What Do Superman & Batman Have To Do with DaVinci?
By Jarett Wieselman
Writer David S. Goyer, who helped reboot Batman with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and Superman with June's Man of Steel, tackles another iconic figure this April with the premiere of Starz's DaVinci's Demons. A period piece that attempts to illuminate the man behind The Mona Lisa. And The Last Supper. And the majority of modern day museum's most trafficked items.
The appeal for Goyer was that while DaVinci's contributions to society are vast, he loved that most people, when pressed, actually knew very little about this Renaissance polymath. "I want audiences to come away with an understanding that this guy wasn't just the guy who painted The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa. Despite having a demigod status, he was a human being," Goyer told ETonline at The Television Critics Association gathering in Pasadena, CA today. "We don't think about him as a complicated and flawed human being who had a lot of personal demons."
And to craft this incarnation of DaVinci, Goyer took the same approach that made Batman and Superman such successes.
"I like taking iconic figures and depicting them in a nuanced, complicated way," Goyer said. "Taking these iconic characters and depicting them as real human beings is what I love doing most. It allows me to depict them in a prism that reflects back on society. We'll be tackling in a subtextual way a lot of issues that are happening today."
And while mounting this epic series was daunting, it didn't compare to crafting a new take on The Man of Steel. "Superman was the most nerve-wracking to work on," Goyer said. "He's the granddaddy of all superheroes. Seen in this hallowed position, and a lot of people are very set in their ways about who Superman is and what he represents."
While speculation has run rampant online about what director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel is actually about, Goyer says, "It's fun to know that we're sitting on certain things that people have speculated completely wrong about. In this information age, everybody wants to spoil everything. Part of me wishes we could go back to the old days where things came out and people thought, 'Holy crap -- that's awesome!'
For Goyer, bringing a cinematic flair to a TV series was of utmost importance with DaVinci's Demons. "I kept telling the cast and crew, this is not a TV show, it's an 8 hour movie. And that 8 hour movie is only the first act of a much bigger movie. I hope we're on for 5 years and can do a 60 hour movie. That would be amazing."
DaVinci's Demons premieres April 12 on Starz, and Man of Steel hits theaters on June 14.