Philly filmmakers' 'Batman & Bill' marks Hulu's entry into original documentaries

Batman & Bill filmmakers, author Marc Tyler Nobleman-08012017-0002
Don Argott (left), Sheena M. Joyce and Marc Tyler Nobleman talk about "Batman & Bill," a documentary about Bill Finger, the once-uncredited co-creator of the "Batman" comics franchise, that comes to Hulu in May 2017

Philadelphia-based filmmakers Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce (The Art of the Steal, The Atomic States of America)  will make the move into original streaming content when their documentary Batman & Bill premieres on Hulu in May.

Batman & Bill focuses on the fight to win credit for the late Bill Finger, a comic-book writer who's now acknowledged to have co-created the Batman franchise with Bob Kane. It's fight that was largely led by author Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of the picture book, Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

"We're the first original" documentary Hulu's presented, said Joyce, following a Hulu session at the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena on Saturday.

"I think we may have been the first film done," of a number Hulu had ordered, Argott added.

"Living in Philadelphia, we're kind of in a bubble," Joyce said. "It's interesting not being surrounded by the industry all the time. You know, you just kind of put your head down and do your work. We didn't have a sense of our place in the whole universe."

 The Hulu experience has been different, Argott said, "mostly because most of our other films are all privately financed, or there's a level of independent financing and then we'll...try to get a distributor onboard through a film festival."

Working with Hulu didn't just simplify that process. "They gave us the space as artists. They trusted us," he said.

Earlier, at the press conference, Joyce noted that Batman & Bill was more than just Bill Finger's story.

"One thing we didn’t expect at the get-go was getting into Marc’s story as much as we did. Of course it’s Bill’s story, but this is also Marc’s journey as well. And that’s something that kind of progressed as our filming went on. And it was fun being with everyone for so long. You get to know families. You get to know kids. And you see some of that progression in the story as well."

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