Welcome to the March 2020 BOF Mailbag #1. Thanks for all the questions, so let’s get to ’em now! – Bill “Jett” Ramey
From the looks of it this time around we’ll get more story and less eye-candy: the Batsuit and the Batcycle look positively “low-tech”, and the Batmobile is expected to be nothing more than a souped-up sports car. The question is: do you think that this is only due to Matt Reeves’ vision or is it just a way to scale down the film’s budget in the face of the DCU’s late failures or…the best of both worlds?
JETT SAYS: It’s 100% due to director Matt Reeves’ vision for this film, period.
— Bat of Gotham (@bat_gotham) March 1, 2020
JETT SAYS: Nope. It’s a great release date (and traditional as 5 of the last 7 solo Batman films were June releases) and it’s “Batman.” There’s no need to fear the release of the next solo Spider-Man movie which comes out 3 weeks after THE BATMAN anyway.
Do you think we’ll see more screen time with Batman than Bruce Wayne in THE BATMAN than in previous movies? Seeing as it will be a detective, noir-driven story I can see more Batman being on screen. Not to say Bruce can’t investigate like we also have seen.
JETT SAYS: Possibly. But remember, the key to playing Batman and a Batman film is Bruce Wayne. The audience needs to be invested in him first and foremost.
Are there any characters that haven’t been seen on screen — or have but only in a minor role — that you would like to see a new interpretation of?
JETT SAYS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Hugo Strange.
So which is it? BIRDS OF PREY was good or bad? Most of the reviews I have read say it’s bad BOF review says its good. What should we believe?
JETT SAYS: If “most” of the reviews you’ve read were negative, then it sounds to me that you’re looking for the called it bad because overall, it got positive reviews. I liked it and gave it a B+. BOF’s Jo Hyde gave it an A-. I don’t know what you should “believe,” but I have a novel idea: Why don’t you go see it and judge for yourself because your opinion is the only one that matters, right?
Let’s assume that Matt Reeves decides to do a trilogy of Batman films. Should it be one that nearly showcases Bruce through most of his crime-fighting career up to retirement (ala THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY), or should it be a three-part series that takes place in the middle of Batman’s career perhaps with a single thread that connects it all? Perhaps it’s a mystery that will not be solved until the end of the third film.
JETT SAYS: Well, you know what they say about assuming, right?
All I’ll say is that I suspect this film — and its subsequent sequels — are going to be different from any of the Batman films we’ve seen in the past. If I had to guess/make a prediction (not assume), I’d say this new trilogy of Batman films under the helm of Matt Reeves will show us a decade or so of this Batman’s career.
Do you think that Warner Bros. has given up entirely on making a cohesive universe á la the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Will we ever see Batman and Superman together again? Justice League as well?
JETT SAYS: I don’t know if I’d say they’ve “giving up entirely,” but — as they’ve said publicly — moving forward with DC on film, they aren’t concerned about a connected universe and are focused on making director-driven solo movies. They aren’t using any DC film to help set up another one — especially a big team-up film. They are simply their own thing individually. Frankly, I don’t think there’s going to be another Batman/Superman team-up movie or a Justice League film for a LONG time.
The new mask/cowl’? Looks like wanna be Adam West? Thoughts, sir?
JETT SAYS: I think it looks exactly like they intended it to look: something that Bruce Wayne put together himself and not something he got from Lucius Fox/Wayne Technologies. Also, keep in mind that we haven’t seen the full suit the way it’ll look in the film.
Like WONDER WOMAN 1984, do you expect the first poster [for THE BATMAN] to be revealed at San Diego Comic-Con and the first trailer to be released at Brazil Comic-Con?
JETT SAYS: That sounds realistic to me. Matt Reeves has already said he was bringing THE BATMAN to the Brazil comic con in 2020, so WB will probably follow suit with how they handled WW84.
Jake Gyllenhall as The Joker opposite Rob Pattinson?
JETT SAYS: I can dig it.
How do you think Gotham City will be portrayed in the new movie(s)? Do you think [Matt] Reeves and [James] Chinlund are going for realism (like the Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY) or a more film-noirish gothic type of cityscape? (via email)
JETT SAYS: I believe that THE BATMAN is going to be gritty, down to Earth, and grounded — perhaps even more grounded than Nolan’s TRILOGY. However, I do think the aesthetic of the film — Gotham in particular — is going to be more stylized, absolutely.
Kudos for not giving in to the “scoop machine” vultures posting premature spy pics from the set of THE BATMAN. Question for the mailbag: Has anyone from THE BATMAN production been in contact with you about doing a set visit or interview? I know you established a good relationship with Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, and of course, Professor Uslan has been a great friend to BOF. I’m rooting for you to have a similar positive experience with Matt Reeves and his team. Your success and BOF’s success is a success for all of Batman fandom! (via email)
JETT SAYS: Thanks for the email and nice words Michael from Pittsburgh, PA! As to your questions…
While I’m still “in the loop” when it comes to WB’s publicity department and had/have a great relationship with Emma Thomas and Chris Nolan, I’m not expecting a set visit to THE BATMAN.
Well, it’s just a different time than it was back in the day of BATMAN BEGINS through THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; and quite frankly, I don’t know if anyone has my/BOF’s back like Emma, Chris, and the PR folk at WB did back then other than the great Mr. Uslan.
We shall see, I suppose. Thanks for pointing out that I was totally trying to represent the BOF’ers and the best of Batman fandom with all the cool stuff I got to experience back then!
What concerns you the most about THE BATMAN?
JETT SAYS: Absolutely, positively nothing. I think we’re in good hands with Matt Reeves at the helm and perhaps will be getting something really special Summer 2021.
Do you have any indication that Warner Bros. understands they “blew it” by not releasing some promo shots prior to filming in public?
JETT SAYS: For the life of me, I can’t fathom why they didn’t simply release a publicity image of Robert Pattinson in the suit alongside the Batcycle a day or two before the Glasgow shoot. If they had done so, they could’ve controlled the GD narrative of the first “full-on” look at the new Batsuit. It’s F’n maddening to me!
With that said, they did get A LOT of press off of the spy pics. Maybe they subscribe to the old adage “The only bad publicity is no publicity.”
Regardless, here’s F’n hoping they don’t make the same mistake again going forward as THE BATMAN continues to film over the next several months.
Should we expect official photos of the man in the suit in the near future now that basically everyone on earth saw the bootleg ones?
JETT SAYS: As I’ve been saying, WB can control the narrative and take away the impact of spy pics by releasing a professional publicity image before filming on location.
Do you think we will ever see the KNIGHTFALL story arc in entirety in animated form? If you could transfer any storyline to animated what would it be?
JETT SAYS: I don’t think so because the complete KNIGHTFALL story is simply too long. However, I could see an “inspired by” adaptation of the story as an animated film at some point.
As far as what story would I want to see get the animated treatment? That now been done with GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT.
Will you ever come to Wales to hang out? You and your family would be well looked after of course.
JETT SAYS: Visiting the UK is on my bucket list, so I would say hanging out in Wales is likely as according to my DNA results, 83% of me came from England, Wales, and NW Europe.
Which came first: the cape, or the cowl?
JETT SAYS: The cowl and then the cape. Theatricality and deception are powerful agents, of course.
I have seen many reasons given as to why Shazam was only a moderate hit and BOP outright flopped, but do you think the simplest explanation may be that the DC brand is not strong enough yet to carry films with lesser known characters? #BatmanOnFilmMailbag
— WW (@Batboat77) March 1, 2020
JETT SAYS: One could make that argument, certainly. I think the problem with BIRDS OF PREY is that the title should’ve been HARLEY QUINN AND THE BIRDS OF PREY and perhaps they should’ve gone for a PG-13 rating to bring in the 13 to 16 year-olds — I say that regarding the rating as someone who has no problem with R-rated comic book films. You know the bottom line could simply be that people simply were not interested in an R-rated girl gang movie.