Revered writer and filmmaker Joss Whedon is still scarred by a mugging incident from when he was nine.
The man behind Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Avengers has opened up about the lowest moment of his childhood in a new interview, revealing he relived the experience as he wrote the unused pitch for Batman Begins and imagined the young Bruce Wayne fighting back after being attacked by a gang.
Whedon tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "I was afraid (as a kid) because every time I went outside in Manhattan, I got mugged... The first time I got mugged, they kicked me around a lot.
"I was going to a newsstand on Broadway where I got my comic books. I saw these guys... and I thought, 'Those guys are going to mug me.' I started walking then I just bolted. I get to the store - it's closed. So I duck under them (muggers)... and run the other way. But they catch up with me, grab me by the hair, throw me to the ground, and start kicking me around.
"We were on Broadway during rush hour. It was filled with people. They parted like the sea and walked around us. That's an impression that doesn't go away... In my pitch for Batman Begins, there was a scene where (Bruce Wayne) takes on some older kids - and wins. For me, it was the key to the whole movie, where he goes from being, 'I'm just morbidly obsessed with death', to, 'I can work the problem; I can actually do something about it.'"
Whedon adds, "Beautiful revelations of power are often written by the guy who got kicked around and didn't have any power."