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In a revealing interview on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, David S. Goyer, the writer of “Man of Steel,” shared his thoughts on Warner Bros.’ ambitious efforts to create a cinematic universe to rival Marvel’s. Goyer agreed with host Joshua Horowitz that Warner Bros. should have focused on developing a standalone Superman sequel with Henry Cavill instead of rushing into “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as a way to compete with Marvel’s successful MCU.
Goyer recalled the immense pressure they faced from Warner Bros., who were eager to establish their own cinematic universe. He emphasized the challenges posed by the frequent changes in executive leadership at both Warner Bros. and DC, with new decision-makers arriving approximately every 18 months. Goyer explained, “We were just getting whiplash. Every new person was like, ‘We’re going to go bigger!'”
At one point, Goyer was astounded when the Warner Bros. executive in charge unveiled a release schedule for the next 20 movies spanning the next decade, even though none of them had been written yet. He marveled at the audacity of building such an extensive cinematic architecture without the foundation of completed scripts, saying, “It was crazy how much architecture was being built on air… This is not how you build a house.”
Goyer’s collaboration with Christopher Nolan on the “Dark Knight” trilogy led to their vision for a Superman film, which ultimately became Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.” However, this ambitious universe-building approach meant that Henry Cavill didn’t get the opportunity to lead another standalone Superman movie, as he became entangled in the larger narrative of films like “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League.”
Before working on Batman and Superman projects, Goyer was the creative force behind all three “Blade” movies starring Wesley Snipes. During the podcast, he revealed that he initially collaborated with director David Fincher on a “Blade” project. Goyer recounted a meeting with Fincher during the early stages of their collaboration, where Fincher presented an incredibly detailed visual pitch for the film.
“I developed a draft with Fincher before he had done ‘Se7en,'” Goyer recalled. “I think he had done ‘Alien 3’ and maybe he was developing ‘Se7en.’ I developed a draft with him. I remember going to our producer’s office… There was this giant conference table. Fincher laid out 40 to 50 books of photography and art with post-it notes inside them. He said, ‘This is the movie.'”
Fincher’s comprehensive visual pitch, which included a two-hour tour around the table, deeply influenced Goyer’s approach to the project. Ultimately, the “Blade” project encountered obstacles, with Stephen Norrington directing the film instead, and Fincher moving on to helm “Se7en.”
David S. Goyer’s interview provides valuable insights into the challenges and ambitions faced by Warner Bros. and DC during their early attempts to create a cinematic universe, as well as a glimpse into the creative process behind “Blade” with the visionary director David Fincher.