EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Chuck Dixon, Co-Creator of Bane
Legendary comic book writer, Chuck Dixon, discusses The Dark Knight Rises, Nightwing, and the villain that he would've liked to have seen used in Christopher Nolan's Batman universe.
Graham Nolan on the left of the Bane cosplayer, and on the right is Chuck Dixon.
In regards to Bane breaking Batman's back, was this a decision that was easily unanimous or were there some concerns between the creative staff?
It was presented to us at a summit of Bat editors and Bat writers. Denny O’Neil laid it all out for us as a loose framework including the dramatic highpoints. Over the next couple of years we riffed off that first presentation but didn’t vary from it much. What Denny presented that day was the spine for all that came next. If there was a dissenting voice, I never heard it.
Do you think Nolan will take it to the point of breaking Batman's back on screen?
No clue. From the latest trailer it certainly looks like there’s a downfall coming for Bruce Wayne. But I’m guessing like everyone else.
What is your favorite moment that proves that Bane is equipped with a superior intellect?
When he identifies Bruce Wayne as Batman just from Wayne’s body language.
Is there anything about your version of Bane that you think will be difficult to translate on film?
He’s pretty clearly drawn. Maybe his difficulty in relating to women. He was raised in an all-male world and seems flummoxed by the women he meets.
As you were imagining his translation to film were there any particular actors that came to mind for this role?
Not really. I was just hoping it would be someone who could act. Tom Hardy fits that description. He’s very talented.
What was your initial reaction to Tom Hardy's voice for Bane, and the new mask?
I haven’t heard enough of the voice. But his speaking voice in other movies has the right timbre. And he does accents well. His Philadelphia accent in Warriors sounded right to me, even though his character was supposed to be from Pittsburgh.
From the footage you have seen so far do you think elements of Knightfall or any other popular Batman story arcs will be used in the film?
It looks like Nolan will cherrypick a lot of dramatic highpoints from batman mythos for this movie just like he did for the others. It seems to me that he’s quite the Batman scholar.
What are some aspects of Batman that Christopher Nolan hasn't touched upon in the Nolanverse that you'd like to see?
I would love to see a good Riddler story. But almost everyone gets the Riddler wrong so maybe not.
Which Riddler story would you most like to see brought to life on the big screen?
Well, something like Die Hard 3; the best Batman and Robin/Riddler story ever put on film. Anything that utilizes the Riddler’s MO as well as that movie did.
Why do you think the Riddler has been such a challenge to get right?
The riddles have to make sense and they have to serve two purposes; to give clues about the Riddler’s crime while decoying Batman away from it at the same time. Remember, that’s what Jermey Irons did in Die Hard 3.That is a tall order. That takes some real plotting muscle. Riddler stories were the toughest for me to write but I’m glad I did them because most writers punt when it comes to the Riddler. Plus you wind up having to make up new riddles! Torture!
What are some challenges to writing characters with superior intellect?
Writing about people smarter than yourself! But a writer has the luxury of time. I can take hours to think up what seems like an off-the-cuff remark.
If you had your choice, which animation project would you prefer to begin first, your story arc on Nightwing or Knightfall?
Tough choice. I’d sure like to see Nightwing on the screen though.
Which of your Nightwing story arcs would you most like to see developed into an animated feature?
Probably that Scarecrow story where Dick is drugged to enter a disturbing fantasy world in which he never became Robin or Nightwing. Wed that to the larger Blockbuster arc and that would be one hell of a cartoon.
The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20th 2012 and stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.
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