BOF Mailbag – February 2018

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Hello BOF’ers, ad welcome to the February ’18 edition of the BATMAN ON FILM mailbag! No point in waiting, let’s get to your questions and my answers!

JETT SAYS: I think that theme being in Reeves’ film(s) depends one when it’s set.  If were getting the fully-formed, in-his-prime Batman, then most of the Batman villains already exist.  I think the “escalation” theme is more suited to a Batman origin story or films featuring a young, still-learning Batman.  Since I’m pretty sure we’re not going to get another origin film, I don’t know if Reeves will touch on the escalation route.

I have to say that the theme of escalation/Batman being the cause of the rise of the freak villains in Gotham was touched on pretty well in THE DARK KNIGHT.  Heath Ledger’s Joker was a fantastic example of that theme and hard to top.

If the Todd Phillips Joker movie comes to pass, and if it is set in the 1980s, what would you say to the soundtrack being full of period Prince music?

JETT SAYS: Robert, while I’m a big fan of Prince — and his 80s stuff is fantastic — I’m not sure I’d want the soundtrack to be all Prince.  A soundtrack full of 80s music that includes Prince would be cool.

Considering the endless torrent of bad PR that WB is getting for over 2 years, and the fact that they constantly fail to take control of the narrative, wouldn’t it be wise to simply pull the plug on the DCEU? The latest development is Josh L. Dickey’s tweet claiming that [Zack] Snyder was outright fired a year ago, prompting speculation that his personal tragedy was used to announce his departure without making WB look bad. These stories simply won’t stop. Why not cancel this toxic venture and lay low for a while when it comes to the superhero [film] genre?

JETT SAYS: I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is that they believe DC on film is too lucrative to give up on right now.  And while this is true, they’re going to have to make some significant changes going forward to right the ship.  They say they are, but yet the do things (like the rumors that Henry Cavill cameos in SHAZAM! as Superman and the continuation of Legion of Doom post-credits scenes) that make think they’ve yet to learn their lesson.

JETT SAYS: John, it could’ve been something that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER shouldn’t have reported, or they simply could’ve reported it incorrectly.  Something’s up with Matt Reeves’ Batman film and all involved are trying to keep a lid on it.  Hell, Reeves said off the cuff that his Batman movie was not part of the extended universe, and then had to “correct” himself when his words got a lot of run online.  Personally, I think his Batman film is going to be its own thing and WB is simply not making a big deal out of it and have been laying low until all the JUSTICE LEAGUE stuff is completely over.

With the incredibly bad representation of Batman in movies that [Ben] Affleck and [Zack] Snyder created, how different of a Batman are you expecting to see from Matt Reeves? 

JETT SAYS: I wouldn’t personally label the Snyder/Affleck interpretation of Batman as “bad,” but I’m certainly not a big fan of it — and mind that I say that as someone who LONG wanted Ben Affleck as both a Batman on film actor and director.  Thus, I’m pretty damn disappointed with how Affleck’s turn as the cinematic Batman has turned out and I’m on record saying it’s time to move on from Batfleck.

As for as what I’m want moving forward with Batman on film under the helm of Matt Reeves, something DIFFERENT, absolutely (and that includes what Chris Nolan gave us as well).  I want to see this filmmaker’s vision of Batman and his world — not a “tweek” of another filmmaker’s take on the character — without any sort of creative stifling (i.e. continuity, shared universe) and ALL that entails.

And I believe that’s what we’re going to get.

JETT SAYS: A chance?  Sure.  Likely, I doubt it as I specifically heard it was for the role of Batman.  But what’s interesting with Gyllenhaal — like Batman on film alums Michael Keaton and Christian Bale — is that he totally could play both a Batman villain or The Dark Knight himself.   He’s that good of an actor.  This is why I don’t think he’s Reeves’ “contingency plan.”  No way JG views himself that way either.

Have you watched Black Lightning yet?  If not, get on it!

JETT SAYS: I have not sir.  However, I will likely try to power/binge watch it at some point once season one is available to, well, power/binge watch.

Did Warner Bros. ever consider making a John Blake follow up to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Very curious about this. Could have been awesome. Clearly, [Chris] Nolan would not have directed though.

JETT SAYS: Great question sir.  Do I think it was considered?  Probably — on some level.  However, there was NO WAY IN HELL that WB would’ve moved forward with such a project because it would not have received Nolan’s blessing.  THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY ended perfectly and should never be retroactively jacked with and altered…and it won’t.

When will Rick Shew start contributing to BOF?

JETT SAYS: “Contributing?”  Um…

What event/situation shocked you the most in regards to BOF?

JETT SAYS: Hmm…

Probably Warner Bros. thinking it was a good idea for there to be another version of Batman on film — Armie Hammer in George Miller’s never-made JUSTICE LEAGUE MORTAL — right smack in the middle of THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY in the mid-2000’s.

And while I don’t know if it counts as an “event” or “situation,” I’d say how disheartening it was to see how nasty a small, but VERY LOUD segment of fandom has become over my 20 years of BOF.  What sucks about it is that these “fans” have come to represent the majority of US good Batman and genre fans.

JETT SAYS: Dude, I have no idea why they never said that the “DCEU” moniker was BS.  And they still haven’t named the damn thing!  Hell, maybe it really doesn’t matter.

 Does Batman prefer pizza or sushi?

JETT SAYS: Neither.  He likes green drinks brought to him by Alfred, vichyssoise, and lobster lobster thermidor.  And gumbo, Texas Tex-Mex, and Texas BBQ… and Minnesota tater tot hotdish too.

Jennifer Carpenter just took the #1 spot for me [voicing Selina Kyle] in BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, so it got me thinking about this question: Who is your favorite Selina Kyle voice actress?

JETT SAYS: Adrienne Barbeau.

JETT SAYS: Heard nothing sir.  Friend of BOF Chris McKay — the director of THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE — is working on a live-action Nightwing film right now.  And to be honest, I don’t need a sequel to what I think is a wonderful love letter to Batman.  Really, it was awesome and can’t be topped…so why try?

Will the development of Nightwing and Joker standalone movies hurt those character’s chances of being included in Matt Reeves universe? I’m going to flip my sh*t if we get Lobo and Shazam [Captain Marvel] movies before we get Batman and Nightwing together on screen. No, BATMAN & ROBIN sure as hell doesn’t count.

JETT SAYS: Mance!  Possibly, but maybe not…unless it does.

This is the problem with continuity and a shared cinematic universe as everything needs to tie-in and be related.  I say that Chris McKay’s NIGHTWING should be it’s own thing, just as this Joker origin movie and Matt Reeves’ solo Batman film should be as well.  I really do think we’re at a point in superhero cinema where the mainstream audience will show up as long as the films are good.  This argument that the “mainstream audience will be confused dammit” is nonsense.

And yes Mance, unfortunately, BATMAN & ROBIN does count as Batman and Nightwing on film. 😉

JETT SAYS: As someone who is not a fan of the shared film universe thing and believe BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE were total disasters for DC on film, I’m still excited for WONDER WOMAN 2, AQUAMAN, SHAZAM!, and Matt Reeves’ solo Batman film.  Now, I think each should be their own thing and there should not be any cameos, post-credits scenes, or anything that’s meant to set up other DC movies in the future.  If Warner Bros. insists on beating a dead horse and does those sort of things — especially with Reeves’ Batman — they might end up losing support from me and BOF.

Why wouldn’t Matt Reeves take issue with another version of the Joker on film (if he plans on using the character in his own films)? I might be remembering things incorrectly, but didn’t Nolan push back against having another version of Batman on film during his trilogy? Suppose Matt Reeves wants to tell a Batman and Joker story and not knowing Joker’s origin is an essential part of that story. Only the Todd Phillips Joker movie gives the character a definitive origin and is due out first. What is Matt Reeves supposed to do? Yes, the audience can tell the difference, but only if the respective films make the differences clear. Why force that on either director, especially when your stated goal is to be “filmmaker driven?”

JETT SAYS: Todd Phillips’ Joker movie will not be in the same continuity as Matt Reeves’ Batman film.  Hell, Reeves’ Batman might be its own damn thing as well.  Personally, I am a proponent of all DC films being their own thing set within their own worlds with their own continuity.  Thus, there might be two or three versions of the same character existing at the same time, relatively speaking.  I get your Nolan example, but I think that was a different time and certainly different circumstances.  I’ve actually changed my opinion and think it would work nowadays.  For a great take on this question, I suggest you read Robert Reineke’s op-ed on this very topic.

JETT SAYS: As someone who prefers The Joker to have no backstory or known origin, I’m actually a bit interested in seeing how this whole thing plays out.  Phoenix would make a great Joker — though I don’t think we’re going to see “The Joker” in this movie.  I’ll give it a chance.

JETT SAYS: I’m a fan of all the Bat-Symbols personally.  But I prefer the big black bat on Batman’s chest over the yellow oval.

 

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A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey is the founder of BATMAN ON FILM. His passions include Dallas Cowboys football (fan since birth/season ticket holder since 2000), Elvis Presley, Rock music, cold beer, dive bars, the city of Austin, his summer house in Minnesota, the University of Texas Longhorns and...THE BATMAN (fan for 50+ years)! He resides in the great state of Texas with his lovely wife ("Announcer Rachel"), his youngest son, and 1.5 Boston Terriers.