The January 2024 BOF Mailbag

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Time for the first true BOF Mailbag of 2024. Let’s ride! – Bill “Jett” Ramey


An article in VARIETY (or maybe it was THR) a few weeks ago said that while The Batman was successful, it didn’t seem to really leave a mark on the culture. The thing is though, that seemed to also be the case with BATMAN BEGINS, and then THE DARK KNIGHT exploded, and not just financially. So my question is, do you think the conditions are right for THE BATMAN: PART 2 to blow up like that?

JETT SAYS: I read that article and I agree with that assessment. The point the author was making was essentially that there are only really 2 comic book superheroes that are the exceptions when it comes to superhero/comic book movie fatigue: Batman and Spider-Man. He said that while he (it was Owen Gleiberman who wrote the article in VARIETY) loved THE BATMAN it didn’t have the cultural impact that BATMAN ’89 and THE DARK KNIGHT had.  Yet, it still did very well at the box office proving that Batman films are still popular despite other comic book films (other than Spider-Man) underperforming or flat-out flopping.  Again, I agree.

If I had to predict how THE BATMAN: PART II will do at the box office, I’d say it’ll do a little better than its predecessor —  so a worldwide cume between $750M-$1B.

As far as its cultural impact, I’d predict that it will not reach the levels of BATMAN ’89, THE DARK KNIGHT, or even the Batmania surrounding the debut of the BATMAN TV series in 1966.  That sort of “happening,” if you will, is rare.  We should not make the mistake of labeling or believing that it needs to happen for a Batman movie to be considered a success.  But…you never know, right?  We’ll see what happens in 2025.

JETT SAYS: From what I’ve been told, yes. And it looks like filming will commence in the Summer-ish. We shall see for sure very soon.

Will the financial disaster of the last 5 or 6 DCEU films, as well as what appears to be a general decline in box office for comic book movies, affect budgets for DC films, including Batman solo films?

JETT SAYS: Probably…or they could make fewer comic book movies (and that goes for Disney/Marvel Studios with the MCU as well).  I think most of the problem is an oversaturation of the product, you know what I’m saying?

When it comes to Batman films — at least with THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY and THE BATMAN — their budgets were relatively “small” when compared to others in the genre due to how much both Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves relied upon practical effects.  I’m not saying that the budgets were bare bones, but generally less than, say one of THE AVENGERS movies or even THE FLASH.

JETT SAYS: I don’t know…but it SHOULD. I think quality filmmakers would likely be more willing to do a comic book/superhero film if they didn’t have to work within the constraints and creative limitations that come with a shared universe.  It’s why Christopher Nolan did THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY and how we currently have Matt Reeves working on THE BATMAN SAGA.  How dumb would it be for WB/DC Studios to turn down a great filmmaker who pitches a DC movie, but doesn’t want it part of the DCU shared universe?

Jett, here’s a fun hypothetical: WB calls you post Reeves and says we want to offer you the keys to Batman on Film (without dashes) to do with as you please. However, the catch is you MUST also run the rest of DC and give us at least some soft crossover/shared universe stuff. What do you do?!?!?

JETT SAYS: This…

Since THE BATMAN: PART II is the middle act of a trilogy (we think), and the middle acts are sometimes THE BEST in the trilogy, what is your excitement level for PART II? THE DARK KNIGHT, THE GODFATHER PART II, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, etc., are just a few that jump to mind.

JETT SAYS: On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 10,000.

Sal Maroni was mentioned in THE BATMAN. Do you think we can see him before THE BATMAN SAGA is done? I got the impression he was in prison, not dead.

JETT SAYS: Bro, you gotta read BOF. He’s in THE PENGUIN played by Clancy Brown!

Dude why not write a movie script with a crossover between 70’s Batman and Elvis investigating a political crime authorized by President Nixon?!

JETT SAYS: 

Do you think THE PENGUIN series will have a TV-MA rating considering it will stream on MAX? Could we expect a bit more gratuitous violence than THE BATMAN?

JETT SAYS: I think it’ll be right on par with THE BATMAN when it comes to that stuff.

The Batman, John Wick movies and the Mission: Impossible movies are known to use a lot of practical effects and actual locations, does this show that we will see the Marvel movies and the DC movies going back to the basics of filmmaking by using practical effects and actual locations going forward?

JETT SAYS: Not my area of expertise, but with Batman films, they certainly tend to lend themselves to having a lot of practical effects as opposed to lots of greenscreen/CGI.

Thoughts on Mark Strong as Dr. Crane in THE PENGUIN? It was allegedly leaked on YouTube for a while now.

JETT SAYS: I’ve heard nothing of that sort other than Mark Strong is in the IMBD listing for THE PENGUIN as…Carmine Falcone?  Not sure what that means because Carmine died in THE BATMAN.  Perhaps it’s another role they are trying to keep secret.

Do you think Matt Reeves would potentially include other grounded DC heroes like Green Arrow or Huntress?

JETT SAYS: Nope.

Do you think THE BATMAN: PART II will be moved to 2026?

JETT SAYS: If it was going to be moved, I believe it would’ve already happened. I think it stays where it’s currently at…unless it doesn’t!