By Matthew McKibben | March 28, 2014
Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (1923-2014), legendary screenwriter of Batman: The Movie (1966), the Batman television series (1966-1968), Papillon (1973), The Parallax View (1974), Three Days of the Condor (1975), [the vastly underrated] King Kong (1976), Flash Gordon (1980), and Never Say Never Again (1983) passed away today from natural causes in his Los Angeles home.
When any current filmmaker makes a movie that even has a hint of political intrigue or conspiracy, people almost always cite Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View as influences. It has become a bit of a shorthand, but it also speaks to the quality of those movies and how few movies since have lived up to the standard that Semple set.
And while we live in a modern world in which our perception of Batman is largely defined by Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, and Frank Miller, from 1966 to the mid-80s thoughts of Batman immediately went to the 1966 movie and television series. It was just as emblematic for its timeframe as Nolan’s incarnation is for today.
The movies lost a great one today.