The Dark Knight


When DC wanted to make the Batman movie from DARK DETECTIVE I, they said so, and (eventually) brought me in on the project because, they said, no one could adapt me as well as me. But afterward, they didn't want to give me any credit. So when they made a movie of DARK DETECTIVE II, they said nothing. And when I turned in DARK DETECTIVE III, it got worse. I'm afraid this is a sad story...

In DARK DETECTIVE II, I created a handsome, blond, upright politician who had become the significant other to the Batman's former girlfriend, and Marshall Rogers designed his look. There it is, up above - twice. And just to be clear, the one on the right came first.

In DARK DETECTIVE II, that handsome, blond, upright politician - Evan Gregory - was a brave guy who fought crime in Gotham City because it was the right thing to do. He thrust himself into a fight with the Joker to save the woman he loved, and paid a horrible price for it as his entire left side was damaged beyond repair. The man who had been noble and handsome became a mutilated cripple.

In the next segment, DARK DETECTIVE III, that handsome, blond, upright politician was extremely depressed over losing his left side and his woman. Then Two-Face came to him in his depression and had a heart-to-heart, in which Two-Face convinced him that life is meaningless, that the woman in his life is beyond his reach, and that that handsome, blond, upright politician should make a hundred-eighty degree turn to the dark side. Which he did.

In my version, it’s Two-Face talking to another guy who’s been heavily damaged on the left side, and who is another "golden boy" politician, so it makes sense that Two-Face could convince Evan Gregory. They share a bond. In the film version, it’s the Joker talking to Harvey Dent. Those two have nothing in common, and Dent has hated the Joker the entire movie. It was a storyline in search of a reason to be there.

(DD3 was written two years after DD2, which is why the last half hour of The Dark Knight feels so tacked on. It didn't exist when they started the film.)

In Batman, they changed Silver St. Cloud to "Vicki Vale" and Boss Thorne to "Boss Grissom." In The Dark Knight, they changed Evan Gregory to "Harvey Dent" and Two-Face to the Joker. But the plot and the look are clear. The original Harvey Dent had a different origin, no Joker, and brown hair combed straight back.

To top it all off, they changed Dark Detective to "Dark Knight."

And let's not forget where the completely irrational Joker and the Batman with a sex life came from in the first place.

I figure 70 per cent of Batman was based on my stories and treatments. I'd peg The Dark Knight about the same, since all the main concepts are mine, though the usage of them was more free-form. As a writer, it's very satisfying to have created two Batman films, but it would have been nice to be treated like a human being, so I would sincerely hope that it'll never happen again. But there's still the unpublished Mad Hatter story in their drawer, and the unpublished Joker...