Robert Rodriguez: So we said, “Let’s do another new story.” And I challenged him to come up with another character, and to make it easy, whenever he’d come down to Austin to visit I would ask him about it and I would secretly tape anything he said in case that was it. And he said, “Yeah, well, I’m kind of thinking about this character named Johnny and he’s got this coin and he can’t lose.” And I was like, “Okay, here we go!”
It was fun just to be there during the process of that: the writing of it; the crafting of it. That’s why I knew the ideal actor for it. I told him about this guy who I thought would be great: Joseph Gordon-Levitt would bring an energy to the movie, and that he’s a very collaborative, that he’s very smart, he’s very creative. That would be someone that would help us kind of finish the working on it, finish the writing of it because he can bring a lot to it. And since Frank didn’t have it drawn, he didn’t really see the character in his head like his other ones. So rather than make a drawing he falls in love with and then try to find the actor, just get the actor and skip that process. Skip that step and go right to crafting it with the actor. That’s why Joseph was really important casting.
Frank Miller: There was many a line I would come up with which had to do with getting to know Joseph, because what he brought to the performance was a new and different kind of hero for Sin City. And so the script had to adapt, as it often does. [x]
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller on crafting Johnny and his story.