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Secrets of Batman 89: Interview with Screenwriter SAM HAMM

Batman 89 writer Sam Hamm joins us to dive into what comics and classic movies influenced it, the origin of the Bat Signal that didn't make it into the movie, and what else was cut! We also covered why the ending of his unmade Watchmen script was different from the comic, why his Batman 2 script wasn't made, and what villain didn't make it into the Batman 89 comic!


0:00 Sam Hamm Introduction

1:09 Episode Introduction

We covered Sam Hamm's original 1986 draft for Batman and its many differences form the final film in this episode, which practically served as our pilot for Superhero Stuff You Should Know.

You can read Hamm's script here:

Previous interviews that we read for research include the following:

We also drew off of this article from the Back Issue magazine, where Hamm cited the comic book sources, challenged scholars to find the Palm Beach Story homage, and discussed how his conception of Batman was influenced by samurai films:

You can read the excerpts of this article here:

2:48 The Comic Influences on Batman 89 and Is Carl Grissom actually Rupert Thorne?

We covered Steve Englehart's insistence that Batman 1989 came from his work:

6:58 The Origins of Joker's Flesh Toned Makeup

9:49 The Influence of Alan Moore's The Killing Joke Before It Was Published!

14:53 The Samurai Influence on Batman 89?!

The opening titles of Yojimbo can be heard here:

22:10 The Cinematic Influences on Batman 89

27:04 Was Hamm's Batman originally too brutal?

28:33 The Origin of the Grappling Gun in Batman 89

31:47 The Comic Book Easter Eggs in Hamm's Original Draft- Jerry Robinson, Superman, Marvel, & Archie Name Drops

34:34 Does Harvey Know Bruce is Batman in Hamm's Script?

37:23 The Batman 66 Influence on Sam Hamm

39:43 Why The Script Was Changed So Much & The Cut Robin Sequence

We covered many of the deleted scenes here, including some of the cut Robin sequence:

45:33 The Origin of the Bat Signal & What He Wishes Was Left in the Film

50:00 What He Likes about the Film From the Other Writers

52:10 Break

Check out our link for Barkbox here.

55:25 Pitching Ideas for Batman: Blind Justice

We covered the significance of Blind Justice in Batman's training here:

1:03:29 Did Keaton Have Bruce's Mentors from Blind Justice? + Other versions of Hamm's Blind Justice Characters

1:07:39 The Unmade Watchmen Script- Why The Ending Changed

We have NOT covered Hamm's Watchmen script yet but you can read it here:

1:12:21 Casting Watchmen- David Bowie As __ (Not Who You'd Think)

1:13:39 Why Batman 2 Wasn't Made

We covered Sam Hamm's unmade Batman 2 script here:

You can read the script for yourself here:

1:17:20 The Inspiration of the Guardian Angels and The Maltese Falcon on Batman 2

1:20:31 Sharing Batman 2 Fan Art to Sam Hamm

Most of the fan art comes from our patron Logan Wood, who contributed these to past episodes. You can check out his work at

The Batman II poster comes from The Imaginative Hobbyist. You can check out more here:

1:23:11 The Cut Villain of the Batman 89 Comic

We got Sam Hamm's attention from our coverage of the Batman 89 comic:

1:25:44 Was there Any Studio Input on the Batman 89 Comic?

1:27:06 How Much Two-Face in the Comic Stems from His 90s Ideas

1:31:01 SPOILERS: Killing Off ___

1:32:38 SPOILERS: Clarifying Who Wrote to Barbara In Issue 6

1:33:44 Hamm's Thoughts on Other Batman Movies

1:40:13 Fan Comments

1:45:20 Closing: Fan Shoutouts and Social Media Promotion

Big thanks to our research assistant Dan Yamat for providing the visuals for this YouTube experience, as well as the usual QC and chapter time codes.

Thumbnail by Dan as well

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