David S. Goyer said fan chatter should be ignored by movie studios.
Well, okay he doesn’t mean completely, I just gave it that headline because I believe it should be ignored. Here’s what Goyer real said in an interview with Spinoff Online, “That’s a mistake that I think a lot of sometimes networks and movie studios make is sort of listening too much to [them]. I mean, it’s important to listen to the fan chatter but you’re really talking about a tiny, tiny, tiny portion of your audience that may not be representative of what your mainstream audience actually thinks or feels.”
Goyer is the man that helped bring Blade, The Crow, Batman, Ghost Rider, and Superman to the screen, he claims to be a huge comic fan and I believe him. Sure the first Ghost Rider was turd, and Blade Trinity, an embarrassment; of course Man of Steel was an abortion and should have been left in the paper bag they found it in in the washroom of that high school. And maybe I am not a huge fan of his, but… I have to agree with him.
The fans are too close to the material to understand what works. Comics are a specific medium where specific things happen because they can- the melodrama, the fancy tights, the need to mention a character’s name over again, the inherent silliness that comes with dealing in parallel universes and antagonists who need to constant take over the same city a certain protagonist patrols even thought there any many many more cities to overtake with no Super-Hero’s around.
Fans are the vocal minority, the powers that reddit seems to wield is much akin to Bitcoin, reddit is an imaginary bank of faceless 13 year-old boys who have not read enough, or lived enough to understand the complexities of relationships and story, but have the invisible wave of their legion of users that can break a web-page. Fans buy the comics and subsequently buy the fancy limited edition versions of the books and Blu-ray packages, but they don’t know what the rest of the Millions of regular folk who work all week and want to be entertained want to see on their Tuesday nights.
Which, saddens me because, that also means we do get Zack Snyder miscasting Watchemen and Man of Steel, because he is just like those little fanboys, he sees the muscles and the Rob Liefeld splash pages of violence and wants to put that on the screen- never truly reading the subtext of the material. That being said, a perfect example of where a screen writer got it right was the actual end of Watchmen, Hayter and Tse, in my opinion, understood the story and improved on Moore’s ending by incorporating Dr. Manhattan’s altruism and love for humanity to create a smarter, more logical final act. And had they listened to the fans it would have fallen flat because the ending that Alan Moore wrote worked in the comic but would not translate to screen. ‘Nuff said.
At the end of the day, what David S. Goyer and all the rest of the writers should be doing is breaking down the story to its parts. This is why the Marvel films have been doing so well, they broke Iron Man, Captain America and the like, down to their archetypes and built up from there. In a weird comparison, writing a comic movie is like writing a Gilmore Girls episode, the characters are already there, their is a huge back story that shows their true self, you just have to drop them in a believable story and watch them react. I suppose that is why The Avengers is so great, Mr. Whedon learned from watching his Dad make Gilmore Girls, and then writing for the well-written Roseanne show.
So- as you lay there on your bed reading your comics in your parent’s basement filling time before you head to McDonald’s or Tim Hortons and you are hating on why they keep changing your favourite comic hero to be something else, it is because they had to. You can spend hours reading the word balloons, and staring at the panels and analyzing the facial expressions in your own time, but film moves at 30fps and needs to carry forward in a timely and interesting fashion. All we can do is prey they get the character correct, their wants, their needs, their hopes, their fears. If they can do that then we can all sit back and be amazed.