The June 2021 BOF Mailbag #1


Some say that Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN is so dark that will make both THE DARK KNIGHT and BATMAN v SUPERMAN look like your average BATMAN ’66 episode in comparison. Aside from all the “WB not happy” BS, what’s with this theory?

JETT SAYS: I’ve said before a few times that THE BATMAN is likely going to be the darkest and most grounded live-action Batman movie to date.  Now, I don’t know if it’s going to be JOKER/R-rated “dark,” but yeah, it ain’t going to be a pretty serious movie.  With that said, a “dark” move can still be good.  TDK was “dark” and it’s arguably the greatest comic book movie to date.  On the other hand, BvS didn’t fail because it was “dark,” it failed because it wasn’t all that good and didn’t resonate with its audience.

Folks scoffed when I said THE BATMAN was going to be more grounded than the Nolan films, it wasn’t wishful thinking!

If you could have any James Bond actor play Batman and any Batman play James Bond, who would it be? Any era!

JETT SAYS: Oh man…the Batman actor for Bond is easy: Christian Bale.  Bond actor for Batman?  Hmm…I’m torn between Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan, but I think I’d go with the latter.  Mr. Brosnan actually met with Tim Burton for the lead role in what became BATMAN ’89.  What’s funny is that there was some scuttlebutt that Brosnan was up for the part of Alfred in Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN.

ZSJL was released on Blu-ray in May in the UK, yet we don’t even have a release date in North America. Have you heard why?

JETT SAYS: I have not as ZSJL isn’t anywhere near being on my radar, sir.  It came, BOF covered it — very fairly if I do say so myself — and it’s now in the past.  However, if/when the Blu-ray is released in the U.S., I’m sure BOF will get a reviewing copy and someone on Team BOF will review it.

Jett, Do you think McFarlane will make a Christian Bale Batman Action Figure?

JETT SAYS: I have no idea…but I’d buy one!

Do you think Matt reeves will go in really hard on Batman not killing? From the trailer it seemed clear to me he had a purpose in showing Batman beat a thug down additionally after he put him down on the ground.

JETT SAYS: I do not think that Batman will be either a cold-blooded murderer or an executioner in THE BATMAN.

Obviously, there’s no way to know for sure at this junction, but how likely do you think it might be for fans to see Dr. Hugo Strange as the main villain in one of Reeves’ sequels to THE BATMAN? I’ve been itching to see a proper adaptation of him on the big screen for a while now and I’d wager he’d be a more natural fit for the reportedly “even more realistic than Nolan’s take” direction that Reeves is going in.

JETT SAYS: You’re right, there’s no way to know for sure.  But I’d love to see Dr. Hugo Strange in a live-action Batman villain.  I’m not sure as the main antagonist, but one that’s more than just a bit part.

JETT SAYS: Absolutely.  That would make for a great show!  Thanks for the suggestion and I’ll pass it along to my BOF boys!

Whatever happened to Firefly and Mad Hatter in THE BATMAN? Are we in for some surprises yet on the roster/cast down the road?

JETT SAYS: I assume they were in an early version of the script and didn’t make the final cut of it…if they were actually in it to begin with.  And yes, I 100% believe we’ve got some surprises in terms of characters that we’ll see in THE BATMAN.

Any word on when production will begin on GCPD (or whatever they end up calling it)? Also, Reeves said this will take place in year 1 of Batman showing up. Do you think the show will ever catch up to the movie(s) and have things on the show that lead into the next movie?

JETT SAYS: I have not, unfortunately.  It wouldn’t surprise me if we get a cameo by Robert Pattinson as The Batman in the season one finale of GCPD…and other stuff like that crossing over between the film(s) and the HBO Max series.

In the next trailer [for THE BATMAN] will we see shots of Alfred, Falcone, and The Batmobile in action?

JETT SAYS: I’m assuming yes.  While I want to see a shot of all that, I don’t want to see TOO much, you know what I mean?

Have you heard of any Burton/Schumacher Bat-villains will cameo in THE FLASH? Any chance of seeing Michelle Pfieffer as Catwoman again?

JETT SAYS: I have not.  However, I’m not counting out some sort of surprise cameos in THE FLASH at all.  I think Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman is the top candidate.

JETT SAYS: That’s usually how that stuff works, contract-wise, when an actor signs on for one of these types of franchises.  So yes, I’m 99.9% confident that RP is signed for a trilogy of THE BATMAN films — which is apparently Reeves’ plan.  As far as an announcement, I don’t expect one — that’s kinda assumed when he was first announced as the new Batman on film.

If the BATMAN ’89 comic series shows Marlon Wayan’s Robin turning up, what are the chances he might actually appear in THE FLASH movie as Nightwing?

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure if the BATMAN ’89 comic book will be considered canon in terms of what actually “happens” (fictionally, of course) after B89 and BATMAN RETURNS.  Of course, anything is possible in THE FLASH with the alternate realities/multiverse stuff it’s introducing.  With all that said, I’m thinking that Michael Keaton’s aged Batman/Bruce Wayne is going to be living alone and still trying to be Batmanning solo without partners.

Do you know if Chris Nolan had outlined something different from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES for the third Batman movie prior to Heath Ledger passing away? Do you think Heath would have been part of that hypothetical closure of his trilogy? Greetings from Spain, and thank you!

JETT SAYS: Greetings from Dallas, Texas, USA, Ismael! I had the privilege to talk to Mr. Nolan a lot, relatively speaking, during the making of RISES through the film’s release, and I 100% believe him when he told me that the story of that film came about organically.  They had a rough outline while putting together BATMAN BEGINS, but that was totally thrown out the window while writing and making THE DARK KNIGHT.

As far as whether or not the late Heath Ledger would’ve been in RISES if he had not sadly passed, I’m not sure.  I am sure he wouldn’t have been the main villain.  Why?  Because Mr. Nolan and co. gave us one of the definitive Batman vs. The Joker stories in Batman history and he’s not one on repeating himself.  Perhaps Heath would’ve had a cameo in RISES like the one by Cillian Murphy as Dr. Craine…or maybe not.  Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

Which other villains would you like to see in upcoming sequels to THE BATMAN?

JETT SAYS: Back in the day, this is where I’d try to do my Crazy Quilt bit!  Anyway…

Give me any Batman villain that doesn’t have “superpowers” — though I believe that even some that do — Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and even Clayface — can be done in a “realistic” manner.

Do you think audiences want a more grounded take (Nolan) or a more fantastical take (BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES) on Batman these days?

JETT SAYS: I 100% believe that the general audience — who makes up well over 90% of a Batman film’s potential audience as opposed to comic book fans — prefers Batman to be depicted in a more grounded and realistic (relatively speaking) manner.  And the proof is in the box office pudding as the biggest, popular, most successful Batman movies — B89, RETURNS (kinda), FOREVER, BEGINS, TDK, RISES — have gone that route.  You put Batman in space or fighting aliens, the supernatural, or beings with fantastical powers, the non-fans/mainstream audience are going to check out.

And I don’t think that BTAS was all that “fantastical,” to be honest.  It was kinda/sorta grounded — and it was also an animated series aimed at Batman fans.  What I’m talking about is Batman in things like BvS and ZSJL when it comes to “fantastical.”  A lot of our “non-Batman fans Batman fans” friends (You know what I’m sayin’?) roll their eyes at that stuff.  For example, my wife, “Announcer Rachel,” loves THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. She totally checked out on BvS, JL2017, and ZSJL.  She IS the mainstream movie-going audience…and she’s married to me!

Wondering what’s your take on THE BATMAN still coming in March and how safe that date is, saw recently it’s possible it could change again.

JETT SAYS: My take is that any reports suggesting that it’s going to move again are all hogwash.   March 4, 2022: Be there or be square!

JETT SAYS: I liked BIRDS OF PREY and get what they were going for — I applaud all involved for trying something different with the genre.  I think with BOP, being R-rated, an all-female cast, and being, as I said, a bit “different” played into the lower than expected box office.  I found this quote from BOP director Cathy Yan and it’s a good take on the matter…

I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie — as we all did. There were also undo expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet. That was an extra burden that, as a women-of-color director, I already had on me anyway. So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that. But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle.

As for WONDER WOMAN 1984, I don’t know if we really determine how it would’ve done at the box office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yes, it was released into theaters (as well as HBO Max at the same time), but folks were simply not going to the theater when it dropped last year on Christmas Day.  Personally, I wasn’t a fan of it (though I love WONDER WOMAN) — I thought the plot was silly AF (A “wishing stone” …really?), but I do admire director Patty Jenkins for trying something different.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

With all that said, I don’t think either is a poor reflection on DC on film going forward.  I 100% DC movies’ best days are ahead of us.

I think Cathy Yan should get another chance at making a DC film set in Gotham. Do you think that can happen?

JETT SAYS: Probably not.  I don’t see a sequel to or spinoff of BIRDS OF PREY happening.  But as a director, I’m sure Ms. Yan will be more than fine.  She’s very talented.

How do you think the relationship between Bruce and Alfred will be portrayed in THE BATMAN? Will it be similar to THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY extremely different?

JETT SAYS: I’m sure it will be loyal to the traditional Bruce/Alfred relationship with Matt Reeves putting his own spin and stamp on it.

How do you feel about The Riddler being portrayed as a serial killer in THE BATMAN?

JETT SAYS: Are we 100% sure he’s going to be a serial killer?  Is that just an assumption based on that first trailer?  But let’s say that he is, OK?  Fine by me.  I will say that we shouldn’t assume too much about THE BATMAN.  I’m willing to bet that the “main villain” — the one behind it all will be something we’ll discover when we see the movie next year.  If we already know that The Riddler is the big baddie, what’s the point, you know?

What is your favorite episode of the 1960 BATMAN TV series?

JETT SAYS: The first 2-part episode: “Hi Diddle Riddle/Smack in the Middle” with Frank Gorshin’s The Riddler.