The 2022 End of Year BOF Mailbag

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Before we move into 2023 and the celebration of BOF’s 25th anniversary, here’s the final BOF Mailbag for 2022…and a VERY inventful 2022 at that!

And as I said, 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Batman-On-Film.com (which started out as “JettD60’s Batman 5 Page” via a WebTV) which we here at Team BOF will be celebrating all year long!

Now, on to your questions. – Bill “Jett” Ramey

Let’s say the universe has a penchant for irony, and next year the DCEU finally turns it around: all of the last 4 remaining movies are a success (which in the case AQUAMAN 2 and THE FLASH, it’s quite likely). Do we still get a hard reboot, or will Zaslav force Gunn and Safran to change plans? On the other hand, do you think the plan is indeed to incorporate some elements into the new DCU anyway?

JETT SAYS: It’s a total reboot regardless.  It’s not like they are pulling against these next “DCEU” films or anything like that.  They need to start from scratch and all involved know it.

JETT SAYS: I’m sure it’ll be different from what Matt Reeves and co. are doing in THE BATMAN UNIVERSE.

Why do you think Batman can work in fantastical settings through animation, a la BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD or JUSTICE LEAGUE, but not in live-action?

JETT SAYS: The answer to this is easy: the target audience of each.

Animated Batman films/TV series are targeted at fans, while live-action “serious” movies are meant for the general audience.  Fans read comics and can accept and are used to fantastical stories featuring Batman, while the general audience isn’t.

Furthermore, the reason why Batman is arguably the favorite comic book superhero amongst the mainstream is his humanity and the fact he doesn’t have superpowers.  He’s relatable.  Plus, the proof is in the pudding — or the Batman movies — if you will. THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY is a beloved Batman classic and folks turned out for THE BATMAN despite the fact that it was yet another reboot.   What do they have in common?  They were both grounded and didn’t feature Batman mixing it up with the supernatural, aliens, super-powered beings, and the like.

Out of curiosity, do you have any ideas or hopes of what sorts of Superman comics James Gunn might pull from for inspiration with his reboot? And do you think he’ll ultimately direct the film or will it go to someone else?

JETT SAYS: I haven’t read Superman comics regularly in nearly 30 years, so I have no idea what stories from the source material Gunn may pull from.  As far as directing, believe Gunn will hire a director and let whoever gets the gig do his thing.

JETT SAYS: I would certainly hope that’s the case.  Get the best director possible for these films.  But here’s the issue: Will any big-time filmmakers/auteurs be interested in working on a film that’s part of a big, overall cinematic story?  Therein lies the problem that comes with overtly connected cinematic universes.

As a fellow teacher, was there a time when a student made you proud, or even ignorant, with their knowledge of Batman?

JETT SAYS: While I was still coaching football and teaching history, I would talk Batman/superheroes/comic books with kids if the topic ever came up, but I don’t recall ever experiencing what you asked.

JETT SAYS: Due to the fact it’s a film that was conceived, OK’ed, and produced under the previous WB/DC and before Gunn and Safran came on board, I’d say that the future of the BLUE BEETLE film series is iffy.  However, I’m quite sure it’s a total standalone film (any ties to the “DCEU” — if they were included — likely have been removed) so it could possibly integrate it into the new Gunn/Safran DCU.  We’ll see.

JETT SAYS: Great question. I highly doubt it because all have a very good chance of being successful.  With that said, if it happened, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

Seeing that James Gunn is including Batman in his universe, do you have a preference regarding an actor? And yes, I know you prefer Batman in his own universe!😂

JETT SAYS: I’m not a fan-caster, so no, I don’t have an actor preference…other than I want a good actor first and foremost.  And honestly, the only Batman on film I care about right now is Robert Pattinson in THE BATMAN UNIVERSE.

I have a hankerin’ to see Green Arrow and Black Canary on the big screen as part of the new DCU. There seems to be a bit more chatter about that online. Could you see Affleck tackling these characters in a director role? Or, what other characters could you see him taking on in a directorial fashion?

JETT SAYS: I love for Affleck to direct a DC movie and I’d like it to be a solo film for the “DCU Batman” at some point down the line (I think that’s YEARS away from happening) for a variety of reasons!

Do you think James Gunn will use Robert Pattinson as Batman in the new DC universe?  Do you think it’ll happen?

JETT SAYS: 1) I don’t think you’ve heard the news regarding this, so you might want to CHECK THIS OUT. 2) How long have you been reading BOF?

JETT SAYS: I honestly don’t think Reeves’ Batman/Trilogy is going to overlap with the next incarnation of Batman on film in the new DCU.

Any film that’s under the new DCU banner is at least 3 years away, minimum, so we’re looking at 2025 or so before the DCU kicks off  Then, let’s say Reeves finishes his THE BATMAN TRILOGY in 2028 — that’s only 5 years come 2023.  Thus, I think it’s more than OK to let Batman on film sit a couple of years or two once Reeves/Pattinson is done before introducing a new Batman in this DCU.

If no one’s asked yet, what’s on your personal wish list for a “clean slate” DC Universe on film?

JETT SAYS: I really don’t have one to be totally honest.  As I’ve said before, all I really care about is the Matt Reeves/Robert Pattinson THE BATMAN UNIVERSE.

To give you a good answer, I suppose that I don’t want it to resemble the previous DC shared universe in any way other than the characters being used.  I don’t think you go back to the alien invasion/Darkseid/Apokolips nonsense.  It’s got to be new, fresh, and, well, good.

Based purely on his track record, how would you feel about a James Gunn take on Batman (shared universe or not) after Matt Reeves’s vision has wrapped?

JETT SAYS: James Gunn writing and directing a solo Batman movie?  Look, I’m a fan of James Gunn as a filmmaker and he does indeed have his own unique style.  But I don’t know if it’s right for Batman.  Now, I’m talking about filmmaker James Gunn, not DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn.  I’m reserving judgment on this DC Batman that Gunn and Safran will give us once I see what they’re planning to do with the character in a shared universe.

With HBO Max being gutted and content constantly facing removal, will Matt Reeves’ THE PENGUIN likely end up on another streamer, or will it stick there you think? Merry Batmass and all at Team BOF dude!

JETT SAYS: I believe it will air on HBO proper…the home, of course, of THE SOPRANOS and BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Fitting.

Going forward, solo franchises (THE BATMAN) should be the priority. Do you believe the powers that be are in the same opinion? Or should we prepare for “world-building?”

JETT SAYS: It appears that Mr. Zaslav is very desirous of an overt shared DC on film universe just like Disney’s MCU (again).  So yeah, I expect “world-building” starting with the new solo Superman film that’s currently being written by James Gunn.

With that said, I’m very desirous of WB/DC Studios doing it differently than the MCU and WB’s previous go at a shared DC on film world.

Was GOTHAM PD written (at least the initial draft) as a limited series?

JETT SAYS: If you’re talking about the series Matt Reeves was developing for HBO, yes, it was going to be a limited series.  Of course, that project morphed into a series set in Arkham Asylum that’s currently being developed.

Do you trust Gunn? THE SUICIDE SQUAD is the only “DCEU” movie that I couldn’t sit through. I can’t imagine him supervising a quality film ala THE DARK KNIGHT or JOKER. But the good news is he is canceling whatever is left of the “DCEU” so I’ll take what I can get for now!

JETT SAYS: I think James Gunn is a damn good filmmaker and that THE SUICIDE SQUAD is one of the best things “DC on Film” put out by Warner Bros. since THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — along with JOKER, THE BATMAN, and WONDER WOMAN.  Is he the right man — along with Peter Safran, of course — to be an executive/producer overseeing an entire cinematic universe?  Time will tell.  But of course…

While I want this new DCU to succeed, all I really care about and that I’m emotionally invested in is THE BATMAN UNIVERSE.

Have you ever noticed the only time that Bruce uses the Batman voice without the mask in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY?

JETT SAYS: Ah, good question!  In my opinion, it’s in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES when he goes to the hospital to visit Jim Gordon.  I’d also say it happened in THE DARK KNIGHT when he rode a motorcycle as Bruce Wayne and found the cops that The Joker had hijacked and tied up right before the “assassination” of Jim Gordon.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of the DCU “shared universe” being something that is implied, but not actually “seen”? Do you think something like that could work? I think you may have touched on this before.

JETT SAYS: I 100% think it could work and it would probably be more appealing to quality filmmakers.  But alas, I don’t think that’s the plan with this new DCU.

If you could add one series to THE BATMAN UNIVERSE that’s not already in the works (like THE PENGUIN and Arkham one) what would it be?

JETT SAYS: Oh, that’s easy: CATWOMAN starring Zoe Kravitz which takes place in Blüdhaven following the events of THE BATMAN.

Since Gunn and Safran are working on a plan between different media/platforms, do you think their work will also affect Batman video games and comics?

JETT SAYS: I think that may be biting off way more than one can chew. Focus on the films and TV shows, I say.

You’ve been advocating that Warner Bros. create a “Black Label” banner under DC Films for movies that aren’t part of this DCU shared universe. I agree. So, why not let Snyder finish his Justice league trilogy as Black Label DC movies?

JETT SAYS: Really?

No way in hell that happens and I’ll tell you why…

Because it was a failure. Dude, I’m not knocking you for liking that stuff — which you obviously do — but the bottom line is that other than a couple of outliers (AQUAMAN, SHAZAM!, WONDER WOMAN), the Snyderverse — especially the films that he directed — were failures that turned off the general audience. It’s the very reason that they are blowing it all up and starting from scratch.