So here's a guy that, much like David Koepp, seems to be everywhere. If he's not headlining scripts, he's doing uncredited rewrites and is an all-around producer and even director not just of movies but also television. And one can't deny that he's been a prolific force in legitimizing superhero movies ever since 1998's Blade.
But exactly who is David S. Goyer? What are his concerns, and do they shine through in his writing? From Dark City to The Dark Knight, it's hard to nail down the man's style or voice, mostly because he more often than not collaborates with others.
But there's nothing wrong with that, really. Batman Begins does, after all, have a pretty airtight structure that took the three-act structure of Superman (1978) and refined it to a formula. So formulaic, in fact, that Goyer aped himself with Man of Steel!
I've read a few of his screenplays, and they don't sparkle like, say, Shane Black's prose. His dialogue is also a little hard to nail down because, like I mentioned above, he collaborates more often than not. Can any of the Joker's quotable lines, for instance, be attributed to Goyer or is that all the Nolan bros.?
But looking at early Goyer when his work was perhaps more his, I do love Blade and think it's infinitely quotable. The thematic battle between science and religion maybe doesn't stick the landing, and that certainly seemed to be a story that was in flux all the way up to the editing room, but I will never not love Blade. And Dark City could be chalked up more to Alex Proyas, but it's a masterpiece.
There was some backlash against Goyer a few years ago because of some off-the-cuff remarks he made, taken out of context perhaps, about She-Hulk being the Hulk's fuckable power fantasy for 13-year-old boys. Not Goyer's best moment, but he clarified in later interviews and has kept his head low since. He doesn't appear to have any outrageous political beliefs and doesn't get into flamewars with fanboys like Roberto Orci.
But in the wake of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, not just Goyer the man but the writer has received a little bit of backlash. And while I think it's hard to say whether or not he's to blame for what went wrong with those movies (again, collaboration), I do think he deserves credit for what he's brought to comic book movies for almost 20 years now. The man obviously has bonafides, having actually written a JSA comic for several years with Geoff Johns, and if anything can be said about him, he made superheroes palatable to general audiences.
From the emphasis on black trench coats to "grounding" stories in violence and anger to streamlining origins by removing the more fantastical elements, we don't get the superhero renaissance without him. That's a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.
So what can be said about David S. Goyer? He's reliable, he's workmanlike, and he can probably get your angsty young man into a costume by the hour mark, although in his defense, Blade is the epitome of in medias res. Aside from he can craft some funny dialogue when he's allowed to have a foul mouth, and he certainly knows how to create functioning worlds for characters that might otherwise be considered silly, is he a bane or a boon to movie fans?