BOF Mailbag – March 2018

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Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the BATMAN ON FILM Mailbag!

This will be a 2-for month as I’ll be doing another one for Spring Break 2018, so stay tuned.

Now, on to the mailbag…

 

How much impact will Walter Hamada have on [the DC films] that were already in production (SHAZAM!, WONDER WOMAN 2, etc.) before he stepped in?

JETT SAYS: I’m assuming that he won’t influence projects like SHAZAM! and WONDER WOMAN 2 all that much.  I’d guess his influence will be felt going forward with films in-development and whether are not they are ever green-lit.

JETT SAYS: Do we know for sure?  Nope — we do not.  Maybe it was set in Arkham, maybe it wasn’t.  I’d consider nothing but rumor.  Plus, that script has been tossed and Matt Reeves is new doing his own thing with Batman on film.

When do you think we’ll hear more information about Matt Reeves’ BATMAN film?

JETT SAYS: Whenever he’s done writing the script, turns it over to Warner Bros., and the they either greenlight it or pass.  At that point, we’ll hear something.  Frankly, I don’t think either Reeves or the studio is in a huge rush to get it out — and they shouldn’t be.  Let Reeves take all the time he needs to develop something that’s going to be damn good.  And remember, just because Reeves signed a deal to develop and direct a solo Batman film, doesn’t mean it’s a 100% set in stone given to happen.

I have often heard Batman fans (and creators) say things like “Bruce Wayne is a mask and Batman is who the character really is.” I understand this line of thinkingn but I severely disagree. To me, Bruce Wayne’s humanity is key to the Batman’s character and mythos. What’s your take on this?

JETT SAYS: I tend to subscribe to that theory actually.  I think THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — especially in BATMAN BEGINS — did Batman/Bruce Wayne how I see the character.  Bruce is essentially three people.  One, there’s the “public” Bruce Wayne that’s essentially an act.  Secondly, there’s the “real” Bruce Wayne that only a few people — Alfred, first and foremost — see.  Lastly, there’s The Batman, of course.  I see the “real Bruce Wayne” as a combination of the second and third examples above.

What was different about BATMAN v SUPERMAN before they delayed the release date?

JETT SAYS: Not much. They changed the release date — a couple of times I believe — to make sure they had enough time to finish it properly and not be rushed.  Now, the film was altered quite a bit once Chris Terrio came on board and re-wrote David Goyer’s original script.  For example, Dick Grayson/Nightwing was said to have been in the original script.  Also, it was said that Bruce Wayne fought crime in Gotham via Bat-drones and Bat-bots ala KINGDOM COME.

JETT SAYS: The best part?  Well to be honest, I’ve got to do a l lot of cool stuff and meet a lot of cool people because of BOF, that’s for sure.  However, I’d say the best part of running BOF is it kinda-sorta allows me to be a “Batman creator” even though I can’t write comics or draw.

The worst thing about BOF is quite frankly having to deal with bad online fanBOI behavior.  It’s a beat-down and can get to you…if you let it.  Also, the year-plus I spent covering JUSTICE LEAGUE was the least-fun I’ve ever had in my 20 years of doing this.

If you had to bet real, non-monopoly money on it, what do you think the state of DC films will be in 5-10 years, and how will it have gotten to that state?

JETT SAYS: Hmm…this is a hell of a good question.  I think that the DC films that are “canon” will have soft-rebooted and have moved as far away from the world created in BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE as possible.

I read in a blind item a fairly deep cut rumor that Nolan and Bale could be tempted back to Batman in exchange for directing and starring roles in a very prestigious WB picture that is sure to get Nolan that Oscar that keeps avoiding him (I doubt he’ll win for DUNKIRK). If that were to pan out, is there any story you could possibly conceive that would still be worth telling in the THE DARK KNIGHT film universe?

JETT SAYS: That’s a tough question Joey.  I don’t think there’s anyway in hell that Chris Nolan returns to the world of Batman on film.  I think Bale would; if — and only if — Nolan was going to direct.  But to answer your question, I can’t conceive a story set in that universe that would be worth telling to be honest.  I think it’s best for all involved — Nolan, Bale, and fans of THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — that it stays just that: a trilogy.

Hello Jett.  Do you think it’s possible a time will come (or is already here) when Batman is seen as just another superhero and not something “iconic” by the mainstream due to the increased visibility of other heroes combined with poor reception of his recent movies?

JETT SAYS: Yes, I do.  It’s one of the reasons that I’ve been lobbying Warner Bros. to give Batman on film a bit of a break.  I also think the way Batman was portrayed in JUSTICE LEAGUE — the worst depiction since BATMAN & ROBIN — didn’t help the general audience’s perception of the character.

We need to “miss” Batman on film again.  That’s why I hope that Matt Reeves takes all the time he needs with his standalone Batman film.  If end doesn’t come out until 2021 or 2022, so be it.

JETT SAYS: We’ll see…

 

Where you ever shocked to not see something in a Batman film that you thought would be on screen?

JETT SAYS: I thought that Nolan would’ve found a way to work in The Penguin in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY and he didn’t.  Oswald Cobblepott could’ve been one of the crime bosses in THE DARK KNIGHT in a small role.  This is all I could think of!

Do you think it was WB’s or DC’s fault — or a combination of both — over the performance of the movies and such a negative backlash?

JETT SAYS: Jeremy, it’s certainly not DC’s fault sir as they have very little, if any, input and influence on the studio’s DC films.  This is why I get a kick/angry when fans try to blame DC Comics for the current failures of DC on film.  No, this is all on my good friends at Warner Bros. Pictures.  They wanted their version of THE AVENGERS so badly, that it caused them to make some really bad decisions in the weeks (days?) after the release of MAN OF STEEL in 2013.  The decision was made to jettison (pun definitely intended) a true “Superman” sequel to MAN OF STEEL, add Batman, and get to a Justice League film, like, yesterday.

How did that work out?

Furthermore, Warner Bros. chose the wrong dude in Zack Snyder to head up their shared DC cinematic universe.  I think Zack’s a heck of a good dude and I borderline love MAN OF STEEL (I’m one of that film’s biggest defenders), but the bottom line is that his vision of DC on film didn’t jibe with critics, half of the fanbase, and most of the general audience.

So there you go sir.

Wouldn’t it actually be more financially beneficial for Warner Bros. if solo movies are a bigger success than team-ups? Why do they think team up films have to be a “thing?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for team-up films if done well but solo films have got to be cheaper to make just by virtue of less big names to pay. And like you guys mentioned in the last BOF Vlog, all of WB’s highest earning films are solo movies.

JETT SAYS: Mance good to hear from you dude!  Yes, I totally believe that Warner Bros. should make all the DC films that they want and can, but that they should keep them separate and in their own worlds.  And I’ve been saying that for years.

I subscribe to the philosophy of Chris Nolan and Michael Uslan who believe that DC characters work best — particularly on film — when they are featured in solo films that aren’t part of an overt shared movie universe.  This viewpoint isn’t some willy-nilly nonsense based simply on personal tastes.  No, it’s based on the history of DC Comics and how it’s comic book universe existed for decades.

Granted, I’m not a fan of a shared DC on film universe — I’ve always been upfront about that.  BUT, I gave it a shot with BATMAN v SUPERMAN and got burned.  And THEN, there was the whole JUSTICE LEAGUE fiasco!  Can’t even the most ardent supporters of a shared DC on film universe see…

1) The first attempt at it didn’t work, AND…

2) Wouldn’t it be best to give up on the idea for a while and just make some good DC movies?

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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.