From Clint To Vampire Slaying
Not surprisingly, the comic-book film genre has been good to the former superhero junkie in film making schools.
"Comic-book superheroes were the Greek heroes of my generation," says Goyer, who, in addition to writing the scripts for "Blade" and "The Crow: City of Angels," has penned a film version of "Venom" (based on the Marvel Comics character) and Marvel's "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which was produced in May as a two-hour TV movie for Fox Television. "Comics helped to fill a void, teaching me about right and wrong, courage and justice," he says. "I also like that superheroes tend to be working outside the system and are often pretty flawed.
"That's what makes them attractive." The title character of Blade reads as the ultimate outsider. Played by Snipes, Blade is half-human, half-vampire, and is caught up in an aggressive struggle between the two species for world rule. "He's similar to the Clint Eastwood character in 'Unforgiven,' " says Goyer. "Blade's struggling against his own fear and his own confused sense of his identity. He doesn't belong in either world, but when he's faced with killing vampires, he's faced with killing himself."
Goyer also cultivates an image of the outsider for himself, even while working within the higher echelons of the film biz. Looking more like a renegade lawman than a top-dollar movie scribe, both of Goyer's arms are covered in boldly evocative tattoos. Whenever possible, he and his wife leave L.A. for such exotic ports-of-call as Botswana, Myanmar and, most recently, Tibet. "I'm constantly trying to cleanse myself of Hollywood's poisons," he laughingly admits. "I try to replenish that ephemeral source where my ideas come from and have as many experiences as I can and hope that it all some way helps."
Other untraditional distractions, like participating in the online screenwriting contest at Rough Cut, provide relief from the reclusive task of writing. "I thought the contest sounded like a lot of fun," Goyer says of why he chose to contribute the beginning of the sci-fi script that the online contest's participants add to in weekly installments. "Besides, I just got to throw out as much texture and as many ideas and themes as I could, without the responsibility of following up on it. It's sort of like being a studio executive."
As cavalier as he may be about it, Goyer's noirish intro must have struck a chord. More than 50 contest submissions were received within the first two days. "We're very impressed with the response that David's work has inspired," says Rough Cut editor in chief Andy Jones. "We're not just asking people to submit a page; this is a larger commitment. But David creates worlds that you can really get your mind around, that you want to visit. So we're thrilled he was able to do this for us."
With all of his extracurricular activities, Goyer's work slate remains full. Current film projects include "Evermere," the first of a trilogy of fantasy epics. "It's kind of like 'The Wizard of Oz' for grown-ups," quips Goyer, who wrote the script and plans to serve as executive producer on the film that marks the first project for the new company founded by former Carolco chiefs Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar. He's also co-producing a fact-based sci-fi project about the first manned mission to Mars for Hollywood Pictures titled, appropriately enough, "Mission to Mars."