Fans are like protective parents sitting at their daughter’s wedding reception; happy to see their child going off on a new adventure, but in a well hidden corner of their minds they’re always secretly convinced that their kid just won’t be as protected and as loved by this new person. They were ours before they were theirs. We will always have that attachment, and so when that day comes that this new person wants to take our kids away, it hits us hard.
I am not allowed to watch Father of the Bride 2 while writing an article ever again.David Goyer’s name is attached to a slew of big screen and small screen “nerd” projects right now, primarily Batman and Superman: Friendship is Magic, and with that great power comes the burden of stirring up the very passionate fan bases that are affiliated with these projects and their sacrosanct source material, but while Goyer acknowledges that passion, he doesn’t seem to eager to cow down to the complaints.
Here’s Goyer in a new interview with Spin-Off Online:
“You’re dealing with an incredibly vocal but incredibly tiny sort of [group]. That’s a mistake that I think a lot of sometimes networks and movie studios make is sort of listening too much to [them]. I mean, it’s important to listen to the fan chatter but you’re really talking about a tiny, tiny, tiny portion of your audience that may not be representative of what your mainstream audience actually thinks or feels. […] We’re aware and then you have to kind of gauge that against your own gut feeling. You have to do a gut check and see what you think.”
Later, Goyer added:
“I mean that’s not to say that filmmakers can’t misfire, but if you try to just do what you think the fan community wants you’ll drive yourself crazy and you won’t actually write anything. So it’s good to have that tension, but I think also some creators pay attention to it too much.”
Are you angered and clutching your pearls? Don’t light the torches yet, Goyer’s kinda right. As much as we feel like we have some kind of understanding of what would work for these characters, often, we’re only concerning ourselves with what we want to see and that doesn’t really work when someone is spending $200 million dollars to make these films. Goyer’s been at this for awhile, he’s good at it and that means that what he feels in his “gut” as it pertains to what will work for these stories means more than what you think. It just does.
With regard to the size of the audience, he’s also right. It’s easy to see the cultural boom of The Walking Dead and Comic Con and assume that nerds really do rule the world, but in truth, there are many people are only casually engaged in this section of the larger culture and there are plenty who actually don’t care. World’s big, lot of stuff to grab our attention, and when we surround ourselves with people who have like interests and we focus on these things in an obsessive way, it’s easy to live in a vacuum and assume that the center of your universe is the center of the universe.
Want proof that it isn’t? Look at the box office for Scott Pilgrim and Sucker Punch, two films that were made with an eye on courting the nerd dollar above all others. The mainstream stayed away, and these self indulgent films failed mightily. You can’t make a “nerd” film or TV show without making it accessible to the normies. It won’t be successful.
On the other hand, though, these filmmakers can’t stray too far and alienate this audience, either. That’s our power, that’s the only respect that we fans deserve and it’s the only thing we’re entitled too. It’s a delicate balancing act and Goyer seems to be aware of that, but in truth, I’m happy to know that these filmmakers aren’t crowd sourcing the next Batman film, because the end result of that would probably suck.