The May 2023 BOF Mailbag #1

51

First of all, thanks for all the questions!

Speaking of questions, I got A LOT about how the Writer’s Guild strike will affect THE BATMAN: PART II as well as THE PENGUIN, so I’ll answer that first.   Secondly, a little PSA from ‘ol Jett…

Unless I say so unequivocally, my takes and answers to BOF Mailbag questions should not be taken as “news” and should be considered as my opinion and my opinion only.  So please, do not use this stuff and post it on your website or social media platform and say I am reporting it as fact/a news story.

Thanks.

Now, enjoy the mailbag! – Bill “Jett” Ramey

JETT SAYS: I will say that I grew up in Southeast Texas amongst oil refineries which was very much union territory, so I do know a bit about strikes, picket lines, “scabs,” etc. Both my grandfathers were union men before becoming supervisors at “The Texas Company” (which become Texaco).

However, I wasn’t sure how it works when an entertainment guild strikes, like the WGA. Like, does it affect projects in which the script is “finished” — which is apparently the case when it comes to THE BATMAN: PART II.  But scripts aren’t ever really finished, you know?

So the bottom line is that yes, it could affect THE BATMAN: PART II in terms of the start of the production date.  A couple of folks told me they expect it to be pushed back into early 2024, but that wouldn’t cause the release date to change.  Ultimately — I was told by another insider — the decision will be Matt Reeves’ to make and they do expect him to halt production until the WGA strike is resolved.

As far as THE PENGUIN, it appears it has gone dark like a lot of TV shows already have.  Since there is no set release date for it other than it debuting at some point in 2024, I’m told it may end up airing on MAX a little later than originally planned.

You have posted a few gifs and pics [on social media] for THE BATMAN: PART II recently. How soon is news coming?

JETT SAYS: Not as soon as it was going to come.  Why?  See the above Q&A.

Hope things are going well for you and your family, and congrats on your son being a college grad!  Hopefully not too late for the mailbag.

In terms of the release schedule, I know Gunn has mentioned the projects will come out when they are ready, which I find refreshing considering Marvel has release dates before a word is typed on a script.  However I am curious, when do you think the release date for the new DC Universe Batman will be, and do you think they will give Reeve’s version enough time to breathe? Personally, I’d go October 2025 for THE BATMAN: PART II, Summer 2027 for DC Batman [THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD], and Fall 2029 for Reeves. Wondering your thoughts on this, or anything you feel comfortable sharing.  Thanks for the hard work, and best of luck going forward!

JETT SAYS: Thanks for the question Bryan! And also thanks for the college grad congrats!  In spit of me, I have 3 great kids. 2 college grads, and 1 decorated U.S. Airforce vet who is now on the cusp of more public service as a fire fighter!  To your question…

There’s going to be a relatively short period of time where THE BATMAN SAGA‘s Batman and the DCU Batman will co-exist.  While I know nothing about future release dates, your schedule seems realistic and a viable option.  My only caveat to it is that I assume that Reeves will want to continue the 3-year gap between his Batman films.  With that said, Christopher Nolan went 4 years between THE DARK KNIGHT and his finale, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, so perhaps Reeves follows suit.  But yeah, I think you’re on to something.

Any hope for some nonlinear storytelling in THE BATMAN: PART II? I would love to get a flashback if the plot calls for it.

JETT SAYS: I doubt it to be honest.  With the BEFORE THE BATMAN junior novel and THE RIDDLER: YEAR ONE filling in a lot of this Bat-World’s story that we didn’t see in THE BATMAN, I just don’t see it happening.  And then there’s THE PENGUIN which is going to flesh it out even more.  With that said, I’m not Matt Reeves. If, like you said, the story calls for it, then it might happen — but I don’t think so.

JETT SAYS: We can all hope so, right!🤞😂

In all seriousness (though I was being serious 😁), not necessarily.  The Robin in the DCU THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD movie is going to be Damien, so maybe Reeves brings in Dick Grayson at some point during THE BATMAN SAGA.  But I will say that I don’t think we’ll be getting a full-on, 12-year-old, child partner Robin in any of THE BATMAN films and/or spinoffs.

You always mention that you “borderline love” MAN OF STEEL, what stops you from being fully in love with that movie?

JETT SAYS: 3 things…

Jonathan Kent’s characterization (wanting Clark to keep “Superman” hidden forever), Superman breaking Zod’s neck (they could’ve come up with a more clever way for Superman to defeat him/returning him to the Phantom Zone), and the “Battle of Metropolis” went on WAY too long and was a bit too much of a violent CGI-fest.

JETT SAYS: Yes, I do.

What DC characters are you excited to see explored in the DCU? No matter how big or small, popular or obscure.

JETT SAYS: Of what’s been announced already?  Probably Booster Gold — I’ve long been interested in seeing that character get the cool live-action treatment.  I’m also looking forward to the new Superman movie with James Gunn writing and directing it.  Other than that, I guess I’m going to be in wait-and-see mode.  Shared universes just aren’t my thing.  I’m more interested in what WB/DC Studios do with their ELSEWORLDS brand…WHICH SHOULD CONTINUE POST-JOKER 2 AND THE BATMAN: PARTS II AND III!

Do you anticipate plot details for THE BATMAN: PART II coming out before or after THE PENGUIN show? After seems more logical.

JETT SAYS: Yes.  They usually don’t release the official synopsis until about a year or so out from release anyway.  And with THE PENGUIN leading right into TB2, it’s logical, just as you said.

Have you ever seen BATMAN: THE MOVIE in the theater? It’s coming back to Austin, where it made its world premiere, at the Paramount!

JETT SAYS: I have…years ago when I was still a child.  Oh man, that’s cool — I didn’t know it was screening in the ATX!  I may try to get down there and check it out!

Is it just me, or is this the longest we have been without DC drama for quite a while?

JETT SAYS:

Ok, so DC Comics calls you up and offers you (as a free gift for all of your years of hard work) an original copy of one comic book of your choosing that DC has published in its 86-year history. The stipulation is it can’t be a character’s 1st appearance, and it can’t be the 1st issue of a series. What is your pick?

JETT SAYS: DETECTIVE COMICS #31 from September of 1939.

JETT SAYS: I’ve heard that there will be a period of overlap between THE BATMAN: PART II, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, and Reeves’ finale, THE BATMAN: PART II.  I don’t think it’s a big deal because each’s version of Batman and his world will be so much different.  Plus, I’d say even the general audience is aware that different versions of the same character can co-exist nowadays.

With the DCU Batman on the loose, do you think Matt’s Batverse will continue expanding through TV shows and movies (Arkham, Rogues Gallery spin-offs), or will the DCU Batman will be the main focus and Gunn will keep just THE PENGUIN and THE BATMAN: PART II and III?

JETT SAYS: I told THE BATMAN SAGA will consist of a trilogy of films and another MAX TV spinoff or two in addition to THE PENGUIN.  I do think it ends with TB3 and that’s OK.

JETT SAYS: I haven’t heard anything about Hush…reinvented or not.  Matt Reeves is doing an “Epic. Crime. Saga.”, so I believe that whatever characters are included in THE BATMAN SAGA will jibe with that and not simply be shoehorned in ala the 1990s.  Story — and Bruce Wayne — first, villains and supporting characters second.

Ever since the Gotham Orphanage was introduced in THE BATMAN, can we expect to see Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred Pennyworth revisit the orphanage in THE BATMAN: PART II? Maybe they will use the Gotham Orphanage as the new Wayne Manor?

JETT SAYS: Well, the orphanage was Wayne Manor originally.  Bruce’s parents donated it to the city to create an orphanage and moved the family into Wayne Tower.  I don’t think Bruce has the place refurbished and moves back in.  I think he has the Wayne Foundation take it back over and turn it into something worthwhile for Gotham.

And why would he move with that sweet Batcave setup under Wayne Tower and easy access to the city?

Do you think that THE FLASH is going to be a hit and what will be the fallout of the movie? I mean will it be some kind of “before and after” for the DCU? Will it be a game-changer in the entire genre?

JETT SAYS: Yes, I believe THE FLASH is going to be a huge hit, absolutely — no doubt about it.  I mean, MICHAEL KEATON IS BACK AS BATMAN!

And yes, there will be a “before and after” as it resets DC on film moving from the previous DCEU to the new DCU. As far as a game-changer, I’m not so sure.  Maybe in terms of ending one continuity/film universe and transitioning to another will be its legacy.

How old can we expect DCU Batman to be if Damian is in the equation?

JETT SAYS: No inside info here, but I suspect he’ll be an older, established Batman somewhere between the age of 35-45.  Besides the difference in tone, that will further separate itself from Robert Pattinson’s Batman in THE BATMAN SAGA.