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How much does David Goyer listen to the fans?

Mar. 20, 2014by: Niki Stephens

Over the years working for JoBlo.com, Ive seen the extreme highs and lows of passionate fanboys and girls. They all have their opinions on certain fandoms that pertain to their interests. Often we think, If only they would listen to us Sometimes they do, then other times they dont.

Where does David Goyer stand? I know you guys have varied opinions on the guy so I thought it would be interesting to share where he stands on the subject:

First, Goyer addressed fan reactions and how much stock you could put into that:

Or Internet chatter, because youre dealing with an incredibly vocal but incredibly tiny sort of [group]. Thats a mistake that I think a lot of sometimes networks and movie studios make is sort of listening too much to [them]. I mean, its important to listen to the fan chatter but youre 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.

Goyer added that you have to sort of check your gut and gauge how you feel about the particular subject. He said that they are aware of the reactions that are out there but it would be hard to listen to every single one. But affirmed they were aware of it. Then went on to say:

I think its helpful, but at the same time, its also, and Im paraphrasing Steve Jobs, its like you dont give the audience or the consumer what they want, you give them what they dont even know they want. I mean, being involved in some of these comic book movies and stuff like that, people say, well, this is what they should do. And trust me, if we had just done exactly that I dont think the audiences would have been completely happy. I mean thats not to say that filmmakers cant misfire, but if you try to just do what you think the fan community wants youll drive yourself crazy and you wont actually write anything. So its good to have that tension, but I think also some creators pay attention to it too much.

When it came down to it, Goyer broke it down between an original creator, or one that fans feel very protective of which is completely different. He said that you have a sort of responsibility to make yourself aware of how the fans feel. Then he talked about how the process went when it came to Batman:

And so Chris Nolan and I absolutely had discussions about that with regards to Superman or Batman and where he exists in the public consciousness and whether or not this was aligned with that or a betrayal of that or not. And sometimes you say, Yeah, maybe this is different, and you go for it. And sometimes youre celebrated for and sometimes youre not. And then sometimes you say no, this is the way its been and this is what we should do. I mean, I will say that when youre dealing with something that is a cultural touchstone I always think its important to look at what are the elements or themes that are the most sticky, that bubble to the surface again and again over the decades. And those are probably the ones you should pay attention to.

David Goyer's next, BATMAN VS SUPERMAN hits theaters on May 6, 2016.

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11:42AM on 03/22/2014

I agree with him in theory.

But I also think he's a zero-talent hack. So mixed feelings on this one.
But I also think he's a zero-talent hack. So mixed feelings on this one.
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1:45AM on 03/22/2014
Goyer must have some seriously compromising photos of WB studio execs to continue to get writing jobs, either that or he sucks a mean wang, why not, he sucks at absolutely everything else.
Goyer must have some seriously compromising photos of WB studio execs to continue to get writing jobs, either that or he sucks a mean wang, why not, he sucks at absolutely everything else.
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9:06AM on 03/22/2014
I would thumbs-up this 100x if I could.
I would thumbs-up this 100x if I could.
6:48PM on 03/21/2014
Nothing wrong to what his saying here. Can't always listen to the whiners, can't always please everyone anyways.
Nothing wrong to what his saying here. Can't always listen to the whiners, can't always please everyone anyways.
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5:19PM on 03/21/2014
I agree with all of this.

I've noticed that some fanboys/girls bitch about stuff they don't even really know about. They're just bitching to bitch. One guy on a site was saying how the new Flash series would suck "because it's nonfans making it" after looking at the costume. I replied with, "Um...you do realize that Geoff Johns is writing the pilot and producing don't you? Do you even know who he is??"

If you're going to complain and whine at least understand what you are complaining and
I agree with all of this.

I've noticed that some fanboys/girls bitch about stuff they don't even really know about. They're just bitching to bitch. One guy on a site was saying how the new Flash series would suck "because it's nonfans making it" after looking at the costume. I replied with, "Um...you do realize that Geoff Johns is writing the pilot and producing don't you? Do you even know who he is??"

If you're going to complain and whine at least understand what you are complaining and whining about. It's not that hard to look it up. Like all the bitching about Superman killing Zod. "Superman doesn't kill!!" all these people would yell, but they are wrong. They never bothered to look up if he has...which is several times in the comics and he did in Superman 2...that film WAS in character. They obviously don't read the comics either or haven't in 25 years or so. THAT kind of bitching really pisses me off.....when it comes from a willfully ignorant place.
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6:45PM on 03/21/2014
Haha.. completely agree with you on this!
Haha.. completely agree with you on this!
3:11PM on 03/21/2014

There's two separate issues here

One: Is he a good writer/director. Opinions vary. That has nothing to do with issue two...
Two: He's right about keeping perspective on fanboy internet chatter. In 2014, it kind of boggles the mind that people still don't understand the illusion created by a consensus of like-minded individuals. You may think you are right, and that your opinions make movies better, and that talent is nothing more than listening to the most passionate people in the audience. But that opinion is irrelevant to
One: Is he a good writer/director. Opinions vary. That has nothing to do with issue two...
Two: He's right about keeping perspective on fanboy internet chatter. In 2014, it kind of boggles the mind that people still don't understand the illusion created by a consensus of like-minded individuals. You may think you are right, and that your opinions make movies better, and that talent is nothing more than listening to the most passionate people in the audience. But that opinion is irrelevant to the larger point. When a movie makes over 100 million opening weekend - that's not fanboys buying all those tickets. The internet creates a false sense of inflation with fans - and its not just true of movies - its the same thing for music, art, and just about everything else. The ultimate indicator of success is a critical mass of talent in front of, and behind, the camera. I know it steams some people's oysters to be confronted with the notion that fanboys don't wield the influence they think they do - but that's just reality. It doesn't mean that fans don't have good ideas sometimes; it's that people forget their own bias and confuse the notion of their own personal preferences they think the casual moviegoer not only should agree with them, but that all moviegoers do agree.

For every example of a movie being good because the creators "listened to the fans," I can provide a counter example where a movie sucked because it "pandered to fans" instead of dedication and talent.
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12:13PM on 03/21/2014

First paragraph is right

A vocal but tiny group of internet 'chatterers.' They simply don't represent the bulk of the fee paying audience. Even if they think they do.
A vocal but tiny group of internet 'chatterers.' They simply don't represent the bulk of the fee paying audience. Even if they think they do.
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12:09PM on 03/21/2014
I have to agree with him on this. When they start out making a movie they have a vision of what they want to do. Clearly it's going to by tied to the mythology of the comics they're adapting, but they can't be expected to put every idea a fan has into a movie. They have to stay the course and be true to the story they want to tell. Sure they might make changes based on what will work and what makes sense. But ultimately, he's right, the the fan voice on the internet is pretty minimal
I have to agree with him on this. When they start out making a movie they have a vision of what they want to do. Clearly it's going to by tied to the mythology of the comics they're adapting, but they can't be expected to put every idea a fan has into a movie. They have to stay the course and be true to the story they want to tell. Sure they might make changes based on what will work and what makes sense. But ultimately, he's right, the the fan voice on the internet is pretty minimal compared to the entire movie going population. Unfortunately, as much as we think we do, what we think does not matter that much.
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10:57AM on 03/21/2014

Iron Man and The Avengers...

THAT, Mr.Goyer, is what happens when you listen to the fans. And that's a bad thing?
Why hasn't this guy been blacklisted yet? How does he keep getting work?!
THAT, Mr.Goyer, is what happens when you listen to the fans. And that's a bad thing?
Why hasn't this guy been blacklisted yet? How does he keep getting work?!
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6:47PM on 03/21/2014
I guess you like your movies simple, cheesy, plain and water'd down, that's easy to follow like a 4th Grader... cool for you.
I guess you like your movies simple, cheesy, plain and water'd down, that's easy to follow like a 4th Grader... cool for you.
1:43AM on 03/22/2014
Honestly doesn't get much more simple or cheesy than Man of Stool, that was a big loud and dumb pile of dog s**t made by tards FOR tards. This coming from a DC fan.
Honestly doesn't get much more simple or cheesy than Man of Stool, that was a big loud and dumb pile of dog s**t made by tards FOR tards. This coming from a DC fan.
4:13PM on 03/22/2014
Agreed Nate, I had to force myself to watch Man Of Steel through the duration. I think I paused about a 3rd of the way through. I was bored. Amy Adams was also terribly miscast as Lois Lane did not like her at all in the role. There was no secrecy to Clark's (Kal-El's) Identity so there was no build up or tension. There was no Jor-El training, just oh here is a suit now go be Superman a couple of jumps later and he was flying. I actually felt Superman Returns did a better job at this point. I
Agreed Nate, I had to force myself to watch Man Of Steel through the duration. I think I paused about a 3rd of the way through. I was bored. Amy Adams was also terribly miscast as Lois Lane did not like her at all in the role. There was no secrecy to Clark's (Kal-El's) Identity so there was no build up or tension. There was no Jor-El training, just oh here is a suit now go be Superman a couple of jumps later and he was flying. I actually felt Superman Returns did a better job at this point. I suppose people are just happy watching buildings get demolished these day's.
10:34AM on 03/21/2014
Im sorry but the true talent is giving the fans what they want and making it appeal to the larger audience its the larger audience who dont know what they want because they haven't exposed themselves to the original material. If you want to give an audience something they don't think they want , then create something new.
Im sorry but the true talent is giving the fans what they want and making it appeal to the larger audience its the larger audience who dont know what they want because they haven't exposed themselves to the original material. If you want to give an audience something they don't think they want , then create something new.
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2:13PM on 03/21/2014
And I thought Man of Steel was a very mediocre movie, was just flat. I didnt have any reactions to it because I didnt feel invested in it. I think I reacted more to Transformers and that's not a good thing.
And I thought Man of Steel was a very mediocre movie, was just flat. I didnt have any reactions to it because I didnt feel invested in it. I think I reacted more to Transformers and that's not a good thing.
9:06AM on 03/21/2014

Douche

Don't listen to the fans of the series, the people who can make or break your movie. Listen to the people who don't know who Batman is, never read a comic and prefer Twilight over Avengers.

They guy is a douche and is literally saying, those with a voice should not be heard. It is those without a voice we can easily fool into seeing our shitty movies.
Don't listen to the fans of the series, the people who can make or break your movie. Listen to the people who don't know who Batman is, never read a comic and prefer Twilight over Avengers.

They guy is a douche and is literally saying, those with a voice should not be heard. It is those without a voice we can easily fool into seeing our shitty movies.
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8:55AM on 03/21/2014
The guy is absolutely right. The first paragraph he hit it right on the head. The other 2 quotes are half right half wrong. You can not give your fans creative input, they will ruin it. Sometimes you can listen to them, but most of the time, no. And he's right about the folks on the internet are not the mainstream audience. The voices on the internet make up a small portion of the general audience. Particularly, the angry voices do not make up the general audience and sometimes not even the
The guy is absolutely right. The first paragraph he hit it right on the head. The other 2 quotes are half right half wrong. You can not give your fans creative input, they will ruin it. Sometimes you can listen to them, but most of the time, no. And he's right about the folks on the internet are not the mainstream audience. The voices on the internet make up a small portion of the general audience. Particularly, the angry voices do not make up the general audience and sometimes not even the majority opinion on the internet. It just seems like they represent the majority sometimes because they are the loudest.
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7:59AM on 03/21/2014
Sorry, I have to kinda agree. They have to take things in slightly different directions than previously. Not like "Superman had a baby" in the returns failure. I like everything Goyer has done so far with these characters. Superman Vs. Kryptonite is old, dated and just doesn't make as good a story as Superman's weakness (or should I say strength) for morality, rightness and humanity. Sometimes, you just have to fight fire with fire.
Sorry, I have to kinda agree. They have to take things in slightly different directions than previously. Not like "Superman had a baby" in the returns failure. I like everything Goyer has done so far with these characters. Superman Vs. Kryptonite is old, dated and just doesn't make as good a story as Superman's weakness (or should I say strength) for morality, rightness and humanity. Sometimes, you just have to fight fire with fire.
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7:04AM on 03/21/2014
"you dont give the audience what they want, you give them what they dont even know they want."

Very true. I had no idea I'd always yearned to see a neck snapping Superman surrounded by mass destruction until I saw it and then I realized Goyer should have his fingers shattered into tiny pieces before he has a chance to show me all of the other things I've always yearned to see.
"you dont give the audience what they want, you give them what they dont even know they want."

Very true. I had no idea I'd always yearned to see a neck snapping Superman surrounded by mass destruction until I saw it and then I realized Goyer should have his fingers shattered into tiny pieces before he has a chance to show me all of the other things I've always yearned to see.
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6:13AM on 03/21/2014
I find it interesting that in the last paragraph he talks about the discussion of "we have to consider the story elements that are always there", the things you can't change, but apparently that didn't come up much during the conversations they must have had for the Dark Knight trilogy and whether or not Batman would ever "give up" being Batman. Because the answer is no. No he wouldn't. That is the one MAJOR character element that always needs to be there - Batman doesn't quit. And they ignored
I find it interesting that in the last paragraph he talks about the discussion of "we have to consider the story elements that are always there", the things you can't change, but apparently that didn't come up much during the conversations they must have had for the Dark Knight trilogy and whether or not Batman would ever "give up" being Batman. Because the answer is no. No he wouldn't. That is the one MAJOR character element that always needs to be there - Batman doesn't quit. And they ignored it. Shows that they either have no real understanding or no respect for the character.
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5:25PM on 03/21/2014
Batman has retired in several tellings of his story. The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond and even in main continuity he was semi-retired when Dick Grayson was Batman and Bruce was only doing the BIG stuff like with the JLA. That was when Batman Inc was being published. See...you don't know the character like you think you do.
Batman has retired in several tellings of his story. The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond and even in main continuity he was semi-retired when Dick Grayson was Batman and Bruce was only doing the BIG stuff like with the JLA. That was when Batman Inc was being published. See...you don't know the character like you think you do.
12:08AM on 03/23/2014
In Dark Knight Returns, Bruce only "retired" from being Batman because he was forced to. He didn't want a "life outside of Batman", but Superman, on behalf of the government, kind of forced him to step down. And he did, until he saw that things were out of hand and then he stepped right back in as though he never left, because he hadn't. In Begins, again, he was forced to retire cause he had gotten too old to be Batman, and realized that sooner or later he would have to kill in order to prevent
In Dark Knight Returns, Bruce only "retired" from being Batman because he was forced to. He didn't want a "life outside of Batman", but Superman, on behalf of the government, kind of forced him to step down. And he did, until he saw that things were out of hand and then he stepped right back in as though he never left, because he hadn't. In Begins, again, he was forced to retire cause he had gotten too old to be Batman, and realized that sooner or later he would have to kill in order to prevent himself from being killed. But he never gives up on the idea of Batman, and he has to be at least somewhat in control of it. He would never stop because his girlfriend died or because he wanted to go live in Italy with his new girlfriend. That's a MAJOR art of his pathology. The idea of not being able to protect Gotham is something that just doesn't cross his mind.
+1
12:42AM on 03/21/2014

you don't give the customer what they want, you give them what they don't know they want.

nah David Goyer. i KNOW that i don't want your crap.

i recently re-watched Blade 3 on a lazy weekend. every action sequence was basically a Matrix lobby scene rip-off. it was like the bad guys walked around carrying techno music everywhere.
nah David Goyer. i KNOW that i don't want your crap.

i recently re-watched Blade 3 on a lazy weekend. every action sequence was basically a Matrix lobby scene rip-off. it was like the bad guys walked around carrying techno music everywhere.
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1:49AM on 03/22/2014
The guy basically gives a whole new definition to the term "hack", can only hope one day the world runs out of crayons to Goyer would then be forced to stop "writing".
The guy basically gives a whole new definition to the term "hack", can only hope one day the world runs out of crayons to Goyer would then be forced to stop "writing".
9:18PM on 03/20/2014
Here's the problem. If Chris Nolan had said these exact same words, I'd respect the hell outta him because hey, he's dismissing the Internet nerd-rage yet creating something far more spectacular. Like casting Heath Ledger as The Joker or Tom Hardy as Bane. He gives you what you want without you even knowing you want it. Goyer, on the other hand, is a bad writer. His only good works are the ones where he colab'd with a bunch of other more talented writers. He just can't write proper stories, so
Here's the problem. If Chris Nolan had said these exact same words, I'd respect the hell outta him because hey, he's dismissing the Internet nerd-rage yet creating something far more spectacular. Like casting Heath Ledger as The Joker or Tom Hardy as Bane. He gives you what you want without you even knowing you want it. Goyer, on the other hand, is a bad writer. His only good works are the ones where he colab'd with a bunch of other more talented writers. He just can't write proper stories, so I think he'd benefit a little if he listened to people who know the source material a bit better.
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9:16PM on 03/20/2014

He has complete conviction about what he's saying...

It makes sense when you think about all the casting decisions that seem way left field. People in Warner Bros. seem to share this thought, that the fan community is so small, collectively. However they've misfired more than not and that's why they will remain behind Marvel Studios.
It makes sense when you think about all the casting decisions that seem way left field. People in Warner Bros. seem to share this thought, that the fan community is so small, collectively. However they've misfired more than not and that's why they will remain behind Marvel Studios.
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9:04PM on 03/20/2014
Maybe if he listened to the fans of some of these properties he could write something that wasn't Blade Trinity-tier shit.

I feel bad for fans of Gaiman's Sandman series cause there's really no way Goyer is going to get that right. Batman vs Superman actually stands a chance of not being terrible ever since they brought in a new writer.
Maybe if he listened to the fans of some of these properties he could write something that wasn't Blade Trinity-tier shit.

I feel bad for fans of Gaiman's Sandman series cause there's really no way Goyer is going to get that right. Batman vs Superman actually stands a chance of not being terrible ever since they brought in a new writer.
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8:42PM on 03/20/2014
I don't hate the guy, but whenever I remind myself that he wrote that Hasselhoff Nick Fury TV movie, I shudder a little.
I don't hate the guy, but whenever I remind myself that he wrote that Hasselhoff Nick Fury TV movie, I shudder a little.
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8:13PM on 03/20/2014
I know we are nervous and skeptic about Batman vs Superman, but remember how everyone was flipping out about Guardians of the Galaxy before we saw any footage or anyone casted yet? I feel once we get some solid photos and footage from the film, alot more people will be looking forward to the film.

I mean, look how amazing Guardians of the Galaxy looks.
I know we are nervous and skeptic about Batman vs Superman, but remember how everyone was flipping out about Guardians of the Galaxy before we saw any footage or anyone casted yet? I feel once we get some solid photos and footage from the film, alot more people will be looking forward to the film.

I mean, look how amazing Guardians of the Galaxy looks.
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8:21PM on 03/20/2014
It's because that movie has bonefide talent attached to it.
It's because that movie has bonefide talent attached to it.
10:00PM on 03/20/2014
David Goyer's script for Batman vs. Superman was rewritten by Chris Terrio. Whether or not that film is good or bad, Goyer would have very little to do with it (he now has only a story credit). In fact, it's a bad sign that they felt they needed to bring in another writer to rework the entire movie.
David Goyer's script for Batman vs. Superman was rewritten by Chris Terrio. Whether or not that film is good or bad, Goyer would have very little to do with it (he now has only a story credit). In fact, it's a bad sign that they felt they needed to bring in another writer to rework the entire movie.
12:12AM on 03/21/2014
To Apricot 1, Batman vs Superman does have talent attached to it. Maybe not as great as Guardians of the Galaxy, but the talent is there for the film.
To Apricot 1, Batman vs Superman does have talent attached to it. Maybe not as great as Guardians of the Galaxy, but the talent is there for the film.
9:07AM on 03/21/2014
Personally I don't remember when people were flipping out about GOTG. Certainly not on the level of Batman vs. Superman.
Personally I don't remember when people were flipping out about GOTG. Certainly not on the level of Batman vs. Superman.
6:09PM on 03/21/2014
When were people flipping out about Guardians? I cannot honestly remember that ever happening.
When were people flipping out about Guardians? I cannot honestly remember that ever happening.
8:03PM on 03/20/2014
Why should he listen to fanboy nerd rage, they make up a very minuscule part of the movie going public. He is making millions and does his job quite well apparent because the majority of his movies have made money and he keeps getting work. I never really got the hate on him.
Why should he listen to fanboy nerd rage, they make up a very minuscule part of the movie going public. He is making millions and does his job quite well apparent because the majority of his movies have made money and he keeps getting work. I never really got the hate on him.
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8:20PM on 03/20/2014
Don't give him that much credit he didn't create Superman or Batman. People aren't flocking to the theatres because of David Goyer.
Don't give him that much credit he didn't create Superman or Batman. People aren't flocking to the theatres because of David Goyer.
8:26PM on 03/20/2014
And go through his filmography it's awful with one or two decent movies in there. He was only picked by Warner's because they have no idea what they are doing. He's a hack who got the lucky break of a lifetime.
And go through his filmography it's awful with one or two decent movies in there. He was only picked by Warner's because they have no idea what they are doing. He's a hack who got the lucky break of a lifetime.
6:18AM on 03/21/2014
fanboys are not a very "minuscule part of the movie going public", not when it comes to the franchises he's dealing with. We're talking about Batman and Superman here, two of the very first comic book super heroes, who have been MAJOR icons of the American cultural lexicon for over 70 years now. Even for people who aren't into comic books at all, EVERYONE knows who Superman and Batman are, and what their characters represent on a basic level. So some of the changes he made to the
fanboys are not a very "minuscule part of the movie going public", not when it comes to the franchises he's dealing with. We're talking about Batman and Superman here, two of the very first comic book super heroes, who have been MAJOR icons of the American cultural lexicon for over 70 years now. Even for people who aren't into comic books at all, EVERYONE knows who Superman and Batman are, and what their characters represent on a basic level. So some of the changes he made to the stories/characters fly in the face of everything that EVERYONE knows about them.
9:03AM on 03/21/2014
Well said CMonty
Well said CMonty
7:51PM on 03/20/2014

In order to listen to the fans

Goyer would have to have two. I guess he counts his patents as fans.
Goyer would have to have two. I guess he counts his patents as fans.
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7:52PM on 03/20/2014
Parents.
Parents.
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