Tyler Burke co-wrote the “Knightmare” series with Jordon Foss. He also appears as Jason Todd/Robin/Red Hood in the fan films “Knightmare,” “Knightmare: Killing Joker,” and the soon to be released “Knightmare: Man or Bat. ”
Tyler Burke consented to this interview when the official trailer for “Knightmare: Man or Bat” dropped.
Now we are talking fan flicks tonight. You played second fiddle to Batman in Jordon Foss’ “Knightmare.” You were the Red Hood/Robin. How did you land this role, and what was this experience like for you
The “Knightmare” series as a whole was an idea that Jordon and I came up with in College. We were roommates and huge Batman fans and wanted some Batman content that we felt was our interpretation of not only Batman but the full universe. I have always wanted to play Red Hood and see him on the screen. I have been an actor since I was in elementary school and how Jordon and I met, so he decided before Lee we had a script that I would be playing that character. Jordon has always been a fan of Robin and so naturally we decided to do a story line that involved the death of Jason Todd (Robin) and the transformation into Red Hood. Which is a famous story line in the comics which had not be done on film yet.
The experience has been incredible. I’m a huge Batman nerd so being able to get to tell these stories our way has been the best part. And at the same time it’s very scary and forces you to respect the character because of the significance it holds among the Batman fan base as a whole.
Understood. I was first introduced to your series with the original “Knightmare.” But this was not the first episode. The first episode was “Knightmare: Killing Joker”. In it Robin was introduced for the first time As Batman didn’t come into the picture until the credits, had he been a character in the story before that? Had Batman and Robin been partners before that?
Correct. The first time you see me is in “Knightmare” which takes place after Jason has already been killed. Bruce sees Jason in his hallucinations as he fights his darkest personal demons and villains.
The second episode is technically a flashback on what actually happened with Jason. Batman has trained Jason to be the new Robin after his original Robin left to become Nightwing.
Episode three “Knightmare Man or Bat” explains what Batman was doing while Jason was with the Joker during “Knightmare Killing Joker” So, technically speaking. Episode 2 and 3 take place before the original “Knightmare.”
In the comics after Jason is killed he comes back to life as Red Hood who is more of a vigilante anti-hero. Which is who shows up in our episode 3.
And episode three has not yet been released. Is this correct?
Correct. We recently released the trailer for it. It will be coming out soon.
And it is Red Hood that turns against Batman on the smoldering heaps of broken concrete of the city, and not Robin? He had transformed after being blown-up by the Joker.
Exactly, what we were kind of foreshadowing there. That was Bruce’s “nightmare” so to say but it was to tease from that first episode that Red Hood was coming. For the people who don’t know the story of Jason Todd Robin. When he gets brought back to life he has a lot of blame and hatred towards Bruce for not only not saving him, but because the Joker has really “paid” for what he did to him
Now was this your telling of the story, your invention, or would this have been a storyline familiar to anyone who follows the Batman comic?
It’s a mixture of both. Jordon really did a fantastic job of taking characters and events that actually happened in the comic story line that anyone who follows would understand, but then taking liberties to put our own interpretation on it.
Okay. Now from we leave off in “Knightmare”, without spoiling it, what can we expect to see in episode three? Can we answer this without spoiling things?
In episode three there is an actual monster on the loose that Batman must deal with. It’s old-school detective-style Batman and a lot of fantastic action. It’s something special.
Over the arc of these three episodes, how long has it taken to produce these three?
I believe we started to shoot “Knightmare” episode one December of 2016 into 2017. So about 4 years almost now
Having talked with Jordon, the first episode was filmed in Michigan. He has since moved to LA. Demian lives in Massachusetts. And, of course, we should add that you live in Illinois As the last two episodes have been filmed in LA, was it difficult to pull everything together logistically? What were some of the biggest problems faced in doing so?
It’s definitely a challenge with everyone being somewhere else. Jordon and I talk almost every day either by phone or messaging so we were always talking ideas and sending stuff to each other to try to help the process. The credit really goes to Jordon and our DP Taylor Ross. Our crew and locations were all in LA so logistically it was just about getting the actors there. Jordon and Taylor did the hard work of locking down locations and equipment for the actual shoot date.
With this, do you anticipate a fourth episode?
I really hope to do another one. It all depends on the fans. That’s why we started this. We wanted to give the fans something they would enjoy and we would have fun creating. I know I would love to continue playing Jason Todd/Red Hood. He has an incredible arc that really gives an actor a lot to work with.