Outline and Character Bios For My BAAASHOSE Treatment
Here’s the second half of the last post which is more the first half really because it describes all the little details that you may need to understand to get the other part but feck it here’s the outline and character bios from my treatment of Batman Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.
Batman Arkham Asylum
A serious house on serious earth.
It is a feature film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by Grant Morrison and art by Dave McKean. The story follows batman as he enters the Arkham Asylum to face his fears; the idea that he himself might actually belong in the institute along with those he imprisoned. He encounters a selection of foes from his past and after managing to survive the night, eventually is allowed to leave by the joker based on the decision of two-face. Throughout the story we also see the life of Arkham Asylums founder, Amadeus Arkham as he deals with the death of his family, and the eventual demise of his own sanity leading to his death in the cells of the asylum.
There are strong references to Louis Carrols Alice in Wonderland and the story makes use of psychoanalytical interpretations of various symbols such as the tarot cards the moon (which is associated with feelings of uncertainty and disturbed nightmares and coming to terms with these), the tower (and its association with dualism and the deconstruction of dualism into smaller components), mirrors (and their relation to spectrophobia or fear of mirrors which can be attributed to a fear of self-knowledge) and shadows( in Jungian psychology, shadows refer to a “part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts”). Morrison also makes reference to the 1960’s Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho where the connection between mother and son is extended to a psychological plain with Bates subconscious being split between his rational mind and the alter-ego which personifies his mother as he remembers her. This is seen in Amadeus Arkham as he kills his own mother for her benefit and on several occasions of psychological trauma he is seen wearing her wedding dress, he is separating his rational mind(him) from his insanity(mother) that gradually takes over his life.
Batman: batman is the alter-ego of Millionaire Bruce Wayne who, having lost his parents at a young age, vowed to rid Gotham of all crime. He is very repressed and sexually frozen (something which the joker plays on alot) in this interpretation by Morrison. Throughout the film, Batman must face his fear of his own mental stability, which he has distorted over the years as a hardened vigilante and in the end, he leaves the asylum having overcome his uncertainty and confronted repressed emotions. Batman’s costume should be a cross between that of the Dark Knight film and that of the Arkham Asylum game. It should have decent padding and be charcoal grey in colour with black cape, hood, boots gloves and crotch region. Physically, batman should be about 6.2’ with an athletic body build. His face should be completely covered save for his mouth and chin to allow him to talk. His eyes are shielded behind a visor that allows him to see with a variety of filters (he only uses the night vision filter in this story to see clearer in the dark halls of Arkham.
Joker: the joker, as described in the novel, is a character with a sort of super-sanity in that he does not perceive the world the way a rational minded person does. He has no control over the sensory information he receives and therefore, unable to cope with the barrage of information, resolves to just “go with the flow. Basically, he has no personality and as such, he can be harmless one day and a murdering psychopath the next without any concern about right or wrong in either situation. He serves as the leader of the inmates and the main antagonist in the film. He is experienced enough with Batman from past encounters to know how to provoke him and, as such, spends much of the film in drag (the cross dressing is unnerving to batman who is uncomfortable with displays of sexuality outside the norm). At the end of the film, the joker has not changed a bit. In his crazy, go with the flow mentality, he allows batman to walk free and for the asylum to come under control of the police forces waiting outside. This is proof that he really doesn’t care about anything in the world, but enjoys a bit of “fun” every now and then. The jokers dress should be extremely flashy and bizarre looking, similar to something Lady GaGa would wear with excessive amounts of white makeup on his face, bright blood red lipstick, insane eye makeup and vibrant green hair gelled up in a wild uncontrolled representation of anarchy. He should look as ridiculous as possible yet he should be able to project an air of such confidence that his outfit is almost sexually appealing. He should also be an extremely tall, skinny figure so that even though he isn’t quite as tall as batman, he seems to tower over him. he should have an extremely slender and pointed face.
Dr. Hayley Quinlan (future Harley Quinn): this character is replacing Dr. Ruth Adams from the book in order to tie in a current batman character that has become quite prominent in popular culture. Harley Quinn (usually the alter-ego of Dr. Harleen Quinzel) is renowned as the joker’s occasional girlfriend. Dr. Quinzel was the psychiatric nurse who catered for the joker while he was in Arkham and eventually became infatuated with him and helped him escape. In this film, Dr. Quinlan is a psycho-therapist who has primarily been focusing on rehabilitating Havey Dent but has spent some time dealing with the joker as well. She is fascinated with him and his so called super-sanity, with a very subtle (almost unnoticeable) hint of attraction towards him. At the beginning of the night in Arkham, the Joker forces her to give batman a word association test which she hesitates to do so but obliges in the end when batman agrees to it (this is a hint at her being weak minded and willing to follow orders from the joker, even though she is meant to be able to deal with these sort of people).
At the end of the film, she has been held captive by Dr. Cavendish, eventually slaying him when he attacks batman. She is shell shocked at having killed someone, mentally weakened by her captivity at the hands of her superior, and thus, in the immediate future after the film ends, she is easily manipulated by the joker and succumbs to his will.
Dr. Charles Cavendish: Dr. Cavendish is the current administrator of Arkham Asylum. After finding the lost journals of Amadeus Arkham and reading about the bat that caused Arkhams mother torment for most of her life after the death of her husband, Cavendish believes that the bat Arkham was referring to is batman and thus believes batman to be the cause of insanity and that it is his duty to trap the bat in the asylum to prevent the insanity spreading throughout the remainder of gotham. This belief could theoretically be backed up based on the fact that since the batman arrived in Gotham, there was a rise in admissions to the Asylum but the fact remains that Arkham was around well before the time of batman. It is a symbolic connection between past and present that runs through the story. Cavendish is the one who let the inmates’ riot in order to bring batman into the asylum and at the end of the film he is representative of batmans madness trying to overpower him while Dr. Quinlan represents the other side of batman finally triumphing in the end. During the captivity of Dr. Quinlan and the attack on batman, Dr. Cavendish can be seen wearing Arkhams mothers dress which is a link between himself and Arkham as if it is he has been possessed by the spirit of Arkham himself.
Two-Face/Harvey Dent: Harvey Dent is the former DA of Gotham before an accident with acid resulted in one half of his face being badly scarred. This is the straw that broke the camels back with Harvey going insane. He takes on the persona of two-face and becomes a criminal with all his important decisions being made at the flip of a scarred coin. after he was admitted to the asylum, he was put on a programme to try and cure his multiple personality disorder and obsession with duality by weaning him of the scarred coin and onto a 6 sided die and eventually onto a deck of tarot cards giving him a grand total of 78 choices as opposed to the 2 provided by his coin. This treatment, overseen by Dr. Quinlan, has been seemingly regressive to the extent that two-face cannot go to the bathroom before consulting the cards which results in him soiling himself. However, at the end of the film, batman returns the scarred coin to two-face and two-face seems to be cured of when he makes a decision that contradicts the result of his coin flip. Dent is seen to be a physically weakened man with the left half of his face and shoulder as well as his arm from just above his wrist to the end of his hand, badly scarred and discoloured due to infection from not receiving proper medical treatment after the incident resulting in his scarring. He is weak due to his inability to make proper decisions such as eating and drinking, only alive because the Asylum doctors force feed him.
Waylon Jones/ Killer Croc: Jones was born with a severe case of regressive atavism which means he gains traits from ancestral species such as reptiles. This resulted in his skin being very scaly but also increased physical strength and speed. Due to being bullied in his youth, he developed a hatred for humanity and he trained extensively so he could get back at those who bullied him. His skin is very tough and he resorted to sharpening his teeth when he grew older to strike fear into his victims. He also became a cannibal after resorting to eating one of his victims after an extended period without proper nourishment due to him living in the sewers. Batman eventually caught him and sent him to Arkham where he had to be chained down to keep him in his cell due to his enormous strength. While in prison Jones constantly worked out and when the prisoners eventually took over the asylum at the start of this story, Jones managed to break the shackles that had held him in his cell. He is a tertiary protagonist in this story being one of only two to actually have a physical fight with batman in this story (the other being Dr. Cavendish). His fight is representative of batman overcoming his demons and results in Jones apparent death.
Physically Jones appears to be a cross between human and reptile with his skin being broken into large scaly patterns. He has claw like hands and feet due to his atavism, his teeth have been sharpened and his eyes are bright red. He is about 7ft tall and extremely well built towering over batman in their combat. He is wearing tattered trousers, and the broken shackles that bound him in his basement cell.
The Mad Hatter/ Jervis Tetch: Tetch is fascinated by the books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking glass to the extent that he sometimes has difficulty discerning the difference between what he has read from the books and reality. He has a tendency to quote Carrol whenever he is lost in his own thought. He also loves hat much like the character of the same name from the books and had an extensive collection of hats including many which contained chips that he used to control his victims minds. Tetch is a known paedophile having kidnapped children, especially young girls, on numerous occasions to partake in sick fantasies of his usually with the theme of the tea party in Alice and Wonderland. He is incarcerated in Arkham and deemed insane with severe OCD and psychotic manic-depression. In this film he appears briefly in a scene reminiscent of the caterpillar smoking on the mushroom in Alice in wonderland. At this point his mentality has broken down so much that he barely even notices batman. He is basically there to explain the concept of the story to the audience through what he says. His physical appearance is that of a very short aging man and he is dressed in brightly coloured clothes and a large hat similar to that of the mad hatter in Alice and Wonderland.
Amadeus Arkham: Arkham is the main character from the secondary story line set mostly in the 30s when the asylum is first set up. He was the only son of Elizabeth Arkham who he took care of after she lost her sanity with the death of her husband. The asylum was initially the family home but after the death of his mother (he killed her to help ease her suffering and repressed the memories) Arkham decided that he would convert it into a hospital for the mentally ill in honour of his mother. Later after his wife, Constance, and daughter, Harriet, are brutally murdered by mad dog Hawkins, a serial killer whom he had previously dealt with while working in the state Psychiatric hospital, he decides for the hospital to be an asylum for the criminally insane. One of his first patients is mad dog who he takes pleasure in frying in the ECT room. Arkham is seen throughout the film as he gradually spirals further into madness. He murdered his mother after eventually seeing the figure of the bat that had been tormenting her and vowed to bind the evil spirit of the bat through witchcraft to rid the house of that which he believes is the cause of insanity in the house. This is crossed over to the present when Cavendish tries to finish the spell by defeating batman.
Arkham spends the remainder of his life dedicated to binding the bat even after his own incarceration and dies an old man in his cell having scratched the spell in a spiral in the floor of his cell with his nails.
Martin “Mad Dog” Hawkins: as a child, Hawkins was abused by his father which drove him insane. As he grew older he claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary who told him to go out and kill women and destroy their faces and sexual organs to “stop the dirty sluts from spreading their disease”. He was briefly a patient of Arkham in the State Psychiatric hospital before Arkham left to work on converting the family home. Mad Dog broke free shortly thereafter and on April fool’s day (the same day that the story in the present is set) he murdered Arkhams family. Eventually he is captured and sent to Arkham Asylum where Arkham treats him personally to try find out why mad dog did what he did. Eventually though, Arkham murders him in the ECT room a year after the death of his family.
Hawkins has a vacant stare and scars all over his body from where he cut himself in order to feel “something”. He is large enough to overcome a woman but is not necessarily an excessively built man. On his face over his left eye is a jagged scar from one of his attacks where the victim fought back and cut him.
Maxie Zeus: Zeus was an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT also known as electroshock therapy) patient in Arkham before the takeover to help deal with his messianic complex (he believes he is, in fact, the god Zeus from Greek mythology). The ECT was intended to shock Zeus out of believing he was a god but the treatment seemed to give him pleasure and further strengthened his belief that he was the Greek deity due to Zeus being the god of electricity. He is also a coprophile (a person facinated with faeces which he exhibits by keeping a barrel of all his own excrement claiming it to be “full of power”). When the prisoners take over Arkham, he is one of the few not to appear in the main hall at the start due to his addiction to the ECT. He does however manage to take hostage a guard who he then subjects to the ECT. His encounter with batman is brief and serves only to follow on from the previous scene in which Amadeus Arkham uses the ECT room to murder Mad Dog Hawkins. Zeus is a man of average build with wild wiry hair and beard. He has a toga loosely draped over his body. He seems older than he really is due to the effects of excessive ECT and remains hooked up to the machine at all times.
Clayface/ Preston Payne: Payne was a chemist, who suffered from hyperpituitarism (which causes joint pain and stiffness, muscle weakness, and numbness of the skin amongst other things). In an attempt to cure himself he ended up injecting himself with certain enzymes which after a short while caused his skin to start to melt. When he made contact with other people they too would melt so he made a suit to stop this but then he realised that he needed to touch people or he would feel pain and would melt even more. Eventually he gets caught and sent to Arkham where, due to lack of contact with anyone, he slowly rots away until he is little more than a stunted, emaciated figure. Where ever he walks he leaves a trail of rotten smelling sludge and he is a metaphorical representation of STIs.
Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow: Crane, as with many villains was bullied in his childhood due to his lanky frame and interest in reading. He became obsessed with fear and became a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum so that he could perform fear-inducing experiments on patients there. Eventually he got fired due to his methods becoming increasingly extreme. He took revenge on the doctor who got him fired by using his fear gas on the doctor and driving him insane. Crane decides to live a life in crime using his fear gas and a scarecrow costume to frighten his victims. However, after a while, his gas began to have an effect on him sending him mad and causing him to murder people who he envisioned as monsters as a result of the gas. He was sent to Arkham by batman where eventually the effects of the prolonged exposure to the gas began to wear off. In this film he is a minor character and only appears briefly at the start and when batman ducks into a room to avoid unnecessary confrontation later on. He is wearing a dirty reddish brown top, brown trousers and his brown scarecrow mask and hat.
Black Mask/Jeremiah Sionis: he was born into a very wealthy business family. due to his parents constant habit to cover up things or “mask” things in his childhood, Sionis grew up to hate and resent them and their hypocrisies eventually burning them in the family home when they refused to let him date a girl he liked. Unfortunately he was not the business man his father was and soon he lost the business to Wayne enterprises as well as losing the girl. He snapped at his life falling apart and broke the lid of his father’s coffin while visiting the family mausoleum. Using a piece of his father’s ebony coffin he makes a black scull mask and thus becomes the black mask. He takes up a life of crime and takes revenge on Wayne Enterprises for their takeover of his business before batman eventually tracks him down. In a fire in the ruins of his old family home, Sionis tries to “kill off his old self in order to fully become the black mask but batman manages to save him from the fire. He is sent to Arkham Asylum and as a result of the fire, his face is badly scarred and blackened. He acts as form of right hand man for the joker in the film, keeping some of the inmates from bothering the joker. He does however question the joker’s methods when the joker gives batman an hour head start. Black mask is wearing a white shirt and black trousers and has a badly scarred face. He is a well built man, used to getting into scuffles with rival gangsters from time to time.
Professor Milo: professor Milo was a well respected chemist who resorted to a life in crime out of greed. He developed a variety of nerve gases, some similar to those which the scarecrow uses, making the user hallucinate and see the things they fear most, others focused more on weakening batman specifically, such as a drug that made him fear bats and thus fear himself. Milo held a job in Arkham for a brief while using the patients as test subjects for his drugs. Unfortunately, a riot resulted in the inmates who had been tested on by Milo, turning on him with his own drugs effectively driving him insane. Thus he was himself became a patient at Arkham. At the time of the riot in this story, the effects of the drugs have mostly worn off leaving Milo perfectly sane. However, he has been unable to convince anyone else of his sanity and is still in the Asylum at this time.
Milo is a very slender and has a really bad bowel cut hair cut. He is fatigued from being kept in an asylum when he feels he does not belong there and has been trying to convince others of this.
Victor Zsasz: Zsasz has been driven insane through a course of unfortunate events starting with the death of his parents which resulted in him losing everything he owned to gambling. He is about to commit suicide when someone assaults him with a knife. Instinctively, Zsasz manages to turn the knife on the assailant and in the brief moment before he kills his attacker he has an epiphany. He figures that all life is meaningless and that he alone has the power to liberate humanity. He begins a long list of murders, carving a notch into his body for every kill before batman eventually puts him away in Arkham.
He is a wiry tall figure with his entire torso covered in scars grouped in fives. He is wearing only a pair of ragged trousers in order to optimally show his scars.
Elizabeth Arkham: the mother of Amadeus Arkham, Elizabeth was driven insane after the death of her husband. She was constantly plagued by the image of a bat and eventually her son decided to release her from her torment by cutting her throat open with a pearl handled razor. She is an old lady in the story and due to her insanity, has thinning hair that she has been pulling out. She also has greasy skin from her refusal to leave her bed.
Constance Arkham: the wife of Amadeus Arkham, she supports her husband when he decides to turn the family home into an asylum for the mentally ill but ultimately meets her end at the hands of one of the asylums first patients, Mad Dog Hawkins, along with her daughter. Before her death, she had bought her husband a pair of clown fish as a surprise addition to his aquarium. These fish represent many things in the story, the fact that when the dominant female clown fish in a shoal of fish dies, one of the males will change sex to take that position, mirrors how Arkham, in killing his mother, inherits her insanity believing the house to be plagued by a bat spirit. Also, the clown fish and their ability to change sex make reference to the joker and the theme of shamanic transvestism seen throughout the film.
Harriet Arkham: the daughter of Constance and Amadeus Arkham, she dies along with her mother at the hands of Mad Dog Hawkins. She is a young blonde girl about 7 or 8 when she is murdered.
Commissioner James Gordon: Gordon has been in the GCPD (Gotham city police department) for close to 20 years and is a close associate of batmans, one of the few trusted with his true identity. Gordon is seen only in the opening few minutes to inform batman of the takeover in Arkham. He is dressed in a longcoat over a shirt and tie, has round glasses and greying hair.
ECT room guard: one of the guards of the asylum who has been taken captive by Zeus and subject to intense ECT. Like Zeus, he seems to enjoy the treatment, begging for more when Zeus stops to preach to batman.
Main Hall Guard: one of the few employees to remain in the asylum after the others are let go, this man is still here mainly out of fear to more. he is casually murdered by the joker to make a point to batman.
Pearl: a female employee of Arkham asylum, she is used as leverage to get batman to agree to enter the asylum. she is 19 years old and only started work that week to try and earn money to put herself through art college.
The GCDP: there are about 5 other officers in the room at the beginning when the phone call from the joker comes through.
Then at the end an unknown amount of SWAT units move in on the asylum after batman leaves.
Asylum staff: apart from Pearl, the two guards and dr. Cavendish and Quinlan, there are roughly 30 other members of staff who get set free as batman enters the asylum. They are made up mostly of nurses and doctors, as well as a couple of guards and other staff. Inside there are also a few deceased members of staff, who were caught up in the rush of inmates being set loose.
Inmates: on top of the previously mentioned inmates, there are quite a number of random patients who have no specific connection to batman or the batman stories. However, it is quite possible that in the frayed frenzy of madness a few familiar faces could be included.
Construction Workers: there are a few scenes in which the conversion of Arkham Manor into an asylum is seen and the construction workers along with it.
Again, I’d like to state that all the characters here are the property of DC comics and that most of my information that i didn’t get from Grant Morrison’s extremely well detailed script for the graphic novel, I got from a mix of my own imagining of them and a touch of help from dr Wikipedia.
Anywho, thanks for reading. I really hope you enjoyed what drove me close to absolute, pure madness.
Posted on 27/01/2011, in scripts. and tagged A Serious House on Serious Earth, All the other mad men in arkham, Arkham Asylum, Batman, character bios etc, feature film treatement, Joker, Killer Croc, Mad Hatter. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.