Guggenheim at the 2013 WonderCon.
September 24, 1970 |
Long Island, New York, United States
|Occupation||Television producer and comic book writer|
Legends of Tomorrow
The goal, first and foremost, is to tell a satisfying – entertaining – story.
We have several projects in the pipeline, but one of the rules we set for ourselves is we don't want to solicit or announce any projects that aren't ready for publication. I'm personally really tired of reading about titles that never come out.
I think 'Green Lantern' has the potential to be a very highly regarded superhero movie. We're approaching it with such respect and such care.
That's one of the perks of my job, is getting to see what the Internet does.
The one thing that's always very safe to say with 'Arrow' is never make assumptions.
Everything is always on the table. I think it's one of the things that's made 'Arrow' special. But we also all collectively feel like 'The Flash' needs to stand on its own two feet, now that it's gotten its launch from 'Arrow.'
Try to imagine a character like Batman whose whole life has been about fighting crime, whose whole existence and identity is his war against criminals, and he wakes up one morning to discover there are no criminals. What happens to him?
As a fan, I want all of the Marvel TV projects to be successful. I am a comic book fan.
I remember the dark days when, thanks to 1966's 'Batman' with Adam West, comics were considered the ugly stepchild of popular culture.
Whenever you can manoeuvre your characters into a situation where they both have a good argument to make, you're on the right track.
Fortunately, the DC Universe is full enough and replete enough with every kind of character that you could want, that it's not that hard to find the right character. Sometimes it's nothing more than an Easter egg, or a name drop, and sometimes it's someone like 'Deathstroke,' who is a huge part of the DC Universe.
I do believe that even if you're the most clever person around and you figure out the 'whodunit' and you're not surprised – that shouldn't prevent you from enjoying the story.
The term 'Consulting Producer' is extraordinarily nebulous in TV, and it really means something different depending on the show and the specific circumstances negotiated.
Doc Savage, Indiana Jones, Flash Gordon… these were the kinds of characters I was thinking about as I was developing Jonas Quantum because there aren't that many brand new characters being introduced anymore.
As always, we start off with asking, 'What's a good episode?' We don't think about timing, and we don't think about logistics. We just think about what would be good.
The nice thing about 'Arrow' is we never say never on the show. Hopefully the show will have a nice long life, and all manner of things can potentially happen.
On 'Arrow,' we have Ray Palmer and Roy Harper, and if you call Roy 'Ray' and Ray 'Roy,' you have to put money into the jar.
I happen to like dark, and I like the fact that 'Arrow' is a pretty dark show, particularly for a network show.
We're not militant, but there are certain things that are absolutely secret. There was a pilot printed on red paper, and I read everything on my iPad and have a scanner on my desk for these purposes. I scanned in the script, and red paper script scans in perfectly fine.
It's funny: I like being surprised as a reader, so it's difficult for me to spoil my own stuff.
I'm a huge fan of 'The Six Million Dollar Man' and I love the episodes where they would cross over with 'The Bionic Woman.'
I'm not much of a salesman. I prefer the soft sell and the honest approach.
All of the stuff I can't afford to do on a TV budget, I just put into the comic book because you're really only limited in a comic by your artist's imagination.
I came up professionally as a lawyer, and when you're a lawyer, writing a 50-page brief in one night is just another day at the office. You learn to make choices really quickly, and you learn how to get thoughts down very quickly.
What I took away from my 'Flashforward' experience is that when you're doing a serialized mythology show, you put your foot on the gas, and you do not take it off.
One of the great things about the 'Arrow' crew is that no one is settling for what they did yesterday. They're always thinking about what they can do tomorrow.
Every season, we spend what really should be our hiatus, and what really should be me relaxing on a beach, planning out the whole season.
I'm not like Jonathan Hickman, who's able to sort of plot out three years of a book ahead of time. I'm much more of a guy who plots out an arc or two at a time.
It's always really hard to kill off someone who you just really enjoy working with, writing for, and seeing on the screen.
I think it's very hard to talk about these characters in a closed-ended, sort of non-sequel way, especially characters like The Flash and Green Lantern, which have such rich, long histories.
There's a lot of downtime where you're filling your car up with gas, you're driving to work, you're stuck in traffic – it's Los Angeles, and so much of it is a car lifestyle.
One of things we say on 'Arrow' is, 'The only constant is evolution.'
With comics, there's no budget. There's a budget in terms of you have to pay an artist and a colorist and all that, but you can do anything you want to do.
Collider is a company that I formed with a movie producer, Alisa Tager, and we just wanted to create a place where writers could come and develop their ideas without a regard to limitations of form.
I noticed that 'Lost' had sort of worn out our welcome; because of 'Lost,' audiences were no longer being patient with slow reveals: they wanted answers quickly, and they wanted story to develop much faster.
The thing that I've learned, not just from writing comics but also from writing television programs like 'Law & Order,' is that you can fool some of the people some of the time – but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
If Hollywood is going to keep going, the writers need to be creatively fulfilled by creating their own things. We need to generate new ideas, so we're not always cannibalizing old ones.
I actually feel like comic book movies need to be better than your average movie.
With 'The Flash' in existence, there's no real compelling reason for us to do superpowers on 'Arrow.'
I think comic books have come an incredibly far way, and I want to make sure we don't take a step back. I certainly don't want my name on a movie that would take it back.
'The Sixth Sense' was a very enjoyable, successful movie despite the fact that there were plenty of people, including myself, who saw the ending coming.
One of the things I do well – I think, anyway – is combining different tones.
Imagine if Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein were all alive 10, 20, 30 years before we know them to be alive; it would have advanced the world that much sooner.
We're huge fans of 'Game of Thrones' for example, 'Orphan Black.' And even though those shows don't necessarily correlate directly with 'Arrow,' I'm a very big believer that writers are the product of their inspirations.
In the writers' room, when we talk about each episode, we first talk about the character journey of the episode.
The similarity between Iron Man and Green Lantern is, unlike Superman or any of the X-Men or Spider-Man, anyone can be Green Lantern or Iron Man. All you need is the ring or the suit.
Obviously, I love superheroes; I love comic book characters, but I… I guess I've had a lifelong affection for comics, and while I love the characters so much, I also love the medium.