We have to ask about the Robin gag at the end. Weíd always wondered how possible it would be to make that character work in this version of the Batman universe, and this has to have been the only way.
It is a little hard to imagine Robin working in that universe, so the idea had to be limited to that gag at the end. But Joeís character is very important to the story. In any movie you need a character looking at proceedings the way you see them, and Joeís character is that character for this film. One of my favourite scenes is when John tells Bruce how he knew he was Batman. Itís like that scene in The Prestige where the little kid sees through Christianís trick. Little kids, they donít have any illusions, they just see the truth of the situation. I feel thereís a kind of spiritual connection between the two movies there.
There are of course many other Batman characters that it would have been hard to imagine in these movies...
Yeah, like Clayface or, indeed, The Penguin. Part of whatís compelling about Chrisís take is the naturalism of it and I think thatís one of the things I loved about the Frank Miller comic books was that they were sort of urban, gritty vigilante stories first and formost. So everything had to stick within that universe. Itís hard to imagine [in these movies] any of the rogueís gallery characters who have sort of a more supernatural or science-fiction bent to them. And I think thatís one of the aspects of Batman which are fascinating: in 70 years, the character has been sort of fully laundered. Because of writers and artists having every month coming up with a different story to tell with this character, there are often different genre aspects to it. You have your science-fictions, youíve had fantasy elements along the way, horror, camp comedy... I mean there are so many different versions.
Are you curious about the plans for the Justice League movie, and seeing Batman in that very different context?
Iím incredibly excited. I was a big Batman fan when I was a kid. In fact he was the only comic-book character I really liked. I went through a brief spell where I was reading Captain Britain, because I was an English kid living in the States, and Wolverine for 30 seconds, Spider-Man too, but really Batman was the one. And I love that there are different versions of the character. I love that in the context of The Justice League, heís kind of the black sheep of that family.
Speaking of supergroups, did you see Avengers?
I did. To me Joss Whedon is a god, Iím just a huge fan of his work, I love his work on TV. And I thought The Avengers was just an incredible achievement.