Talking with Aaron Schoenke - "Batman Beyond: Year One"

By Christopher Moshier
Jul 24, 2006 - 11:26

From the archives of Fan Film Follies here was our original interview with Aaron Schoenke as a follow-up to Patient J.  This interview was originally conducted during the summer of 2002 and gives incite into Aaron’s first fan film Batman Beyond: Year One.

In 1999, after stellar ratings for their highly successful Batman animated franchise, Warner Brothers brought their viewers to the future world of the Dark Knight.  An aging Bruce Wayne wasn’t what he used to be, and neither was Gotham City.  Street gangs like the Jokerz ran wild, and police commissioner Barbara Gordon followed in her father’s legacy. Gotham needed a new hero, and Wayne found it in young Terry McGinnis.

The story begins with Terry’s father being killed by one of Wayne’s underhanded former business partners, Derek Powers.  Rescuing Terry from an encounter with the Jokerz, Wayne became the boy’s mentor, training him to be the new Batman.  Meanwhile, radiation from Powers’ corrupt industrial experiments turned Powers into the glowing skeletal madman, Blight.  McGinnis donned the new Batsuit, complete with jet-powered boots, camouflage capabilities, and an endless supply of Batarangs, and set out to protect the city.  McGinnis balanced his time between fighting crime and attending Gotham High with his girlfriend Dana Tan, who didn’t know his secret identity.

The spin-off became one of the biggest hits on the WB's Saturday morning schedule, leading to a direct-to-video animated movie, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, sparking talk of a feature film adaptation and even spawning a independent short by one Aaron Schoenke.

Aaron’s company is Bat In the Sun Productions.  His first film under this new imprint is, "Batman Beyond: Year One."  A consummate comic book reader and Batman fan, Aaron’s goal is to, through film, show his love for the Batman mythos and his vision of how the psychology of the characters need to be played out.  On August 2, 2002, Aaron was kind enough to agree to a phone interview about his independent film, the website, and BEYOND...

COMIC BOOK BIN (through Christopher Moshier): Can you give us background on yourself, your partners, and the development of Bat in the Sun Productions?

AARON SCHOENKE: I'm a film student in college.  I have loved Batman my whole life.  I love film, the two work hand and hand together.  I work with my father a lot; he's a big part of what I do.  I also have many other people working with me, such as friends and other people I have met through recommendations and other film jobs.

CBB: So this is an "actual" production company?  You know, when anyone comes out with an Internet film they instantly say they have a production company.  Do you have to have a business license or something like that for it?

AS: Yeah, you have to have a business license, which we have.

CBB: Can you explain more of where your dad comes into this?

AS: He's really into it.  He writes and composes the music for it.  He's real positive, and real supporting.  He also helps fund a lot of it.

CBB: Not seeing any of the live action or characters to date this seems to be a rather ambitious project for a fan production.  Why was it decided to go into the future with Batman rather than a similar present day version?

AS: Batman Beyond has never been touched upon before.  I think people would be more interested to see Batman Beyond.  A lot of people have seen the regular, normal Batman.  I have done a Batman film in the past.  It was one of my first films.  I just wanted to branch out and try something new.  I mean, I really love Batman Beyond.  It’s an awesome idea despite what some people say.

CBB: That's a great show.  Unfortunately they took it off the WB here.

AS: Yeah, they took it off here too.

CBB: What did you think about the Tim Burton Films?

AS: The first Tim Burton film I really loved a lot.  That's what got me hooked onto Batman.  That and my father got me hooked on the comics. I really liked the first film.  There was a few things I would of done differently, but his vision was really well done.  The last three have gone down hill.  I mean, they had the wrong vision.  I guess the vision was done well if their going for that really campy, kids' stuff, but it just lost its psychological edge that Batman needs to have.  It also didn’t stay true to the characters at all.

CBB: It's like the 60's show for the 90's.

AS: Right, seriously.

CBB: I was really disappointed by that.  The villain development is what I was disappointed by.

AS: Yeah, that whole thing.  I mean, I made a list once of the things that were wrong with Batman and Robin and I had like 50 things marked down in the first two minutes.  You know: "Hi Freeze, I'm Batman."  I wanted to stand up in the theater and yell, "**** it!" really loud.  I would rather see Arnold as Batman than as Freeze, just to see a big Batman.  No one has cast a 6' 3", 250 pounds actor to play Batman. I know Arnold is 6’0, but still.

CBB: I was hoping Patrick Stewart as Freeze.

AS: Yeah, he would have been good or Liam Neeson would have been really good.  Freeze is a really big character.  I think Liam would have been able to pull it off.  In our film we've got a 6' 3", 220-pound guy playing Bruce Wayne.  He's an older body builder, to show Hollywood what it is all about, not casting this small actors, although Keaton worked in Burton’s vision.

CBB: Where did you find this guy?

AS: He is a friend of my fathers.  It worked out rather nicely.

CBB: Where are you located?

AS: We're located in LA.

CBB: There are probably a lot of older body builders there.

AS: Yeah.

CBB: Why did you decide to make your first production a Batman Beyond film?

AS: I worked on a few other films before, an X-Men parody and I worked on a Beatle film.  All that experience and now the company is coming into play and like I said earlier I really like Batman Beyond and I wanted that to be the first project to do.  No one has done it and a lot of Batman fans want to see Batman done right.  I am a huge, huge, huge Batman fan.  I understand what the fans want.  I have the ability to give it to them and I they deserve it.

CBB: How long does the movie run?

AS: It runs about 40 minutes.

CBB: Can you give us a synopsis of the plot?

AS: The story is really about Terry's psychological edge.  The show never really touched upon that a lot.  It did here and there.  I just wanted to give the character more realism.  A lot of people thought that Terry didn't pay his dues to be Batman.  I wanted to show that he definitely has what it takes and all the downfalls, which is what this movie is about.  It deals with Terry's past, which is touched upon in the show here and there, but we really don't get the full story.  The story is a little bit of an adaptation of one of the shows and one of the comic books.  It mostly deals with his past; it deals with his past with the Jokerz, and now the present with the Jokerz.

CBB: Does that mean Terry's father comes to play in the movie?

AS: Very much so.  Like in the original Batman, his parents haunt him every day and I felt that should have been much more touched upon.  I mean where Terry has nightmares about it.  He’s a very, 6 dimensional character.  He has his girlfriend, he is kind of a funny guy, but then he is kind of a real dark depressing guy, and he gets his moments.  But he is also very tough, so.

CBB: What characters will carry over from the animated show and what characters will make their debut?  You mentioned the Jokerz and Bruce Wayne.

AS: Wayne of course will be in it, Terry, Dana will be in it for just a bit.  There will be a mention of Barbara.  Max isn't in it.  I know I have gotten a lot of emails asking if Max was in it and there wasn't really a part in the story for her.  I tried to put her in, but if she was in it, she would have no point and I'd like to get away from a cluttered script.

I want this movie to focus on Batman, something the movies lost track of.  Although, I would of loved to include all the other characters.  I have actually written other stories including characters, like Matt.  I would have loved to put him it there.  Matt is actually a cool character.  Its fun writing happy, dark kids.  It’s one of the best forms of psychology.  It’s so simple and so hard at the same time.

CBB: How about the dog?  What was his name?  Ace was it?

AS: We tried to get a dog.  We always debated if he was a Doberman or a Great Dane.  We actually found a mix, a solid black mix, but he almost killed three of us when we tried to get him.  It was kind of a funny experience, but we had to go no with the dog.  It was too much.


CBB: Did you create villains for the film?

AS: Actually, we did.  We created a different Joker.  It's a new Joker.  His name is Voodoo. He is the leader of the Jokerz.  We also have another villain in it.  He is a part of the story, but not a major part.  He is more your stereotypical action, super powered villain, named Johnny Hotwire.

CBB: Did you work the motorcycles into the film?

AS: No, we don't have the motorcycles.  We actually wanted to and we had a few motorcycles all lined up, but the script didn't call for it.  I would have loved to put them in there.  We even had Terry's blue motorcycle lined up, but like I said the script didn’t call for it.  It would have been pointless.

CBB: Could you talk about the actors and some of their background leading up to being cast in the Batman Beyond production?


AS: We created a character for the whole story and his name is Merrick and Jon Mann-Krieger plays him.  He is a character who returns from Terry's past.  I've known Jon for a while.  We have been in film together and the part came up and we had auditioned a few people and he just fit the look of the roll above everyone.  He’s great and added a lot to the character.  He has worked a few things.  He has worked on the Hulk movie.  He was one of the army soldier guys.  He has been in a Sea World commercial.  The way he acts is very similar the way the character is and he really understood the character.  He knew a little bit about Batman whom I find is always important.  I mean I can't stress it enough for Hollywood.  They just cast people who have read a few comics as kids.  I made Jon read a lot of Batman comics to figure out the psychology and all that sort of stuff.  I mean you need to know what you're doing and what you're acting upon.

CBB: I couldn't agree with you more with the Hollywood thing.  I guess they just don't want my money.

AS: It's like, "Yeah, I read a few comics when I was a kid."  Great!  That means nothing.  I realize that Hollywood may never make a great Batman film that is psychological and very true.  They might have to keep selling out.  I understand that they have to make money, but it's sad that Batman is so big that they can't give him his true recognition he deserves.

CBB: Would you like to mention anyone else in the cast?


AS: The guy, who plays Voodoo, we were trying to work him out as originally as Merrick, but he is so awesome as Voodoo.  He plays the sinister cool and collected bad guy who is bordering on the edge of control and rage.  He is played by Adam Poole.  The stunt doubles for Batman Beyond are really awesome at what they do.

CBB: Same question for the behind the scenes crew.  Could you provide a little information about them and their involvement in the production?

AS: I do most of the work because it is independent.  I do most of the editing, cinematography.  We have a lot of people working, but I like to head everything.  I mean in Hollywood you have hundreds upon hundreds of people working and the director can't oversee everything so his vision gets tweaked.

A lot of people offered to do certain jobs, but I wanted to oversee them because the vision needs to remain true and not a lot of people I'm around knows Batman as well as I do.  I want to oversee the special effects.  I don't know if Sam Raimmi was right there watching the guys doing the special effects for Spider-Man.  But I’m looking and making sure Batman Beyond doesn’t look like Spidey when he moves, they all have a certain style to there moving which is very important.  You have to get exact detail.  If you look at the Batcave we have even the big blue buttons on the Batcave and all that sort of stuff.

CBB: Is that all CGI, live or a combination of both?

AS: It is a mix.  We built a huge board.  We built a huge cave computer screen around him and then we use a lot of special effects to make the board light up to give it that techno edge which looked really good.  We also built a big model but we didn’t use it, could be in the making though.

CBB: You touched upon the music indicating your father is conducting it.

AS: Yeah, the music is awesome.  It really is.  I am very, very impressed with it.

CBB: Is it dark and techno like the show?

AS: If you take the show and you take the Mask of the Phantasm theme and then blend them together.  Because it has Techno to it, but it also has very dark, kind of nobleness about it, but also very dark and depressing.

CBB: In the trailer it looks like the kids are going into the dance club.  Are they going into the dance club in that scene?

AS: Actually, that's them going into the Jokerz base.  That was a really awesome find.  We found this underground comedy club with purple walls with all this crazy like Joker stuff all over it.

CBB: Locations…how do you get to film where you get to film?  Is it a matter of asking permission or do you just sneak in and film?

AS: Well, it depends.  You run into to problems because you don't own the copyright to the characters.  It's like, "What are you filming?" because they want you to do it the legal way.  If you don't have the copyright then they become responsible in some way.  So you kind of have to sneak in and do it which sometimes is hard because you have eleven Jokers and a guy dressed up in Batman Beyond outfit.  We managed to do it quit a bit actually and we have a lot of great locations too.  We snuck into this boat yard; we had to climb under this fence. The workers there had like a German accent and they were saying, "Ah, Bitman."

CBB: Watching the trailer I see some interesting choices as far as the cinematography is concerned.  It looks as different scenes are crafted with the "new" slanted angle shots you see in most comic book productions today and also the use of filters to give each scene a certain feel.  Would you like to comment on these points?

AS: Like I said I'm interested in film and I study all different angles.  A lot of my work is based on Darren Aronofsky who directed "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream" and was also supposed to direct Batman: Year One.  Also David Fincher (Fight Club and Seven) is awesome as well. Their work is really good.  And I based the film off a lot of comic books.  I mean I've read thousands upon thousands of comic books.  A lot of really good angles came from Daredevil comic books, there always very artistic.  We have a lot of extreme angles and a lot of intense filters in the film that give it like that movie painting sort of look, but it is still live action.  It adds like that cool animation feel to it, but as I say it is still very, very live action.  A lot of the scenes feature different colors, flashbacks, and show emotion and intensity.

CBB: As I watched the trailer I was really anticipating Terry McGinnis in the Batman Beyond suit.  Instead I was treated to a quick shot of what looks CG of the Batman Beyond character.  Can you clue us in as if the suit will be CG rendered or a costume of the production's design?

AS: It is actually a suit.  We get a lot of questions regarding the end of the trailer where everyone is asking if it is a CGI Batman, but it actually is not.  It's actually someone in the outfit.

CBB: It looks just like CG.

AS: I know.  We get a lot of that.  Did you see the teaser?

CBB: Like the one where you're in a kaleidoscope or something like that?

AS: Yeah, something like that.  It was actually an actor in the suit.  We used a really strong background.  The red lights are really strong and I can see why people would think it is CG.

CBB: Really?  I'll have to check that out again.

AS: The suit is modeled after to maquettes released by DC and Warner Brothers.  They were released by the Warner Brother store and they stand about 11 inches and cost about $250.  We had to change a few things, I mean the suit is black and we do have the long ears.  We kept the head, that was the hardest part to do, because we didn't want to use pre-existing rubber latex, that I never thought it looked right on Batman anyways.  Because it looks like rubber and the neck can't turn.  We used heavy-duty spandex, which doesn't look like spandex and looks really well on film, especially with the filters and everything.  It looks like the way Batman should kind of like a stealth black shadow. The mask is actually a helmet.  There's material over it, but under it is kind of like a metal shell.  If you look at Batman's head it is almost like he is wearing a helmet because his head is so positioned the way it looks like a helmet, because the way jawbone and his forehead look. We changed the eyes, the reflective lenses as opposed to white.  I tried to make it as close as I could because I know people wanted to see white and Batman looks cool with the cool white eyes, but the shadow with the white eyes does offset things so we replaced them with reflective lenses.  But we’ve got a lot of people liking them now.  Do you read Batgirl comic books?

CBB: Actually, the only comic I read these days is the Titans book.

AS: A lot of times she doesn't have eyes.  She has, like these dark, pits in her eyes, like these black eyes that look really eerie a lot of times. She really does look like a creature of the night and that's what we were trying to go for in Batman Beyond.

CBB: A lot of Fan Films, especially the Star Wars Fan Films, are made for publicity sakes for a resume builder.  Is this your intention as you began, are you strictly doing this subject as a love for the characters, or a little of both?

AS: A lot of both.  The project started out as a resume builder and was never intended for sale at all.  It's to build a resume, to get your name out there, and I thought why not do a character that you love.  Also, if I did an original character no one would really care compared to doing a Batman film that already has a built in fan following.  It's a lot of both, building a resume and just getting the experience and then of course the love of the character.  But then it got so big and a lot of people wanted to see it we decided to give it to people and we decided the only way to do that is to sell it.  We are still working on a way to get it to them.  We want to make the DVD as cheap and possible and like I say on the website we wont be making any money off of it.

CBB: Let's get to DC Comics.  They have a reputation of coming online and shutting down fan films based on their characters.  Aren't you afraid DC is going to come knocking on your door to shut down your site?

AS: I'm not really afraid.  I would respect it if they did.  We haven't gotten anything yet and we have been up a couple months.  I mean, if they do contact us we will of course cooperate with anything that they say.  It's totally up to them.  This film is not to hurt them or anything.  It is just to show a great character and everything.  We're not going to, like I said, make any money off of it.  Realistically, we'll make back what we put into it.  We won't even make back what we put into the project, but we'll just make back on DVD production that I have looked into and it is really expensive on an independent level.  We are trying to get that off as cheap as possible and we wont be making any money off of it.  It's for the fans and they deserve it.  I think it would be in DC's best interest if they just stay out of it.  We don't want to hurt them in any way.  I eventually want to work for Warner Brothers someday or Sony or what not, but they would probably look bad coming down on young independent filmmakers and probably give Batman vs. Superman or what ever there next bat movie is, a bad name.  They should back us!  I wish...its all good though.

CBB: Definitely!  That's the way to go.  How about yourself?

AS: I'm the president of Bat in the Sun. I, of course, want to stay with them and use that.  I have six or seven projects of my own stuff written which I won't mention right now because the copyright hasn't gone through and all this other stuff.  I have looked into Nightwing.  Nightwing would be awesome.  I have read every Nightwing comic book.  I'm also trying to put together a story with just the Joker and how dark and psychological he is.  I've written a few sequels to Batman Beyond.  I've even written adaptations to Year One.  I want to stay in the Bat family, but I also don't know if I want to tackle another copyrighted character.  The fan in me says, "Do Nightwing.  Do Batman," but I don't know.  I don't know if I want to spend another year and a half working on a film that I don't own the rights to.

CBB: Let's talk a little about the animated series.  What are your thoughts on the series specifically and then feel free to voice your opinions on both the Batman and Superman animated series?

AS: I really like the show.  The animation is an excellent translation of Batman even more so than the movies have been.  Mask of the Phantasm, Return of the Joker.  I've seen every one of them over a 100 times.  I have them all recorded. "Over the Edge," which is a Batman episode, the best Batman episode.  Have you seen that one?

CBB: You'll have to refresh my memory.

AS: It's where the Scarecrow messes with Barbara Gordon and she sees Batman fight Commissioner Gordon and they both die.  It is a really psychological episode.  Batman Beyond is a great show.  The villains I am very surprised with.  They are actually very good in my opinion.  Usually when heroes start out the villains are shaky, but I thought Batman Beyond was really, really inventive.  I think it is the best villains to happen on a new character if you know what I am saying.  I mean, when Robin got his rogue's gallery it was really bad.  I mean, eventually he got some cool ones.  Batman Beyond started out pretty solid.  The only thing I wish they had touched more upon is the realism in the show.  Like I said there wasn't enough psychological edge in it enough. And also I think Bruce Wayne didn't kick enough *** in that show.  The Batman Beyond show is really amazing for the animation aspect, I'm an artist myself, it is a really, really well done show.  The Batman Animation, the Superman, the JLA.  They are all awesome.  Have you ever seen the World's Finest Animation?

CBB: Yeah!  When Batman and Superman finally meet each other.

AS: Yeah.  See, you need to take that story and make it into a movie.  They have to find actors that are that big though.  You know let's go for the real look.  You know Batman is really 6' 3".  Go with an unknown. Christopher Reeve nailed it on the head.  You look at him and he is Superman.  You looking at Jude Law and you are saying no that is Jude Law, 5' 7" like a 145 pounds.

CBB: What do you think about the possible World's Finest (Superman/Batman) Movie that is supposedly going to be made?

AS: I personally would of liked to have seen Year One more than World's Finest because, like I said, you can touch upon more of the psychological edge.  World's Finest would be cool because, they have actually talked about this, kind of like their philosophies and psychology's, them messing with each other between Batman and Superman.  I like clash of the titans like they said.  The casting is horrible.  They need to cast unknowns.  If I had to cast someone in Hollywood I would cast, Christian Bale, he's awesome.  I think he is 6' 1" and he is ripped and he can act really well.  I actually saw Ring of Fire.  Most people don't really like that movie.  I liked it.

CBB: That's the one that came out this summer with the dragons, right?

AS: Yeah.  It kept a lot of realism and if anything else Christian Bale proved that he could definitely handle Batman.  A lot of people are saying Paul Rudd for Superman, but he is so small.  He's like 5' 9", 150 pounds.  They want, like, Johnny Depp for Batman.  I have met Johnny Depp.  He is like 5' 8", 155 pounds.  He's small.  I mean, I love Johnny Depp.  Ed Wood is one of my favorite movies, but he is not Batman.  For Superman I would try to cast an unknown.  Vince Vaughn, in all the names that have been rumored I like his name the best because I heard he was like 6' 4", 230 pounds and he is a pretty descent actor. You really need the size.  It is very important for a hero.  He was in Swingers and the Cell.

CBB: How about Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker?  YES!  I was one of the suckers who bought both versions on DVD.

AS: I got suckered into buying them both too.  Actually, I have them both on DVD and VHS.  I like the director's cut a lot more.  I think it is one of the best Batman films.  I think with the ending with the Joker blowing up like 30,000 people was a bit over the top, but although you have to think like with terrorism in 50 years it could be like that.  My biggest problem though, was that Tim Drake killed the Joker.  That is like my favorite scene when they pan around Batman you here Joker saying, "You are just a sad little boy."  I find that like the most amazing thing in a Batman film.  The Joker is laughing at the very core of who Batman is. I know Batman doesn't kill and what not, but it also would of signified why that was one of the reasons that he retired.  He should have just punched him so hard that it broke Joker’s neck.

CBB: Sometimes I think they just get carried away with such an evil character.

AS: Right, I understand Batman doesn't kill and I understand why, because his father was a doctor, but Joker has killed like over 500,000 people.

CBB: Where do the rest of your interests lie as far as hobbies, sports, or anything else you would like to touch upon?

AS: First love, film.  I would eventually like to go into comic book writing.  I've read a lot of comic books.  I also enjoy psychology. Actually, I like Batman more for the psychology aspect than the comic book aspect.  I like football.  Redskins are my favorite team.  Redskins are going to have two different logos this year.  First team too ever do that.  A different helmet when they are at home and a different helmet when they are away.  It is kind of weird, but what ever.

CBB: What comic book movies are you really excited to see in the future?

AS: Batman VS. Superman.  I want to work on that movie.  Spider-Man II that hopefully I can work on.  I'm looking forward to Ang Lee's Hulk.  I heard that it has been messed up, but as long as they deliver a very serious and psychological movie that is decently true to the Hulk I'll be happy.  I know a lot of people are complaining that he doesn't have purple pants.

CBB: That's the die-hards.  Where you upset that Spider-Man didn't spin webs from a little gadget that he created?

AS: I can understand why.  It would be kind of hard to cover that in the story.  I didn't like the story they went with.  I would have gone with the death of Gwen Stacy.  I thought Tobey was actual a good cast choice.  I don't think he was directed correctly though because he wasn't funny enough in my opinion.  They made Spider-Man a dark character and he is not.  He has dark elements to his character, but isn’t a dark character.  Have you played the Spider-Man game for Playstation II?

CBB: No, I have the X-Box, which is out for it, but I still haven't played it.

AS: Tobey is really funny in that video game.

CBB: He does the voice?

AS: He does the voice.  He is really funny in it.  I was laughing through the whole game and then I watched the movie and it wasn't funny at all.  I'm a big fan of Tobey.  I thought Tobey was a well cast for the way he looks and what not.  Kind of like that home sweat heart.  There should have been more jazz in the sound track.  Spider-Man got a little too campy sometimes.  I know a lot of people thought Spider-Man was the greatest movie ever.  I know a lot of people thought Spider-Man had a little bit of weird pacing.  You know the scene when they are fighting in the fiery building and that fight scene never ends and then it just abruptly cuts to them having diner?  I thought that was a little weird transition and the film has a lot of that.  Over all, it's such a huge project I totally respect Sam.  If you have like a small film you get 10 out of 10, but this would be like 100 out of 100.  So if you get a 90 out of 100 then that is still VERY impressive.  Spider-Man was a good movie

CBB: What is your dream project?  If you had an unlimited budget and could hire anyone you wanted what movie would be made?

AS: Anything to do with Batman, realistically.  If I had the ability to direct a Batman movie, I would like to do Year One, actually.  Darren Aronofsky is already doing that, which I'm glad he is because he is an awesome director.

CBB: Are they keeping it close to Frank Miller's story?

AS: Actually, Frank Miller is writing the script.  So I'm really happy about that, although I and a lot of fans, come up with this too, I think Frank's work has really gotten strange.  Year One is one of my favorite books.  Have you read DK2 yet?

CBB: No, I have read the first one.

AS: It got a little weird.  It got more super space related than more of a personal psychological edge.  He also did RoboCop 2.

CBB: 2 and 3, I think, didn't he?

AS: I don't know all I know is it was really horrible.  I like Jeph Loeb, he is my favorite Batman writer.  I've met Jeph a few times.  He is really good.  He wrote a script for Batman I heard, but Warner Brothers wouldn't let it get out.  My dream project would be eventually to work on any Batman film.  I would actually have comic book writers review the script or maybe help work on a script, I mean that is important.  Then I say to Warner Brothers, "I am going to need a year to cast Batman."  I want to find the guy who is 6' 3", 250lbs.  When they see him they shouldn't say like, "there's Mel Gibson as Batman."  When your looking at him you say, "WOW! That's Batman."  I don't care what his name is, that's Batman.

CBB: What do friends and family think about your upcoming film and how do they support you?

AS: Well, like I said my dad is really supportive.  My grandma, my mom, they're all very, very supportive.  I have a really good relationship with them.  My friends...the ones who are working on the project are very supportive, the ones who are not working on the project never see me anymore.  Hopefully they're still my friends.  I haven't seen people in months.  They're like, "What are you doing tonight?" and I'm like, "I'm editing."

CBB: What else would you like to say about your upcoming projects, yourself, or to any reader of the Comic Book Bin who are looking forward to the film?

AS: The film is for the fans.  The film is from a fan, but not like someone behind a camera that doesn't know what he is doing.  I know film and I know Batman a lot more than most people.  I hope I don't sound conceited or bragging, but I own like every Batman comic book so I know the whole thing.  It is for the fans.  Hopefully they're pleased. Hopefully they don't expect too big a project.  I know a lot of people are like, "is this going to be available in Sun Coast?" and what not.  I don't want people saying, "That wasn't as good as Spider-Man, the graphics weren't as good."  You have like $150 million compared to us.  So I want to make sure that fans know not to expect to much, but they should expect that the story will be good, the characters will be good, and the special effects actually are really good for our level.  We used a lot of blue screening and a lot of CGI and it looks really good.  We had any bad CGI taken out.

CBB: Who is Terry McGinnis?


AS: That would be me.  I get a lot of weird questions about that.  I don't think they link up Terry McGinnis and Aaron Schoenke, directed by Aaron Schoenke.  I applaud people like Mel Gibson who direct and act because it is very hard because you have to constantly keep breaking your concentration on the character to say, "No.  You're doing the lighting wrong.  No.  You're kicking me too slow, you have to kick me faster."  I have been waiting for this role my whole life.

CBB: You've got the last word, man.

AS: Oh, I don't know.  Tell people to go on the message board.  Let us know what they think.  I listen to fans.  I check that like twice a day. And tell them to take it easy.  I mean fan boys are crazy.  I know, me being one.  I mean, they have to understand what they are talking about.  I mean, I would yell too if Johnny Depp was cast as Superman, but they yell about things like, "his ears are only 9 inches long when they should be 7 inches long."  But, it is all good.

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Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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