INTERVIEW: Jonathan Nolan & David Goyer For THE DARK KNIGHT


EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview was conducted in late June of 2008 during the press event for THE DARK KNIGHT. – Bill “Jett” Ramey

BOF: With The Joker in this film, I got the sense that there was a lot of BATMAN #1 (vol. 1) in him, if you will, in terms of the fact that “He just is.”

JONATHAN NOLAN: Absolutely. We didn’t want to do the origin because I think that would make him less interesting.

BOF: I asked Chris [Nolan] about that earlier and he said that you pointed it out to him — that what he and David [Goyer] had come up with was very similar to BATMAN #1.

JN: True (laughs). Midway through the process, I went back and looked at the first appearance of The Joker in the books. There certainly are a couple of moments in BATMAN #1 which are almost [identical to some scenes in] THE DARK KNIGHT. [It was] very gratifying to sorta reverse engineer your way back to what the starting point of the character.

BOF: But I also got a THE KILLING JOKE vibe.

DAVID GOYER: Oh yeah, certainly. A little bit of the dynamic between The Joker and Batman…we definitely pulled from THE KILLING JOKE. Obviously there’s some of THE LONG HALLOWEEN in there. There’s some [Frank] Miller stuff. I think in [THE DARK KNIGHT] there’s less of the Denny O’Neil stuff [than what was in BATMAN BEGINS].

BOF: I felt that THE KILLING JOKE stuff was very subtle [in the film] and draws off of him saying — in the comicbook — if he’s going to have an origin, he’d rather…

JN: …it be “multiple choice.” You got that? Alright (smiles). The idea with The Joker is if he had a back-story and if one of the stories he told you was true, somehow, it would reduce the character. It’s more frightening because, in a sense, there is no mystery there. There is no back-story. He is exactly what he presents himself to be — which is an anarchist.

DG: Like you said, “He just is.” [The Joker is] more interesting without [an origin].

JN: Hey man, are you “Jett?”

BOF: Yes, I am.

JN: [extends his hand, we shake] Love the site — wanted you to know that.

Previous articleINTERVIEW: Emma Thomas- A BOF TDK Exclusive!
Next articleINTERVIEW: Vin Burnham
Lifelong Batman fan Bill "Jett" Ramey is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of His passions include Dallas Cowboys football, Elvis Presley, Rock music, cold beer, dive bars, the University of Texas Longhorns, and of course, Batman. He resides in the great state of Texas with his lovely wife ("Announcer Rachel") and his .5 Boston Terrier.