Table Reading of BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO by Andrew Akler

BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO was the Fan Fiction November 2015 Screenplay Winner.

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Watch BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO by Andrew Akler:


NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
BATMAN – Steve Shand
JOKER – Brett Kelly
RIDDLER/NIGMA – Scott Beaudin
SCARECROW – Kunal Jaggi
HARLEY – Aidan Black Allen

Get to know writer Andrew Akler:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Batman heads to Arkham Asylum when he hears that The Joker has escaped and staged a takeover. As he progresses through the asylum, Batman fights through a host of villains that challenge him in a different way. This forces Batman to examine parts of himself and eventually come to a shocking realization. My goal was to take the audience on an almost “standard” Batman crusade, while introducing the psychological elements until we land on that twist at the end. I wanted to give you the Batman we all know and then take all that away while keeping it all justified.

2. Why does this screenplay fit into the overall Batman series?

There’s always been suggestions to Batman being just as crazy as his Rouges Gallery. The Arkham Asylum graphic novel hints at this. I actually see my story fitting in well in the Arkham game series universe, as I envision the characters in a similar way. For me, Bruce’s sanity has always been the underlying question of Batman.

3. This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this Batman short in two words?

Wicked and Twisty.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I think it’s a tie between Inception and The Dark Knight. I’m a huge Nolan fan.

5. This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had the concept in my head for a while but only started writing it over the summer of 2015. I like creating the world in my head before putting it on paper.

6. Who is your favorite Batman universe character?

The Joker. He’s what I like to call a simple complex character. In that, I mean he has all these different layers and versions to his character but on occasion, he can become the extreme of one and embody that trait fully. He’s the ultimate king of mischief

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always loved how each of Batmans’ villains have psychological disorders. There have always been references to Bruce having some of his own which is what drives him to be Batman, but I wanted to take that idea to the extreme and explore what it would be like if Bruce actually had all these disorders that he sees in his villains.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I always tend to think a few steps ahead of what I’m doing so I kept thinking about budget and how on earth we would be able to make the story look convincing. That prevented me from writing certain sequences that I feel really made the story stronger. I had to learn to write for the story.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love music. I started out composing for film and gradually moved into writing and then directing. I’ve directed three films since 2013 and plan to pursue that as well as composing.

10. What influenced you to enter the Fan Fiction Festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I know it’s often hard to get fan fiction work recognized and when I found out about the festival I saw it is a wonderful opportunity. This was the first screenplay I have submitted to a festival and the quality of the feedback was amazing. I feel like it has helped me understand further into the screenwriting craft and will ultimately help me become a better writer.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Just write. Even if it sounds forced or stunted, just get the ideas on paper. Don’t worry about budget or shooting, otherwise it will distract you from crafting the best story possible. Always focus on the story first.

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