TCB⚡, y’all and welcome to the BOF Mailbag for August 2022!
Thanks for all the questions, so let’s get to ’em! – Bill “Jett” Ramey
Zaslav told investors that they are gonna create a separate division for DC movies and are working on a 10-year plan. I guess this means WB is being forced to change strategy yet again and revert back to a shared universe model for DC films? What does this mean for “Black Label” movies like THE BATMAN and JOKER? Please share your educated speculation regarding this topic.
JETT SAYS: For one thing, nothing changes for THE BATMAN UNIVERSE or, well, the JOKER UNIVERSE. Mr. Zaslav specifically mentioned the success of THE BATMAN (and ELVIS) in 2022 during the latest meeting with investors/shareholders as the type of films the company wants from Warner Bros. Pictures going forward (which is, ironically, old-school WB).
WB made sure that director Matt Reeves was on hand at Cinemacon to announce that a sequel to THE BATMAN is coming. Furthermore, WB — also under “New Management” — gave a sequel to JOKER (JOKER: FOLIE à DEUX) the greenlight.
So, I’m not worried about either film series’ future at Warner Bros. In fact, I believe that the success of THE BATMAN and JOKER will likely lead to more “Black Label” DC films featuring other non-Batman DC characters. At the same time, I don’t see why some sort of “connected” DC film universe can’t coexist with the “Black Label” stuff.
ALSO READ | The July/Independence Day 2022 BOF Mailbag
We know that THE BATMAN sequel and JOKER sequel are safe bets, but if BLACK ADAM/SHAZAM 2/AQUAMAN 2 are still financial heavy hitters at the BO, do you think WB Discovery under Zaslav will still pull the plug and start afresh completely or will they still consider follow up entries to these particular films?
JETT SAYS: I don’t think they’d throw the baby out with the bathwater — and they shouldn’t. I do believe there’s still going to be some form of a reset/reboot of DC on film — the “Black Label” stuff like THE BATMAN and JOKER notwithstanding. We’ll know more once THE FLASH is released next year.
What are your top three villains you would like to see in the next movies
— Joe (@esco2k1) August 20, 2022
JETT SAYS: Whichever Batman villains fit the stories that Mr. Reeves wants to tell. That’s not a copout — it’s how I really view it. Come up with a story and include the Batman characters/villains that fit it…not the other way around.
I know the answer is likely “whatever Reeves thinks is best”…can you see Robin working in this film series? Reeves seems to have a soft spot for the 66 series so maybe it’s actually possible somehow?
— Joe Butera (@jbutera83) August 20, 2022
JETT SAYS: Matt Reeves and I are of the same damn near exact vintage, thus I get why he has a soft spot for the 60s BATMAN TV series…just as I do. But I don’t think that will have anything to do with him including the character of Robin in a future film.
I think that MR knows the importance of “Robin” in Batman history and will include his version of the character at some point. And I 100% believe that his take on Robin will be loyal to the spirit of “Robin” and will fit in the world of THE BATMAN UNIVERSE.
I never felt confident that THE FLASH was ever going to be released and even after seeing the footage last year I still had that “I’ll believe it when I see it in the theaters” feeling. I still feel that way now of course. And it’s too bad for many reasons, but I don’t think we’ll ever see Keaton back as Batman. Do you agree?
JETT SAYS: I spent many a year saying “I’ll believe it when I see it” when it comes to a Flash movie. I mean, it’s really hard to make a movie featuring a character who just runs really, Really, REALLY fast. You gotta do time-travel and alternate worlds with The Flash…which is what they’ve done in THE FLASH.
And it’s been testing really, Really, REALLY well. (I’ve personally heard that it’s very good.)
What I believe is that THE FLASH will be released next year on 6/23/23 and we’ll get to see a 70-year-old Michael Keaton reprise the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne one more time…yeah.
I once had an idea about a website/podcast that discusses all things Batman, can I sue you for stealing my idea? #Bofgate
— WW (@Batboat77) August 20, 2022
What are the odds as to whether we will ever see the BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER animated series?
JETT SAYS: I’m very bullish on BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER. 😉
Hey Bill, is there a storyline you’d like to see developed for [and animated film] that hasn’t been touched upon yet?
JETT SAYS: I’ve got several that I believe could make very cool animated Batman movies. Off the top of my head, I’d like to see BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT and BATMAN: RED RAIN get the animated adaption — and I stress, adaptation — treatment. I also think you can take the basic plot of “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” from BATMAN (Vol. 1) #251 and turn it into a very cool animated movie.
What the hell is going on at WB?!
JETT SAYS: Significant change due to new ownership.
At this point, it seems like we will only have the penguin show before TB2, specially if it is released around 2025 … or do you think/know if things will play out differently?
— L_Wayne (@l_wayne2) August 20, 2022
JETT SAYS: I’m 99.9% confident that we’re getting THE PENGUIN series on HBO (Max?). Not worried about it. I’m not so sure/confident about the Arkham project. I will say that I’m quite sure that WBD wants to do everything it can to make Matt Reeves happy and keep him in the Warner Bros. Pictures family — especially now that they’ve lost Chris Nolan and, apparently, Clint Eastwood.
Given the recent cancellation of BATGIRL, is Michael Keaton still intended to make regular appearances as Batman after THE FLASH?
JETT SAYS: Unfortunately and sadly, I believe that Keaton’s return as Batman in THE FLASH will now be a one-off. I hope I’m wrong.
What are your favorite 2022 movies so far?
Any truth to the rumors that we’ll be getting well known villains such as Scarface from the actual books for the Arkham show?😂👌👍🔥😂poochie2
— Jeffhunter (@Jeffhun27171138) August 20, 2022
JETT SAYS: No idea and haven’t heard anything about the Arkham series — other than I’m not too confident that it’s going to come to fruition. That should tell you all you need to know.
I will say that an Arkham TV series opens up a HUGE door to include lots of Batman villains that might never be used in a film.
And remember Jeff, be careful where you surf while on the Net, brother.
What is your opinion about Matt Reeves having as much creative freedom as he had for THE BATMAN in his sequel under the new circumstances at WB?
JETT SAYS: I believe that Warner Bros. Pictures and WBD will make sure that a director of Matt Reeves’ stature stays part of the “family.” Frankly, WBP/WBD needs Matt Reeves more than he needs them.
Any news on what’s going on with HBO Max and the removal of content?
JETT SAYS: No, not my area of expertise. I’m sure it’s related to HBOM and Discovery+ being merged/combined into a new streaming service.