The April 2023 BOF Mailbag

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Thanks for the questions, so let’s get right to it! – Bill “Jett” Ramey

Aside from THE BATMAN and JOKER films, are there any particular ideas that you would like to see brought to life as an Elseworlds film?

JETT SAYS: Love to see an HBO prestige miniseries ala WATCHMEN based on KINGDOM COME, RED SON, GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, and THE NEW FRONTIER.  Lots of the stuff that used to be under the VERTIGO label at DC would be cool if developed into live-action DC Elseworlds properties.

Do you think we will Ever see the KINGDOM COME version of Batman in live-action someday? I think Michael Keaton would be great for it.

JETT SAYS: It’s on my wishlist.  Things like that are exactly why Warner Bros./DC Studios needs to keep the DC Elseworlds banner.

How much of a role do you feel The Riddler and The Joker will play throughout this great “Epic Crime Saga?”

JETT SAYS: It seems to me that both characters — and also Selina Kyle and Oz/The Penguin — will be seen and have important roles to play throughout Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN films.

JETT SAYS: If you could see my office, you’d know that I’m quite fond of Batman movie posters!  Honestly, I’ve liked them to varying degrees and there’s really never been one that I disliked.  If I absolutely had to pick a favorite, it’s probably the one for BATMAN back in 1988-89.  It’s iconic and the Bat-logo said it all.

Since it’s nostalgia season with Michael Keaton’s upcoming return, what was your favorite piece of Batman merchandise you picked up back in ’89? 

JETT SAYS: Not merchandise, but the biggest influence that BATMAN ’89 had on me personally is that got me back to buying and reading Batman comics again.  As far as merchandise, I don’t recall buying anything specifically other than the film’s novelization, the comic book adaptation, and the trading cards.  I guess it would be the comic book adaptation since I still have it.

THE BATMAN was inspired by movies like CHINATOWN and SE7EN, by Reeves’ own admission. Any thoughts on what movies might similarly inspire THE BATMAN: PART II?

JETT SAYS: I figure that a lot of the films and Batman stuff that inspired Reeves for THE BATMAN will also play a part in the sequels.  Just a hunch on my part.

Seems as though Ben Affleck had a change of heart and doesn’t want anything to do with superhero films after teasing involvement with DCU. Do you think this is because he would rather do a stand-alone film as opposed to building a shared cinematic universe?

JETT SAYS: Despite the fact that he cameos in THE FLASH (and one in ZSJL) as his/the DCEU’s version of Batman, Ben Affleck has been done with the genre/character since 2017.  He simply doesn’t want to do it anymore and is keen on roles and directing gigs that he enjoys and that make him happy. He’s said that he’s proud of what he did as Batman/Bruce Wayne in THE FLASH and it appears to be the “cool way to segue out of the role” that he wanted.  I’m happy for him.

As far as a “change of heart,” like I said, he’s been done basically for 6 years now.  He met with James Gunn and Peter Safran about working with WB/DC Studios in the future as a director — as they should because he is a fantastic director.  It appears based on Affleck’s recent comments about his future with DC that he isn’t interested in directing a film that’s part of a shared universe.  I get why as well because they are creatively stifling for a filmmaker.  But perhaps he’ll helm a DC Elseworlds project for the studio where he has almost total creative control like Todd Phillips with the JOKER films and Matt Reeves and THE BATMAN movies/TV series.

Years ago in the early 2000s, I remember reading an article on BOF about BATMAN ‘89 and an apparent alternate cut of the movie that was shown in press screenings. I don’t remember much about the differences in the press cut versus what we all know except for the ending with it being revealed that The Joker that fell from the helicopter was a decoy (I believe an android/robot) and the real Joker was alive and well at the end.  While that ending seems super weird, it’s also Tim Burton. Do you recall something along these lines as well?

JETT SAYS:  I reached out to Michael Uslan and he said there never was an alternate ending like that.  However, it sounds familiar to me.  I think it may be how they would’ve brought The Joker back for that Wolfgang Petersen BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN project written by Andrew Kevin Walker that almost got made in the early 2000s.

Why are so many people thinking that a modern Clayface will be in the sequel?

JETT SAYS: Because they read the report from bullshit sites that took the original story and twisted it into “Clayface is the villain of THE BATMAN: PART II!!!!”  Or, they just read headlines and not the full article.  And use some common sense, you know?  If you saw THE BATMAN and the world that Matt Reeves created, a shape-shifting blob of mud won’t fit it.

A lot of people are wishing for an MCU/DC movie crossover event.  I think James Gunn could make it happen. But what characters would be in it?

JETT SAYS: Unless Disney buys DC Comics and the film rights to those characters or Warner Bros. Discovery buys Marvel and the film rights to their characters, that ain’t ever going to happen.

Do you think that the only “Elseworlds” movies we’ll see are Joker 2 and The Batman parts II & III? Since they want everything Marvelized, will that be it?

JETT SAYS: It’s my fear, but I certainly hope not.  I have and will continue to bang the drum loudly for the continuation of the DC Elseworlds banner and for DC projects to be made that are part of it.

Considering Gotham was flooded at the end of THE BATMAN, how much of an adaptation of NO MAN’S LAND do you expect to see in the sequel or THE PENGUIN Series?

JETT SAYS: Probably not much to be honest.  THE PENGUIN appears to be about a mob war for control of Gotham’s organized crime operations.  However, I’m sure the effects of the flood will be seen in THE PENGUIN since it picks up right after the events of THE BATMAN.

Do you know if Keaton’s Batman in THE FLASH exists in the same world as Supergirl, or are they Earth-hopping? Not looking for any spoilers but just curious if you knew.

JETT SAYS: I do know…but won’t say because I think a lot of people will consider the answer a spoiler.  We only have 2 months left before THE FLASH hits theaters, so everyone will find out soon!

Any news on the new Batman appearing in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD movie? What’s your take on a story with such a theme?

JETT SAYS: I’ve heard just about the same as everyone else to be honest.  My take on it is that right now, I have zero interest in it.  I’m simply not a fan of Batman with sidekicks and an extended Batman Family made up of ’em.

Do you think James Gunn will cancel (or contribute to the cancellation) of SUPERMAN AND LOIS?

JETT SAYS: He’s the co-head of DC Studios, so when that series ends, he’ll play a part in that decision.  It looks like it’s going to get another season or two before it ends, so I believe that it’ll happen naturally. And no, I don’t think Gunn has it in for SUPERMAN AND LOIS and wants to kill it.

Can we expect a sequel to BATMAN: THE DARK PRINCE CHARMING?

JETT SAYS: I have no inside info on that — it depends on how well the original was received.  Since it came out 5 years ago, I’d say it’s looking unlikely.

If the recent scuttle about Clayface appearing in TB2 turns out to carry some weight then do you think there is a chance he ‘may’ appear in a subtle capacity in THE PENGUIN series? Because as we all know…it’s all connected

JETT SAYS: I have no idea if “Clayface” will be in THE PENGUIN.  But I will say I do expect characters from the series to make their way into THE BATMAN: PART II.  We shall see.