The February 2024 BOF Mailbag

123

Hello BOF’ers and welcome to the February 2024 edition of the BOF Mailbag!

LOTS of questions about THE BATMAN: PART II and I’ll get to most of them. When it comes to that film all I’ll say is R-E-L-A-X.

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

What do you think DC will do in the next few years before some of its key characters become public domain? Is there anything they can do to safeguard their properties?

JETT SAYS: It’s much to do about nothing.  No major studio or legit filmmaker is going to make some knockoff Batman or Superman movies because that’s exactly how they’d be perceived: cheap knockoffs.  What will happen is that someone will make some goofy and terrible-looking indie films like the recent BLOOD AND HONEY crap featuring Winnie the Poo characters.  Don’t sweat it at all.

Why do you think the 70s and early 80s Batman (from Dennis O’Neil until Frank Miller, let’s say) is so overlooked? Sure there’s DNA ingrained in every major depiction since, but I feel like The Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke etc. get much more attention and I’m not sure it’s deserving at this point. How awesome would it be to have a current generation Batman 70s video game, for example?

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure how that era of Batman comics is overlooked by Batman fans and historians.  You’re right, the DNA of that era is part of damn near everything Batman to this day. I’d also say that no Batman comic book stories crossed over into the mainstream until the mid-1980s with THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, so that may play a role in earlier eras being “ignored.”

Your thoughts on the upcoming Marvel Vs. DC up-and-coming reissues. And the possibility of a possible Marvel Studios vs. DC movie brawl sometime down the line now that superhero fatigue seems to be kicking both studios’ collective asses.

JETT SAYS: Though I read a lot of those crossovers as a kid back in the 70s as well as some of that stuff in the early 90s, it’s really not my thing. So, I’m not interested.

As far as a DC/Marvel live-action film crossover, I’ll never say never, but I highly doubt it.  Too many rights issues are involved and money would definitely be an issue.

JETT SAYS: Well, James Gunn has already said here recently that the original plan for “God and Monsters” has changed since it was announced. So yeah, I think there absolutely will be projects that have been announced that will be altered, moved, or outright canceled/never come to fruition. Here’s an idea: Don’t announce anything until there’s a script, and director and the project is ready to move forward.

Here’s one for fun: Post-THE FLASH, would you put $20 down that none of the previous actors to portray Batman/Bruce in live-action will return to the role, even in a supporting role level?

JETT SAYS: Yes. I do not think any of the previous Batman actors will ever return to the role (not counting Robert Pattinson, of course). That ship sailed with THE FLASH and the new direction of DC on film at Warner Bros.

JETT SAYS: Lots of folks with essentially the same question. Here goes…

Matt Reeves and Mattson Tomlin are finishing up the script…and may even be done with it.  It has become clear that the WGA/SAG strikes affected the scripting process and early pre-production of THE BATMAN: PART II.  As I write this, it looks like filming will commence sometime in the latter part of Summer which gives them plenty of time to meet the October 3, 2025 release date.

So, there is 0% chance that either a BATMAN BEYOND feature or animated movie in the future won’t happen. Not counting the CRISES ON INFINITE EARTHS animated movies.

JETT SAYS: Well, they canceled the live-action project that was going to feature Michael Keaton and it doesn’t seem like they are interested in doing this new animated feature, so it sure looks like it.

In today’s current climate with superheroes, how do you think an audience will actually receive a very young Robin?

JETT SAYS: A 12 or 13-year-old kid fighting crime next to Batman has a very strong chance to look silly AF. As David Goyer said, when it comes to live-action Batman that’s meant to be taken seriously, including Robin is “tricky.”  Yet, Goyer, Jonathan Nolan, and Christopher Nolan knew that having a “Robin” in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY was important, so they included their version of the character THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

And I concur with those guys…and I’m sure Matt Reeves does as well.  SO…

I’m confident in saying we’ll get some form of “Robin” in THE BATMAN SAGA…but I don’t think it’ll be a pre-teen in an orange tunic, black domino mask, and green pixie boots.

Let’s face it! The current Batman comics (the mainline books at least, not counting the awesome BLACK LABEL stuff) seem to be in a bit of a lull and have been for quite some time now from a writing/editorial standpoint. With the ever-evolving way that the world consumes comic book content, how do you think Batman comics survive this latest slump compared to eras where sales were in trouble ala the 40’s/50’s/late 60’s/mid 90’s onwards/New 52, etc?

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure, actually.  I’m afraid that comic books are a dying medium and some big changes need to be made for DC Comics to survive.  There are too many damn titles coming out each month and it’s maddening.  I haven’t read DETECTIVE COMICS in a LONG time.  I still read BATMAN, but I haven’t enjoyed it in quite a while.  I love the BLACK LABEL stuff and that’s bascially what I stick to reading.  If it were up to me, I’d cut the number of titles across the board at DC.  With Batman, perhaps only have the legacy titles and the BLACK LABEL stuff.

JETT SAYS: Let’s just call it a mutual parting of the ways. She had a lot going on in her personal life back in those days if you remember.

What has been your favorite BLACK LABEL Batman story so far?

JETT SAYS: Oh man, that’s a tough one! BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT was my first thought and I’m going with that one!

With DCU Batman, I believe the idea is that it won’t be grounded like THE BATMAN… so if it’s not that grounded which story adaptation would you like to see in the DCU a Batman? My mind immediately thinks of the ARKHAM games take on The Dark Knight.

JETT SAYS: I think THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD is going to be a bit lighter than the ARKHAM video games, but I get what you’re saying there.  Honestly, I don’t really care because I’m pretty much not interested in the fantastical/less grounded Batman and Batman world.  It appears as if it’s going to be influenced quite a bit by Grant Morrison’s stuff when he was the writer of BATMAN as well as BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN, INC.

Why do Americans in social media call Pattinson “Patterson”? Is it a common last name there? And a serious question, any truth about Kheogan returning in THE BATMAN: PART II? Would you like him to be the main antagonist?

JETT SAYS: I’ve really never heard or read RP’s last name pronounced or written as “Patterson”…at least not in the press. On social media? People are ignorant, I suppose!

As far as Barry Keoghan’s Joker returning for PART II, I’ve said many times I think Keoghan, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Collin Farrell’s Bat-characters will be seen throughout THE BATMAN SAGA.  I don’t think The Joker will be the “main villain” though.

Why aren’t you hopeful for Gunn’s SUPERMAN movie?

JETT SAYS: “Hopeful” isn’t the word or phrase to describe how I feel about SUPERMAN: LEGACY. That would be “disinterested” and “not optimistic.”  Why?  Well…

I am not a fan of all these non-Superman DC characters being in the film. And let’s be real, OK? They are only in the movie to help set up the shared universe and to spin them off into other DCU projects.

LEGACY is the 3rd try at a solo Batman film series since 2006 and none of the previous endeavors did well. Why would this be different?

Finally, the genre isn’t dying, but it sure as hell isn’t as popular as it was in a few short years ago.  Superhero movie fatigue is real and the only two characters are safe from it: Spider-Man and Batman. Kinda 15+ years and billions of dollars short on getting into the comic book/superhero shared film universe thing…especially when you’ve already tried it once and failed spectacularly.  How ’bout simply making a pure Superman movie and then seeing how that goes?

With all that said, I want it to do well…but I’m just not optimistic.

I’ve heard rumors about Warner being sold or merging with Universal and some properties being acquired like DC by Disney.  Do you think that the situation is that bad and is there truth in these rumors?

JETT SAYS: Where there’s smoke there’s fire.  I’m sure the situation is “bad”, but people way more in the know than me believe that selling Warner Bros. is the endgame for the Discovery folks.

Frankly, I wish that WBD would sell DC Comics — just DC Comics, and not the film, TV, and merchandising rights — to someone who gives a damn.

As far as selling the film rights to DC characters to another company, that would be dumb AF! If they’re selling Warner Media and all that entails to, say, a Universal, the DC IP would be one of the main, if not THE, reasons another company would want to acquire it.  BUT…

Wouldn’t it be on hell of a MF’er if F’n Disney bought that whole GD thing? LMAO!