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David S. Goyer: How Batman and Leonardo Da Vinci Are Alike

"Dark Knight" trilogy cowriter turns to Italian Renaissance with "Da Vinci's Demons"

"Dark Knight" trilogy cowriter David S. Goyer turns his imagination to Leonardo Da Vinci in the upcoming Starz series "Da Vinci's Demons." But Goyer says the guardian of Gotham and genius of the Italian Renaissance have quite a bit in common.

Getty Images"He's kind of superhero-y," Goyer said of the artist and inventor at the Television Critics Association on Saturday. "There are so many tall tales about him. People have said that aside from Christ he's the most recognzied historical figure in the world. So in that regard my approach was not dissimilar to adapting Batman or Superman. Obviously we did a lot more historical research."

Goyer (pictured), who also wrote the upcoming Superman adaptation "Man of Steel," says Da Vinci and Bruce Wayne have several specific traits in common.

"There are some parallells to Batman. He had big father issues — missing parent," Goyer said. "Both had these kind of formative, horrific incidents where they were trapped in caves, or in Batman's case a well. There's one Da Vinci wrote about in some journals, when he was 13, where something happened in a cave. We don't know what exactly happened. He sketched it and he said sort of that something horridic happened to him in a cave and that's something that we explore in this show."

The Starz series portrays Da Vinci, whose birth out of wedlock limits his career prospects, using his art to gain royal family recognitition. But he also demonstrates a superheroic gift for designing ahead-of-their-time gliders and machine guns.

"I also thought it was interesting that Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, originally based… Batman's cape on da Vinci's glider. So the two figures have always been kind of inextricably linked," Goyer said.

"Da Vinci's Demons" premieres Friday, April 12.