Exclusive: Director Jeffrey Blitz and Producer Sean Welch are Making a Documentary About the History of DC Comics and it Will Premiere at Comic-Con!

     February 4, 2010

Jeffrey Blitz and Sean Welch Sundance interview Lucky slice.jpg

While millions of kids around the world know the origin of Superman and Batman, I’d wager most of them don’t know they were originally created by DC comics a long time ago.  But if director Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound, Rocket Science, Lucky) and producer Sean Welch (he produced all three of Blitz’s movies) have their way, at this summer’s Comic-Con, a lot more people are going to know the history of DC comics.

The reason is at last week’s Sundance Film Festival, the two filmmakers told me they’ve just started work on a documentary about the history of DC Comics!  While they just started rolling cameras last week, they said the plan is to premiere the movie at this summer’s Comic-Con.  And if you’re nervous they’re doing this without the support of DC, Welch told me:

“DC Comics contacted us and asked if we would do this.  Jeff and the director are comic book enthusiasts since they were kids and remain comic book enthusiasts.  So yes, we have access to their archives, their material, their covers, their panels, the creatives and the executives in the DC world.”

Read or watch what they had to say about the project after the jump:

Before getting to the video, know Jeffrey Blitz is only executive producing the project and Mac Carter is directing.

As a long time comic book fan, I’m hoping this documentary shows a warts-and-all look at the history of DC comics and isn’t just a puff piece.  We’ll all know this summer.  Here’s the part of my interview where we talked about the DC documentary, and further down is the transcript.  Look for the complete interview this weekend, as I got to talk to them for their new documentary Lucky, which is about lottery winners.

What’s going on with you?  What else is floating in the ether?

Sean Welch:  I’m actually working on a documentary about the history of DC Comics.  DC Comics is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and they’ve asked me and Jeff and a friend of ours to direct-that’s me to produce, Jeff to executive produce, and our friend to direct.  The idea is that it’s going to premiere at Comic-Con in San Diego this summer.

Can you tell us a bit more?  Is it a full-length feature?  Is it being produced in cooperation with DC?  Are you getting access to things like the archives?

dc_comics_alex_ross_justice_league_legion_of_doom_01.jpgSean Welch: Yes.  And all of that is true.  DC Comics contacted us and asked if we would do this.  Jeff and the director are comic book enthusiasts since they were kids and remain comic book enthusiasts.  So yes, we have access to their archives, their material, their covers, their panels, the creatives and the executives in the DC world.

Jeffrey Blitz: I was just going to add from a comic book-place, not that this is related to anything necessarily, but Mac Carter, who is doing the DC doc, Carter and I years ago created the idea for a comic book arc that came out last year, that is a fantastic re-imagining of, uh…

Sean Welch: Well, it’s called “The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft”…

Jeffrey Blitz: Thank you.  So they got that optioned for Imagine for Ron Howard, Mac wrote the first draft of the script for that, which was great and so Mac and I have been deeply embedded in the world of comic books for a long time now, so I’m hoping that the fit on the DC project is going to work well.

If I can do a follow-up, is the plan for this just to be at Comic-Con or is their a bigger plan and what’s the structure of the film?

Sean Welch: The plan for it is to definitely live on DVD.  Beyond that, we’re not entirely sure.  DC Comics is not entirely sure.  And for the structure, we just began rolling tape last week so we’ve done our first interviews and will continue to do so for the next several months.  But I would say that the structure is interviewing people related to the DC Comics world as well as we’re going to include some animation with these comic book covers, comic book panels, etc.  We’re also going to include live action clips from Warner Bros.’ library from films that are DC Comics-related.

Jeffrey Blitz: I was just going to add, from a thematic idea, we’re trying to travel the country and trying to use the experience of…I guess it starts in the pre-DC world but I guess it’s how the history of comics is the embodiment of the entire culture.

I could actually ask you 30 more questions on this but I’m going to run out of tape in 30 seconds so I’m trying to think of…are you going after any people who have been in comic book movies?  Or try to intertwine that kind of stuff?  Or is it purely on the DC Comics?

Sean Welch: We’re not sure.  We have a long list of people we’re considering on interview, both people that are obviously DC Comics creatives and executives as well as talent that’s been involved with some of the DC Comics films.

Jeffrey Blitz: And I would just add quickly, we’re hoping that the movie appeals to hardcore fans who know the universe well, but also to people who when it comes to that world are freshmen.


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