Movie Pitch – The Question

For the second Movie Pitch article, we have here Sindar with his idea for a Question movie, so, I’m your host, Ari, and let’s pitch.

Ari: So, to start off, let’s hear your director and who’s playing Question.

Sindar: I had the idea to have the movie be directed by Dan Gilroy and star Chiwetel Ejiofor as Question. The story would revolve around the idea of the Falcone family approaching Question with a large amount of money – Question being in the business of being a private investigator. He ignores them due to his obsession with a criminal nicknamed “Calendar Man”, so called due to his obsession with killing people and putting them on display each major holiday celebrated in America, and more-so because the member of the Falcone family that was taken (the reason they need Question’s help in the first place), was the one that had killed Questions partner. We’re told that Question wanted to investigate, but couldn’t due to corruption in the GCPD, this being why he left to become the Question. He’s devoted his life to tracking down the killer.

Ari: That sounds really cool, and Gilroy is a really interesting choice, but of course his work on Nightcrawler is incredible so I’m fine with that. But, to further our understanding of the character, why is Question so obsessed with Calendar Man? 

Sindar: That’s actually explained through a flashback. Question’s daughter is killed by the Calendar Man, and his alcohol use combined with his lack of sleep is what leads to his husband leaving him. 

Ari: Oh, alright, that’s a solid motive, although, I don’t seem to remember Vic being gay in the comics, is there a reason you decided to make that change? 

Sindar: No reason, really, I just always had him as gay while I was planning out the story, never really thought too deeply about his sexuality. 

Ari: That’s understandable, and of course, the question that has to be asked, would this be DCEU?

Sindar: Yes, it would, although no DC heroes would make appearances.

Ari: Yeah, that’s generally a good idea in grounding a story. 

Sindar: That’s the idea, although there would be one reference – I’ll get to that later. 

Ari: So, often in these grittier comic movies, they like to spend a lot of time developing the main villain, would you be interested in giving Calendar Man a lot of depth, or would you put that screen time towards Question? 

Sindar: The latter. Calendar Man would have some impact though, considering he’s really the be-all, end-all when it comes to Question villains. He completely takes over Vic’s life – Vic loses his social skills, can’t sleep without medical assistance, and I think a good way to show this would be with very little actual dialogue throughout the movie. Mostly internal monologues, think Rorschach. 

Ari: Well, that checks out, Rorschach is based off of Question, after all. 

Sindar: Yeah. So, on that wider DCEU reference I mentioned before, the movie would wrap up with Question killing Calendar Man and the kidnapped Falcone (since this moment is when he finds out that this was the Falcone that had killed his partner). So, he’d be on a rooftop, pull off his mask and this would really be the first time we see his face. It’s raining as he waits for the police to take him in, and as he waits, he would go “Evening, Bruce”, which would have the camera pan up to show the Bat-signal shining in the sky, that’d be the last frame. 

Ari: Well, that would be a very strong ending, although I would’ve done something akin to the Prison scene from Batman v Superman where you have Bruce kind of appear from the shadows. 

Sindar: Oh yeah, I loved that scene. But on the ending, that would be the very last DCEU appearance of the Question.

Ari: Really? So no sequels in mind? 

Sindar: No, my idea is that Calendar Man is what remains of his life, so once that’s done, so is he.

Ari: Well, of course, there have been multiple Questions in the past, so you don’t consider the possibility of having Renee Montoya as the lead of the sequel?

Sindar: The passing of the torch storyline is very popular in comics, but that’s not exactly what I had in mind for the character. Question put on the mask not just to hide his identity but because he was ashamed of his failures; he was hiding from his self, essentially. So him taking off the mask at the end would be symbolic of him coming to terms with himself and who he was; a broken man who belonged in jail. So I don’t really see anyone taking on the ‘mantle’ per say. 

Ari: That’s a unique take, obviously people would ask for a sequel, but I can totally see it working as a rare one and done. But continuing into the movie, do you see any other Bat-villains showing up in it? Batman obviously has such a vast and extensive rogues gallery that you could really take advantage of some of them. 

Sindar: Black Mask. Vic and his partner take down Sionis and put him in Blackgate. A flashback at the beginning elaborates on that, and it helps develop their relationship before her death. His ties to Falcone are what ended up getting her killed. Falcone didn’t like them getting too ambitious, so she was murdered. 

Ari: That’s a good way to develop the universe, and since Gotham’s Police Department has such well-established characters, is Vic’s partner one of them? 

Sindar: Yes, actually, she’s Renee Montoya. 

Ari: Well…. that explains a lack of a sequel, you really wanted to burn any possibility of that happening as you went [laughs]. 

Sindar: Yeah. I’d also use this movie for some more Gordon screentime, since it takes place in the past. 

Ari: Oh? What time period?

Sindar: 10 years ago, which means that Bruce would have been active for 10 years already. 

Ari: I’m behind on my DCEU timelines, is that before Done-with-Life Bruce? 

Sindar: Yeah. 

Ari: Alright, so we get to spend some time with Gotham while it has classic Batman in charge. 

Sindar: Exactly. 

Ari: That’s quite similar to my idea, actually. 

Sindar: Really? 

Ari: Yeah, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve always pictured Denis Villeneuve directing a Question movie, and I’d use that opportunity to really develop the character of Gotham, the streets, the people, every little aspect, which is similar to what you have in mind, I think. 

Sindar: Yep, that’s pretty much the same idea.

Ari: And thinking back to its mention, the Batsignal finishing off the movie is a neat idea, it’d be cool to do a kind of Split thing, where it’s in the universe but it’s not really brought up or mentioned until the very end, although obviously not to that extent. 

Sindar: Yeah, I mean, I know the obvious choice would be to have someone say something like “Leave this to the Bat”, but that seems too easy. 

Ari: Stuff like that often feels forced. 

Sindar: My sentiments precisely. 

Ari: And naturally, this would be a very dark movie, so I think I might already know the answer to this, but do you see it being R-Rated? 

Sindar: Undoubtedly R-Rated.  

Ari: That’s a good choice, and I figure it’d be fairly low-budget for a superhero movie? 

Sindar: $40-50 million. 

Ari: Alright, that about does it, but I still have one final question… Do we ever get to see the big board with pictures and strings connecting those pictures? Cause it’s not Question without that. 

Sindar: [laughs] You know we do, it’d have all the criminals tied together and a big, scribbled ‘Calendar Man’ right above it. 

Ari: That’s what I like to hear.