Fri, 03/28/2014

Remembering Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

We're sad to hear of the passing of writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr., who died this morning at the age of 91 in Los Angeles, CA. Semple served as a journalist during World War II and broke into Hollywood writing for Burke's Law, The Aloca Hour, The Rogues, and The Rat Patrol before creating the iconic TV show Batman. Semple also enjoyed a successful career in feature films, penning "Papillion," "The Parallax View," "Three Days of the Condor," "Never Say Never Again," and the cult classics "Pretty Poison" and "Flash Gordon."

Below are some selections from his 2008 Archive interview:

On adapting Batman for television:

I read four comics that had each of the famous villains, Riddler, Joker, Catwoman and Penguin and the back story is given very simply: Bruce Wayne's millionaire parents were murdered by criminals. That’s all it said, "murdered by criminals" and you know it’s not by nuns or anybody else. Murdered by criminals. So he decides to devote his life to fighting criminals and a very short amount of research showed the one thing that all criminals were terrified of was bats. That’s Batman. I always said that any series or drama that purports that to be its story cannot possibly be serious. It could not possibly be serious. It is high comedy. It's comedy. I mean it is satirical, camp, whatever you want to call it, and I love the idea and I thought immediately as that. I knew it’d be fun to write.

On writing for Batman:

On advice to aspiring writers:

On his legacy:

Watch Lorenzo Semple, Jr.'s full Archive interview and read his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter.