David S. Goyer Talks About Da Vinci’s Demons…And Batman

It only took airing one episode of Da Vinci’s Demons to insure a second season pick-up of the new STARZ series. Is it that good? Yes. Everything about Demons is rich and beautiful; the script, the costumes, the scenery and the men…I mean, the actors, all is well done and very well thought out. But that’s to be expected when the show runner is someone as creative as David S. Goyer. Goyer is a triple threat; writer, director and producer. Anyone who can bring to life Blade, The Dark Knight Batman Trilogy and the upcoming Man of Steel can take on a historical figure, even if it is the genius Leonardo da Vinci.

The second season of Da Vinci’s Demons just started production this month in Wales, but Goyer doesn’t seem to think it will be hard to keep the series going for several seasons. The era in which da Vinci lived is a rich period of history and a lot was going on in the world and not just in Renaissance Florence. Demons has already tackled Vlad The Impaler, better known to most as the historical prototype of Dracula, who actually was a contemporary of da Vinci’s. Did they ever meet? Who knows, but it does make a great story. And as for inventions, most people are only aware of a few of the incredible things da Vinci actually created.

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“One of the conceits of the show is supposedly da Vinci had 13,000 notebook pages when he died,” Goyer says. “And within a year or so of his death about 7,000 of those pages went missing. And so all of the great works or inventions that we know of, like the machine gun and the submarine, and things like that, they exist within those 6,000 pages.

“I’ve never done anything historical or period before,” Goyer continues. “But in this case with da Vinci there was a lot of research. But it really wasn’t that difficult because he’s kind of super hero-y anyway. There’s so many legends that have grown up around da Vinci, and there’s so many tall tales about him. People have said that aside from Christ, he’s the most recognized historical figure in the world. So in that regard, my approach to it was not dissimilar to adapting Batman or Superman. But obviously we did a lot more historical research.

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“One of the things that was interesting when I was studying da Vinci is that there are some parallels to Batman,” Goyer admits. “He had big father issues; you know, missing parent. Obviously, both obsessed with flight. Both had these sort of formative horrific incidents where they were trapped in caves. Or in Batman’s case a well. There was one that da Vinci wrote about in his own journals when he was 13 where something happened in the cave. We don’t know exactly what. He sketched it and he said that, something horrific happened to him in a cave. And that’s something that we explore in this show.

“I also thought it was interesting that Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, originally based Batman’s cape on da Vinci’s glider. So there sort of two figures that have always been kind of inextricably linked.”

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Only two more episodes to go – Friday, on STARZ – “The Hierophant” – May 31 and “The Lovers” – June 7