David Goyer David Goyer on Balancing Batman vs. Superman Script & Characters

Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman movie will include a number of controversial choices – the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor being two of the most common. Yet, as more and more Justice League characters are confirmed or rumored for the project, skeptical fans have started to wonder how so many iconic heroes can fit into a single film – especially since Warner Bros. has positioned the movie as a sequel to Man of Steel (not an Avengers-style superhero team-up).

It’s certainly possible that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, along with potential appearances from Aquaman and/or Cyborg, could be short cameos that help establish the DC Entertainment shared movie universe but, even if that is the case, Snyder still runs the risk of distracting viewers with future setup at the expense of a core Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor story. But what does the man who is responsible for that story, David Goyer, have to say about balancing all of these high profile heroes in one film?

Previously, Snyder claimed that Batman vs. Superman would take the character’s respective universes and “explode them,” so Goyer has been faced with a tough challenge: ensure the filmmakers don’t sacrifice quality in their follow-up while also balancing any requisite threads for future DC Entertainment movies.

Justice League War Reviews 2014 David Goyer on Balancing Batman vs. Superman Script & Characters

According to the writer, who recently spoke with Collider, it all comes down to honoring the characters – even if that means ruffling a few fan feathers:

I always try my best to honor every character. When you’re dealing with big iconic characters, there’s a lot of fan pressure to get it right, and I respect that and admire that passion enormously. At the same time, you can’t let your creative process be too crowded by that or distracted by it. It’s not always one uniform opinion of how you should portray this character or that character. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of walking that razor’s edge. You just have to do your best and know what’s out there, but at the same time, follow your own muse.

Many comic readers have already dubbed Batman vs. Superman a “Justice League Lite” movie, considering that appearances from further heroes will generate added interest in the film, before the studio even announces a full-on team-up. Essentially, in addition to the Batman vs. Superman story, Snyder’s movie could serve as a sneak peek at other Justice Leaguers – without giving anyone but the Man of Steel and Caped Crusader anything tangible to do.

That said, Goyer makes a smart point. Repeatedly, we see readers flood the comment section of superhero movie articles to criticize an upcoming adaptation for not portraying a character or their story correctly. However, many of these heroes (including both Batman and Superman) have been re-imagined and refreshed for decades – meaning that even if Goyer was entirely faithful to comic source material, other fans would still decry the chosen version as inferior (based on their personal favorite). As movie fans, it should actually be encouraging to hear that the writer is, first and foremost, attempting to honor the iconic characters (without being a slave to any particular version) while also surrounding them with worthwhile human drama and exciting action set pieces – as part of a modern movie experience.

Batsuit Reveal Coming for Batman vs Superman David Goyer on Balancing Batman vs. Superman Script & Characters

Some might take Goyer’s comments as a slight, but given how much disagreement there is among fans at any given time, the writer is probably smart to keep his head down and follow his “muse.” Still, potential viewers who feel as though Goyer’s muse has led him astray in past efforts (and could again) should take some comfort in the fact that Batman vs. Superman isn’t being written in a bubble. DC and Warner Bros. have significant interest in seeing the film connects with fans and casual filmgoers alike – which is likely a reason the studio hired Argo writer, Chris Terrio, as a second set of eyes on the screenplay.

Fans initially scoffed at the idea of Terrio consulting on the screenplay – as if it meant that Goyer had dropped the ball. However, maybe part of honoring the DC characters also (smartly) means asking for a second opinion from time to time.


MORE: The Truth About Superhero Casting


Batman vs. Superman hits theaters on May 6th, 2016.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Batman vs. Superman, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Collider

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
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  1. David Goyer is certainly no Joss Whedon that much is certain. It’s very clear by his own comments that Goyer has no clue on how to build a shared universe or how to handle these strong characters being together no matter how much help he gets.

    It’s sad to me that we finally get Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman on the same screen together & it has to be under the direction & leading of talentless people like Goyer & Snyder. WB only gets one shot at making this movie right & these are NOT the people that you want to give that one shot to. I really hope WB either cancels or delays this movie indefinitely & comes to their senses before they further ruin these characters. This whole movie just has a real, real bad feel to it.

      • Goyer did not co-write The Dark Knight. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan did. Goyer holds story credit only. If there is any confusion, feel free to look up the Writer’s Guild guidelines on how credit is assigned and what the criteria for story credit is. They are very specific about it.

    • No Joss Whedon??? Is this a joke?
      Joss Whedon is a terrible director and nobody considered him anything special at all until he made a Marvel film…
      Where were all his worshipers when he was on his other little projects. He’s only getting now admiration cause it’s Marvel plain and simple. The Avengers was terrible and the most hyped up and forgettable garbage I have ever seen…

      The majority of people who are trying to downplay this film are Marvel fans plain and simple.
      Sorry but Zack Snyder will continue to make mature comic book adaptations in a way the world has never seen.
      Was the Man of Steel not funny enough for ya???

      • Actually, Joss Whedon was chosen to direct the Avengers BECAUSE he was so well known for directing great low-budget films. Nothing special? Hmmm, I seem to remember him creating a certain show about a vampire slayer that spawned a SPIN-OFF that ran for 5 seasons, 4 comic books that are still currently in publication, and countless other mediums and merchandise. You can hate it all you want, but The Avengers was a successful film (*ahem* BOX OFFICE RECORDS. Not every film has to be a dark, gritty take, and this is coming from the guy who can quote all three Dark Knight films from start to finish. Both Marvel and DC have their own way of doing things, whether it be to have a little humor in their films or to have a more serious tone.

        It’s crazy though, people usually criticize Man of Steel for being TOO serious. Personally, I wish everyone would stop acting like if they’d made it more humorous they wouldn’t still be whining about it. Jeez.

  2. I get what he is saying. We can not possibly make everyone happy, but I see no reason making batman the wiser more experienced hero/vigialante and have superman and others younger less experienced is a bad thing.

    People need to demise that marvel making two iconic characters something completly away from canon and a villian whose orgins have been tied to one char for decades now is tied to a different one but there fine with that because of joss fing whedon who I’m no fan of, but someone else changes something and all hell breaks loose?

    Grow up kiddies I’m sorry your feelsings are hurt. Watch the movie or don’t its that simple its getting made wheater you like the story or not.

    • Exactly there Kevin… Glad were not alone.

  3. @ Kevin

    Switching up some characters the way Marvel does it is one thing. But ruining characters the way Snyder & Goyer are doing it is another thing all together. You’re talking apple & oranges. Besides, who said Marvel did it right? The outrageous box-office numbers they pull?

    The ONLY saving grace in any of this is that this whole debacle will be forgotten in ten years & WB have to reboot everything, yet AGAIN.
    Maybe, just maybe the next time they attempt a DCCU they’ll get it right. Thank goodness they’re going with an older Batman; at least he will be recast sooner rather than later. At the rate at which WB releases CBM’s (1 every 3 years) Affleck will be 50 before any attempt at a Justice League movie is ever made, if it ever is.

    By the way, you can be a fan of Whedon & not be a Marvel fan. If you’re not a fan of Whedon that’s too bad, you’re really missing out, he’s brilliant.

    • How are they ruining the characters? Man of Steel was awesome. You haven’t seen this next one yet, for all you know what they’re doing is perfect. Reserve your judgement at least until the trailer comes out. If the trailers make it look terrible, I’ll be with you. But I am a fan of Zack Snyder. Why is everyone so upset that he’s in control? He only made one bad movie: Sucker Punch. This film is being bashed so hard because of everyone’s close minded cynicism. And yeah, I’ll admit some of the choices so far have been questionable but I’m reserving my judgement until the trailer comes out and I think everyone else should.

      And I am not a Snyder fanboy, but for the most part I enjoy his work.

      • Yeah also sick of the Man of Steel criticisms here as well lol Little do people realize it’s the most accurate portrayal of Superman in film from comics to date, (really shows who knows their stuff and who’s just hating to hate). Zack is brilliant when it comes to sci-action and hope he continues to do it.

  4. Finally! Someone with eyes!!!!

  5. follow their muse huh? find me a film that does not have DC or Marvel
    or a frank miller graphic novel attached to it and its an original idea by
    zach synder or david goyer and has made 100 million domestically at the
    box office. ZERO films is the answer. they are talented but i like to see them get
    their own original ideas into a hit status.

  6. for the most part i think zach snyder does great work and he has a love for comic book characters. i love his comic book adaptations such watchmen and man of steeel, and also 300. snyder shows a understandsing of superman that i think some fans do not. snyder has taken all of superman mythology from every age and rolled into his own version. i dont think he’s gonna let the fans down. im eager to see batman vs superman or whatver it may be called.

    • cant agree more..

    • I love you…
      Also I’m very much agreed in your opinion.

    • Agreed sir… and I have it on VERY good authority that Chris Terrio is penning a whole NEW script (based on Goyer and Snyder story) and that’s why they moved the movie back an entire year.

  7. There’s a serious difference between real comic book fans, and the “fans” attacking this film…
    Sorry but this won’t be the cgi, comedy driven predictable plot marvel fans have grwon used to. Get over it…

  8. So the kid that played Mark Zuckerberg will be Lex and Ben Affleck is Batman??? PLEASE don’t do this. This movie will be a disaster! I want this movie to be great!

    • That “kid” is 30 years old and isn’t a typical choice for Lex on purpose, There are other interpretations of Lex in the comics where he is young or has hair too. If Lex would have been another typical casting choice it would’ve been cliche’ and Lex Luthor would still end up uninteresting like he has in all the other Superman movies…

      Ben Affleck resembles Bruce Wayne more than any other Batman. He’s looks nice, approachable and has charm to him. He’s supposed to sound and look innocent plus he’s tall as fck like Bruce. As far as being intimidating. Batman wears a mask and is in the dark (or is supposed to be)…….. Soooo how much do looks really matter there?

      (btw Christian Bale sounded fkn retarded in the Dark knight and anybody who thought that was intimidating is a pssy. He looked ridiculous…)

      You actually thought through your opinions or you just trying to sound exactly like everybody else hating on this film??