Watch the Winning Fan Fiction Screenplay of Batman “Joker’s Vendetta”:
Interview with the winning writer Sean Ballantyne by Matthew Toffolo:
Matthew: What motivated you to write this Batman Fan Short Script?
Sean: Practice, and fun, really. I had an idea to write a fan-film and cram it with all the references I could to see how far I could go without derailing it. Ultimately it was a great exercise in scripting.
Matthew: What is this script about?
Sean: I was kind of going for a theme of duality. Each major character has two lives that they live, there are two angles to everything etc. It’s not entirely evident in the end result, but my ability to write thematic explorations wasn’t as evolved back then. (I first wrote it over ten years ago.) Plot wise, it’s about the Joker murdering mobsters, and no one really knows why.
Matthew: What Batman universe does this script fall under?
Sean: The Sean-iverse! =)
I didn’t place it in any specific existing continuity. Though, I did envision a late 40s- early 50s kind of feel in terms of look and style. I left any direct references out of the script itself, it was simply my thoughts for setting while writing it.
Matthew: The character of Penguin is dynamic but not what I was used to in a Penguin as many of us see the Danny DeVito – Batman Returns character. Who is the real Penguin in the Batman universe? Yours or the Tim Burton version?
Sean: Penguin has gone through a lot of changes over the years, many of them silly. I hated the Danny DeVito version. I prefer the Penguin as a criminal aristocrat – a gentleman of crime. Before the Dark Knight Rises went into production, I had this hope that Christopher Nolan was going to use the Penguin (Philip Seymour Hoffman was rumoured for the role at the time) as just that – a crime boss akin to Marvel’s Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) – outwardly a socially upstanding pillar of the community – but really a crimelord. This would be a great counterpoint to Bruce Wayne, who is outwardly a spoiled brat, living a playboy lifestyle but secretly risks his life to help the city.
Matthew: On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how badly do you want to turn this script into a movie?
Sean: Oh, I’d say a 7 or 8. If I had the expendable cash I’d totally try and make it. But I suspect that, in order to do it right, I’d need a lot more expendable cash than I currently have. A LOT more. Do you think a Kickstarter might work? Ha!
Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Sean: Likely a toss up between the original Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. As a kid I played them over and over.
Matthew: What year do you predict Warner Brothers to “rebrand” the Batman franchise?
Sean: That would be next year. The movie’s already made and coming out next Summer. Warner’s scrambling to catch up to Marvel on the whole ‘shared universe’ concept. They’re starting with the crossover event (Batman Vs Superman) and everyone’s getting a solo afterwards.
Matthew: What’s the process on writing a fan script? To just understand the universe you’re writing for backwards and forwards?
Sean: Absolutely – you definitely need to know the characters. At the same time, it’s a creative work, so there’s wiggle room to try something new. But having that understanding going in is really important if you want to be true to the story’s roots, I think. To paraphrase Picasso – know the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Matthew: If you could be a comic book character, who would you be?
Sean: Argh! Too many to choose from… my head’s going to explode with the possibilities!
Matthew: What comic book character needs to have their own movie franchise?
Sean: A lot of the ones I’d like to see are already in production – Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Wonder Woman (finally), Deadpool….
I’d love to see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen redone properly. Alas, Alan Moore has been so mistreated by various entities when it comes to his properties, he’s pretty much stated that none of is work will ever get a film treatment again if he can help it.
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