Growing up in Ann Arbor, Mich., David S. Goyer once made a prediction that turned out to be a pretty accurate flash-forward.
"I remember telling my mother ... that I was going to go to Hollywood one day and write a Batman movie," he says. "And it happened."
As film buffs know, Goyer has an impressive list of credits as a writer, director and producer. And, yes, he co-wrote the screenplay for "Batman Begins" and co-wrote the story for its acclaimed sequel, "The Dark Knight." But his latest project could be one of his most intriguing yet.
"FlashForward" is a new ABC drama with a creepy-cool premise. In the first episode, which aired late last month, the world's population blacks out at the same time for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During this weird simultaneous event, people everywhere apparently see a glimpse of themselves several months into the future — on April 29, 2010, to be specific.
Never miss a local story.
The debut scored well in the ratings, drawing more than 12 million viewers. The buzz is the series could become the next big enigma-wrapped-in-a-riddle hit for ABC, which kicks off the final season of "Lost" early next year.
Although "FlashForward" definitely is not a "Lost" spin-off, it shares certain qualities with that addictively puzzling island saga: a catchy concept, compelling mysteries and a talented group of actors.
Joseph Fiennes heads the ensemble as FBI agent Mark Benford, who's assigned to figure out what's going on — after he glimpses himself doing the same task in the future. His doctor wife is played by Sonya Walger, best known as Penny on "Lost." An even bigger "Lost" star, Dominic Monaghan (troubled, heroic Charlie), also is in the cast.
Goyer, who co-created the series (it's based on a 1999 novel) and is an executive producer, sounds comfortable being compared to "Lost."
"We're on the same network. It's a show that I love, and I happened to be friends with Damon (Lindelof, co-creator of 'Lost')," he says during a phone interview from Los Angeles. "If people think of them as brother shows or cousin shows, that's fine with me. I did throw in an Easter egg, an Oceanic Airlines billboard, into the pilot, just as something that I thought would be fun."
The writing is what's really impressive about "FlashForward," says Courtney B. Vance, who's originally from Detroit and plays the director of the FBI's L.A. field office.
"This is one of the finest pilots on the page that I've ever read," says Vance, formerly of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
Fans already are scouring the show's scenes for meaning. "They're posting screen grabs of all sorts of things and trying to divine meaning out of everything from color scheme to the license plate numbers of the characters' cars," says Goyer.
But you don't need a fan blog to know the theme of fate is going to be important. "That's been something that's been resonant in most of the things I've worked on, certainly in the 'Blade' movies, 'Batman Begins,' 'The Dark Knight,' 'Dark City,' " says Goyer, reeling off past projects. "All of those things deal with the concept of fate. Are these people predestined? Was Bruce Wayne ... was his fate written the night his parents were murdered?"