The Joker is a tremendous vehicle for talented actors. Cesar Romero's was a bubbly, lunatic criminal. Nicholson did him as a vain, preening manipulator. Heath's performance of the Joker was remarkable, too. His was a low-simmering crazy street clown. Joker can be played all these ways, and they're all true.
In those times when a kid first tries to express themselves creatively, it sets them on a different path. Sometimes, that path can be really wonderful and can lead to a career doing some of the things you love. I also think that the price on that is a certain amount of alienation or distance created between a lot of the people around you.
Hugo Strange is interesting in the sense that he's a master manipulator. He doesn't really engage Batman in any sort of physical way. His weapon is his mind, and he's very incisive and clever: he reads people and sizes them up almost instantly.
You can have villains like the Penguin, who strut around in a tuxedo with an umbrella, and Poison Ivy and all of the fantastic stuff she does, but unless there's a bit of a human in there, and unless there's a credible threat, then Batman himself doesn't work.
I remembered what it was like: the weirdness, being the odd man out, trying to make my way around campus, and trying to figure out who my friends would be, who to steer clear of. I wrote it all down in a fanciful way - the feelings of alienation, the feelings of uncertainty, of being away from home for the first time.
I have a great fondness for any character I work on. Whether it's somebody like Batman or Harley Quinn or whatever character I'm writing, I just really enjoy the heck out of it, and I try to do the best job I can with it.
When you're writing for a game - even if you're using very well known characters like Batman and his villains who lend themselves to many different interpretations - you have to keep in mind that you're writing for a different medium. Things are a bit more straightforward than it is for a feature film or a TV show.
I was writing a script about the Joker menacing a regular person who had strayed into his path, and I needed to give him a gang of henchmen to work with him. The idea occurred to me, let's put in a female henchperson, because that seemed like a fun variation on the regular big thug guys.
That's the thing about writing for a lot of the villains is that, as a writer, you kind of have to put the best part of your own personality aside and instead focus on whatever little strange quirks you may have in your personality.
In 'Batman Beyond,' Terry McGinnis has the responsibility of protecting Gotham City, as well as maintaining a home and social life. He's also got a single mom and a pesky younger brother, which young kids will relate to.
Creativity, for a lot of young people, is a coping mechanism. It's the only place they feel comfortable. It's the only time they feel like they're being heard or can make a difference, is if they can go into a room and do a drawing or go to a garage and play a song or retreat to this world.
The old Rankin-Bass animated specials seemed to exist in a loosely shared reality, which is what attracted me to them. Santa, Snow Miser, Rudolph, Frosty, even the Easter Bunny seemed to be on nodding acquaintance with each other, even if only in cameo appearances in each other's cartoons.
There's something very, very liberating about Harley Quinn. Much more so than a character like Catwoman or Poison Ivy. Those are great characters. But then again, those characters are more of the femme fatale and the temptress roles.
I really didn't have any plan for her other than the henchgirl role, who was better at getting laughs out of the other gang members than the Joker was. I gave her the name Harley Quinn because I thought Harley was a fun name for a girl, and a lot of 'Batman' character names have a bit of a pun to them, like E Nygma.
Mr. Freeze is motivated by different things. He doesn't really have that much of an axe to grind with Batman. Batman is an irritation and an impediment to him, not an enemy that he hates. He doesn't have the hatred that the Joker has for Batman.
I've always felt in my own small, little way that if I could just write a story where it works out well, where the scales of justice are balanced, then that's something that I do really love to see in the world.
I remember when I saw 'The Dark Knight' movie, and I was sitting there watching it, and there actually came one or two places where I had trouble divorcing myself from the reality of the locations because it was filmed in Chicago, and I know that city quite well.
We had established Harley Quinn as an accomplice to the Joker who was also crushing on him and found herself in the middle of this weird relationship being at the beck and call of his every whim. We wanted to stretch her and make her a stronger character, so to have her leave him and go off on her own was a story I wanted to tell for a while.