I do occasionally get his eye on things, I directed my first episode in the second season, which aired here in January, and Chris was nice enough to take a look at it, take a look at my cut. He pops in occasionally and looks at stuff. I’ve always looked at his stuff, he’s always looked at mine, it’s often tricky.
But yeah, when I started the show he was off shooting The Dark Knight Rises, so I was on my own, but the great fun of television is collaboration, which I’ve always enjoyed with Chris, and in television collaboration is the order of the day, every day. You just couldn’t make a show – not an American network show, where you’ve got to do 22 or 23 episodes a year, which is roughly making an episode every two weeks – you have to get over your own bullshit and your own preciousness, and just get in with the writing staff and figure out how to make it work. And it’s great fun, really great fun.
Absolutely. I’ve been working in comic book movies for ten years, and what happens when you do three movies – I started working on Batman Begins in September 2000, so when you’re working on comic book movies for ten years, you get into that key. But beyond that, you also do a lot of thinking in that word, that sort of heightened vein. I came out of that experience – I’m very proud of that story that we told in the Batman universe, and I felt strongly, along with Chris, that this last film should be our last film in that universe, but for me I had a great deal more to say about urban crime and vigilantism.
For Americans at least, and it’s funny, it translates into some parts of the world, but not to others – the whole superhero thing absolutely dominated the box office for years now, and it’s sort of American mythos. It fulfilled a similar function to the way Greek tragedy or Homeric Epics have done for cultures since time immemorial: it’s an exploration of morality and crime and virtue – exploring the question of at what cost doing the right thing, but also playing in that fun, slightly heightened territory of super villains, and the American city as a kind of an urban playground, or jungle, or arena.
And absolutely, I’m fascinated by the fact that frankly, while you’ve had the explosion of creative energy, and money in the superhero realm in film, but at least in this country it has yet to translate into something, map onto anything in television. Americans for the most part, if not drawn to naturalism exactly, at the very least for their crime shows, for the most part have preferred a slightly more naturalistic, slightly more grounded edge to conventional criminal procedurals, whereas our show is unabashedly, unashamedly sci-fi, cyberpunk crime procedural.
A little bit. My focus has largely been on the show for the last couple of years, but there is a fun kismet where ideas collide with one another. The thing about television, the thing I enjoy about it so much, Is that you have to generate so many ideas, so many stories about the world you get to explore. And one of the fun things about working in TV is that you can bring to – whenever something bad happened to you as a writer, you reach a moment where you say to yourself, ‘I can write about it’. It’s the silver lining in any experience.
I think that collision between ideas coming out of this universe, and the interplay with the other worlds I’m working in, yeah, there’s a fair amount. It’s more, honestly the problem with American broadcast television being 22 or 23 episodes, it’s more a question of ‘what have you got’, ‘OK, here you go’, ‘ that was last week, what have you got now?’. You’re sort of taking everything at a conversation with all the things in your life: the story you read in the newspaper this morning, the book that you just read, the anecdote you just heard, it’s all getting thrown into the blender.