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Writer, Producer, Director. An interview with David Goyer by Jonathan Ellis.

David Goyer, the creative force you all know from JSA and the BLADE film was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and went to film school at USC. David is a screenwriter, a comic writer, a producer and even a director. He has full-sleeve tattoos on both arms, from wrist to shoulders. His favorite of those being a version of Shiva the Dancer on his left bicep. David broke into the film business with a script called "Dusted"

"Which became the not-so-good Van Damme film "Death Warrant"."

PopImage: How did you get into writing comic books and screenwriting?

David Goyer: I got involved in comicbook writing through James Robinson, a friend of mine. I then returned the favor and helped him get into screenwriting. I was giving James a lot of suggestions for STARMAN, so many that he invited me to co-plot it with him. This then led to JSA, which I inherited when James decided to leave.

So what will we be seeing in "Blade 2"?

I can't reveal very much about "Blade 2", but we should be going into production this summer. I will also be Executive Producing the film. As for the first "Blade" movie, I was on the set constantly and spent a fair amount of time in the editing room with Steve Norrington (the director), so I'd say I was very in touch with the production.

How's it feel, in part for being responsible for one of the only successful comic movies that actually turned out good?

As far as "Blade" being one of the only good comic book movies, I'm damn proud of that and I'd like to think part of the reason was my involvement (beyond just writing the script). I know the comicbook universe quite well and I was hell-bent on making a good movie.

Bringing back JSA, you did a great first issue, but you killed off all these cool characters, why David? WHY?

As for JSA. Well, the only major character we really killed off was Wesley. But the guy was very old and we felt we gave him an appropriately heroic and poignant send-off. Not like the atrocious ending that Mid-Nite and the others saw in ZERO HOUR. We also wanted to signal a changing of the guards. As for Kid Eternity, well, he was already dead. His "death" might not be all that it appears to be.

Does that mean there are already plans for his return?

We have plans for Kid Eternity. More than that, I can't say.

How many of your other 'comic stories up for production' screenplays are progressing?

I'm not involved in that many other comicbook movies. "Ghost Rider" is dead in the water, part of Savoy's implosion. And "Doctor Strange" I probably won't have much further involvement on. I'm trying to wean myself off comic movies for a while and try something different.

But what's the method in your involvement, are you usually brought on for a project or do you go to them when you have a script or an idea? Who specifically do you contact? Aside from comic movies, will you be sticking to film and with any particular genre or ideas in mind?

"I tend to write dark material, but my newest project is strictly reality-based"

As far as my involvement in script development goes, it happens both ways. Sometimes I approach a studio with an idea or property to adapt, sometimes they approach me. I was asked to work on "Dr. Strange". "Blade" was something I initially pursued. From time to time, I will also option material myself and then try to set it up at a given studio. I will definitely be sticking to film and television. I tend to write dark material, but my newest project is strictly reality-based.

What's your dream project? If you could work with any companies, characters, writers, artists, no restrictions, no rules, complete creative freedom, crossover as many characters from as many different companies as you wanted without any complaints, put together whatever creative teams you wanted, and no one would stop you, what would you do?

I would love to do "Watchmen". At one point, there was a possibility that might happen, with Alex Proyas directing at 20th Century Fox. But that faded, alas.

But with Terry Gilliam's interest, might there still be a chance? Also, that'd be quite a job since a lot of the social commentary in Sam Hamm's 80's script would have to be updated. Would you see this as a film or a series?

WATCHMEN would have been a movie. As of now, the project is dead, dead, dead. But you never know. Also, we would have started from scratch, not using the Sam Hamm script at all.

Favourite characters? Heroes? Villains? Genetically engineered man-beast with phony French accent?

Regarding my favorite heroes and villains, geesh! As a kid, my favorite character was the Hulk, but I've since grown out of that somewhat. I like Chuck Dixon's work a lot and am currently enjoying BIRDS OF PREY. I also love Morrison's work, particularly his early run on ANIMAL MAN (though I'm also in awe of what he churns out month after month in JLA).

Most influential Author?

The most influential comicbook writer would have to be Alan Moore. As for "legit" writers, I love Gene Wolfe and Walker Percy. Also, Paul Auster.

Favourite old school artist? Writer?

My favorite old school creators would have to be Kirby, plus the early Gulacy MASTER OF KUNG FU's!

Favorite Kirby character?

Mr. Miracle.

Most under appreciated creator currently working?

Mark Millar and Chuck Dixon.

Worst fanboy experience?

"I called Judd Nelson an asshole on live radio"

When I called into a radio show and talked to Judd Nelson and Emelio Estevez after seeing "The Breakfast Club". They made fun of me and I called Judd Nelson an asshole on live radio. As far as comics go, haven't really had a bad fanboy experience.

Proudest body of work?

I probably most proud of my work on the movie "Dark City". As for comics, I'm quite proud of the Obsidian story arc that is just finishing up in JSA. Also, ALL-STAR COMICS #1.

Advice to those trying to make it in the Biz today?

I have no specific advice to newcomers in the biz other than be diligent. It can take a long, long time. Don't give up hope.

What has been your favourite book to work on?

JSA is definitely my favorite book to work on.

Current titles everyone SHOULD be reading?


Favourite character(s), title(s) to hopefully some day work on?

As far as a favorite book to one day work on, I wouldn't mind taking a stab at the HULK one day.

Please do. Hopefully Jenkins does good on him. Speaking of the Hulk and Chuck Dixon, and just for the sake of me asking, any interest in doing a Marvel Knights book?

I am definitely looking forward to Jenkins work on the HULK. I think he did an excellent job on the INHUMANS. As far as working on a Marvel Knights book, I would have to wait until my run on JSA finishes. I simply don't have time to do two books. I suppose I would consider it, though. I like the quality those guys put into their books.

Upcoming projects?

As for upcoming projects, simply JSA (in comics). I co-produced "Mission To Mars" (comes out in March) and am currently in pre-production on a pilot for FOX TV, which I created with the Blair Witch guys. After that, I'll be making my debut as a director.

Could you tell us more?

I can't talk more about the TV pilot or my potential directing debut, sorry.

Other then "Blade", "Death Warrant", "Dark City", "The Puppet Masters", what other movies do you have/will have to your credit?

I also created and executive-produced the short-lived NBC series "Sleepwalkers". A few other odds and ends here and there, but nothing else worthy of mention.

Of choice; what is your drink of choice? Restaurant of choice? Movies? Books? Music? Artists? Etc?

My drink of choice is Negro Modelo, with a Stoli and soda on the rocks for hard liquor. Please don't make me list movies, books, etc. There are too many!

And now... Plug time! This is where you plug as many things as you want, comics, websites, movies, your homemade industrial strength stain remover, novels, anything old, new, current and upcoming, little baggies of 'oregano', where to buy your books, scripts, and whatever else. Anything that could somehow lead towards a gargantuan amount of cash in your pocket, and then we, the reader, go out and spend like mad obsessive little zombies wanting to do nothing but buy. Buy. BUY!

The only thing I really want to plug is JSA, JSA, JSA.


PopImage and I would like to thank David for participating in this interview. Check out JSA every month from DC Comics.

All characters, titles, images mentioned or shown are copyright and trademark their respective creators.

Jonathan Ellis is Interview Editor of PopImage.


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