WWC Interview: Brian Azzarello on ‘Batman: Gotham Knight’
On his way to becoming one of the most sought-after writers in comics today, Brian Azzarello has achieved a great deal of success and notoriety with his series 100 Bullets, which garnered him multiple Eisner Awards. In addition, his work on Hellblazer, Johnny Double, Batman/Deathblow and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel continues to cement his reputation as a writer and creator of comics.
Along with Brian’s many accomplishiments in comics, he’s also one of the six writers contributing stories to the upcoming animated feature film Batman: Gotham Knight. Brian’s segment, "Working through Pain," shows us a somewhat non-violent side of the Dark Knight and showcases a story in which Bruce Wayne learns techniques from a mysterous woman that will serve him well and help him deal with the physical toll exacted upon him during his years as Batman.
I caught up with Azzarello at Wizard World Chicago to ask him a few questions about writing his segment, how he feels about Batman as a character and how he thought the film turned out.
COMIX MIX: Brian, what is it that makes Batman such an endearing character?
BRIAN AZARELLO: Well, he’s not realy endearing to me.
CMix: You don’t like him?
BA: I think he’s a tragic character. Maybe that’s why he’s more compelling than endearing. He’s all about his flaws.
CMix: But you’re a fan?
BA: Oh, yeah, but I like his villains a lot, too. Almost more than I like him. I think his villiains are all different pieces of him. That’s something that makes him really interesting.
CMix: How did you get involved in the Batman: Gotham Knight film?
BA: I was asked. They explained the film to me, how it would be structured with six stories, and asked me to come up with an idea. I chose to focus more on Bruce Wayne, and they liked my pitch. That’s pretty much it.
CMix: Is there a difference between writing something for print and for a movie?
BA: Not for me. My comic scripts are pretty sparse in terms of art direction, the blocking and such. I don’t get into a ton of detail and more leave it up to the artist in a lot of ways. So it was a pretty easy transition for me to make.
CMix: How do you think the film turned out?
BA: I liked it. I thought it turned out well considering it was six different stories. I thought it held together very, very well. As a writer, I really try to trust the people I work with. I try to leave them plenty of room so they can bring their strengths to the work.
I think that happened in this film, and definitely for my segment – the animation is just amazing.
Batman: Gotham Knight is scheduled for a July 8 release on DVD.