SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN PART 2: 1-1 With Dark Knight Returns Director Jay Oliva

SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN PART 2: 1-1 With Dark Knight Returns Director Jay Oliva

In this second excerpt from an interview with Dark Knight Returns director Jay Oliva, we continue our look at the momentous battle that takes place between Batman and Superman. Accompanying the interview are a number of animatic storyboards used as a foundation for the final animation.

JAY OLIVA: One of the things I wanted to do in the fight between Batman and Superman was have as many gadgets as I possibly could in there without making it look ridiculous. We had the sonic gun, which was like the comic; we wanted the electricity bit, but I wanted to add the thing where he’s attached himself to the grid of Gotham City so it’s not just the suit that gets electrified, which makes more sense. We saw lightning hurt Superman, so now we see this electrical thing - which means, ok, these are some of the things that can affect Superman in this universe. I always like the idea that when it comes right down to it, this is just a fisticuff fight. One of things that Mel [storyboard artist Mel Zwyer] had put into the fight was that little bit where they fall into the construction yard and one of those I-beams falls. Then Superman is flying at him at full speed and slams right into it. It was one of those great moments, and that’s when I told Mel we should keep going. At that point there were these steam roller trucks, so we had Batman grab the rollers and slam the trucks together, freeing the rollers which he then uses as boxing gloves. It was cool to work out the kind of beats that I wanted to see during that fight and to keep the fight itself raw.




VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Which are the bits that completely draw you into the fight as an audience.

JAY OLIVA: Well, one of the one thing we do with all of our DTVs and all of our DC animated stuff is that we all always put ourselves into the place of the superheroes, and ask ourselves what would these characters do in this situation, and then try to think of all of the questions that the audience members or ourselves would have during the fight. You know, why doesn’t he pick up that gun? Why doesn’t he use this? If he’s always had this power, why didn’t he start with that? That’s one of the things I like to do - whenever I do fights, I always like to use the biggest thing you have right away and then once you show that it doesn’t work, at that point the audience feels like, "OK, there’s still so much at stake now; the best thing that he could throw at the guy doesn’t work, I don’t know how it’s going to end."

VOICES FROM KRYPTON: There have been so many fights in these films, yet this one seemed different from the others in a lot of ways.

JAY OLIVA: A lot of the fans think, "Oh, do it exactly like the comic." In a lot of ways that's what I did, just because of my love for the source material. I think, "If it's not broke, don't fix it," and for people who have read the original graphic novel, I have to have those pieces in there. But then I have to shake it up. I did this fight sequence for Wolverine and the X-Men, I did a sequence where Wolverine fights Archangel for the very first time in this high-rise building. One of the things I wanted to do was re-enact the panels from a classic – it’s called classic now, but when I was a kid it wasn’t a classic – Jim Lee comic book when Wolverine was fighting Archangel and Genosha or something like that. I remember as a kid that was the most awesome fight sequence and I wanted to try to reinvent those panels for the animated fight. So of course I go back to the comic book and I open it up, and it’s all of four panels. My brain had filled in all the coolness in that scene, even though there were these four or five panels that were really great, but in my mind it was a much bigger fight. So with The Dark Knight Returns, that was one of the things I did: we looked at the comic and we were, like, "This isn’t very long. How do we keep this going?"

For the rest of this interview, please click HERE.
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