David S. Goyer is the screenwriter of the “Blade” trilogy, Christopher Nolan‘s Batman films and now Zack Snyder‘s Superman/DC series, and you could make a decent case that he’s therefore the single most important influence on the modern superhero movie, more even than the directors he has worked for, even if in the wider world he’s barely famous enough to be mistaken for Stanley Tucci.
Recently he’s been talking up further plans for the DC universe and the way his work interacts with fan expectations, but a couple of weeks ago he also gave a more general talk at BAFTA about his career path and the screenwriting trade. Starting at the beginning with his (eventually successful) harassment of an agent when he was still in college, with one script to his name, then working through the slog of crappy Jean-Claude van Damme movies (“One day you’ll write a script that’s too good for me,” said van Damme – so he did), and then moving onto the unexpected, then unconventional “Blade” script with which he made his name.
Goyer points out that these films were hugely successful despite no-one knowing who Blade was: it was the creative freedom with which they were made that made them hits, and from then on the rest was blockbuster history, along with a motorcycle crash or two and a trek through Tibet that inspired the opening sequences of “Batman Begins.” Check out the talk for that, along with ruminations on the rules of superheroics (and breaking them), the differing experience of writing for video games, which Goyer does too, and more. He also swears a lot, which is fun.