With SUICIDE SQUAD doing whatever it is it’s doing at the box-office, and the recent release of BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE; people can’t seem to get enough of the Joker; I mean has any other Batman villain managed to capture the ol’ pop culture zeitgeist as much as that maniacal madman?
Well now we have another take on the Clown Prince of Crime; a darker, more horror based take (which is sayin’ something seeing as how the character is a murderous lunatic with a clown face…but I digress) courtesy of a fan produced film called INJUSTICE FOR ALL (which you can check out below these very words)!
I recently had the pleasure of jawin’ it up with the flicks Director, Danny Mooney!
Daniel XIII. How did you come to be involved with INJUSTICE FOR ALL, and what did you hope to bring to the ol’ DC Universe?
DANNY MOONEY. I knew the producers through the acting community in Michigan, plus Chris Newman played an awesome supporting role in a movie I directed called LOVE AND HONOR, and we bonded immediately and stayed good buddies! But, funny enough, I actually entered the equation as an actor. Originally, the other producers called and offered me the Jimmy Olsen role – and that was the first I heard of the project. I already knew I loved most the folks who were involved (the few I didn’t know I had heard really great things about), so I read the script and loved that too! So I accepted the role and joined the cast.
Then on down the road they called me and said “So… what if you directed this thing too?” I hadn’t thought about it from that angle, I had really just focused on the acting. So I went back, re-read the script a million times and really hunkered in to it and tried to feel out how I would tell the story directorially. The main thing I really love and look for in a story when I’m approaching it to possibly direct is: Is it driven by the characters? AND Is it a juggle of genres and tones? I love a story that has it all and has characters you can really hunker in with as a viewer. And this story really fired on all those cylinders! It was fully driven by the characters and, what I saw, was a love story between two sociopaths with little bits of comedy and little bits of horror sprinkled on top. What could be more interesting than that? Plus, I knew it would be a super fun challenge, which I’m always up for.
So I called back the producers and said “I got a crazy idea. What if I DO direct this thing?” And we were off to the races!
In terms of what I had hoped to bring to the DC Universe, I really wanted to approach these larger than life characters and plug them into a grounded, gritty reality not unlike the reality we all live in right now. Yes, there’s such an amazing history with all these characters and we can’t ignore that, but what fascinates me is the question “What if these people existed right here in our own world?” Which is all fine and dandy to imagine, but then you need an INCREDIBLE cast of actors to really dig in and play these characters as big as their history, but as subtle as real, nuanced, grounded human beings. That’s no small task, and our cast was 100% on the same page and ready to come out guns blazing. And I really think every single role was played so beautifully, in my humble opinion. I was so proud of all our actors for pulling off something truly unorthodox and special.
XIII. What challenges did you face bringing the flick to life?
DM. Creatively, we all fell into the same zone really quickly – which I feel like would normally be a massive challenge on a project like this. From the first couple rehearsals (which we had, maybe, 12 crazy minutes to do), I could tell we were all here to bring it and could all really feel through the world we were creating. It’s a SUPER unique tone that we were approaching, so you never know how much fine tuning and adjusting we would all have to do to find our home – but really, it was almost instantaneous. So that was awesome and downright magical.
But, when you’re shooting something with very little money to work with, the most important thing you can’t afford is time. So then came the real challenge: Shooting a 20-minute super nuanced and an incredibly logistically demanding flick in 3 days…which was tough. We had a bunch of location moves and TON of really intricate prosthetics work on a third of our cast. All the stuff that makes molasses out of even the best crew – and trust me, we had the best crew. This crew was an amazing team that all came out to play just for the love of the game, but sometimes you’re just going to hit speedbumps when you don’t have much money/time. But the whole team powered through it all and everyone really rose to the occasion.
XIII. Are there plans to continue the story beyond this flick?
DM. You’ll have to keep an ear to the ground and find out! There are a couple other scripts floating around this universe that we’d all love to see come to life… Stay tuned!
XIII. Are there any other DC Comics Characters you’d like to give a horror spin?
Honestly, I think ALL DC Comics Characters are incredibly interesting and have some ‘horror spin’ potential in some respect or another! There’s a reason all these comic book characters have been so important and so loved in so many people’s lives for 60-plus years. They’re all just so unbelievably creative in conception and hyper-nuanced in execution, so it’s just flat-out fun to get lost in their stories. So, really, any one of these characters can really get dug into and become an amazing film.
XIII. Where can we follow you online and keep up with your next projects?
DM. Find me on Twitter! I’m always bobbing and weaving between acting, directing and producing, and I try to Twitter-ize it when I can!
XIII. Fangs Danny!