The March 2024 BOF Mailbag


Happy Spring (well, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), St. Patrick’s Day, and Spring Break 2024!  And welcome to the March 2024 edition of the world-renowned BOF Mailbag! No time to waste, let’s get to the questions. – Bill “Jett” Ramey

Is it possible that the Internet has made us all so miserable that we can’t get as excited as we should anymore? Between the JOKER films and Reeves’ Saga, Batman on film is experiencing arguably its most successful run ever (and I mean run, not a single hit like BATMAN ’89), with the possible exception of THE DARK KNIGHT through THE DARK KNIGHT RISES — and even that only lasted 4 years — yet we bicker at each other on account of a movie being announced or a perceived “formula” carrying on. I get that some people prefer solo and grounded and others the shared universe and fantastical. But is it possible that individuals used to be more willing to give something a chance even if it wasn’t their particular taste, like back in ’95 with BATMAN FOREVER?

JETT SAYS: Good question…and one I don’t know if I have an answer for.

The internet is great, but it’s also maddening AF.  I mean, social media can be a cesspool full of bullshit, and “internet tough guys/trolls/losers” certainly can make it, well, not fun (I’ve blocked and muted enough on my accounts that they’ve become somewhat tolerable).  So yeah, I’m sure that all of that has affected peoples’ enjoyment of these films, especially Batman and superheroes.

I think it boils down to that we’ve had this sort of nonsense since it was announced that Michael Keaton had been cast as Batman back in 1998.  A segment of fans flipped their lids, but there was no internet or social media to give them a platform to bitch about it.  So they did it the old-school way and wrote letters to DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures.  Thus, we didn’t have the endless debates and borderline antisocial behavior on social media and fansites as we have nowadays.

At the end of the day, fans of whatever they are fans of are going to have strong/irrational opinions about their fandom.  If it’s not what they want or think it should be, then it sucks and they’ll raise hell or start hashtag movements.  It’s just LOUDER today because of the internet which provides the stage and microphone.

Considering his standout appearance in THE BATMAN and the upcoming Max series THE PENGUIN, do you see The Penguin playing a secondary villain role throughout the rest of the SAGA?

JETT SAYS: I believe that Selina, Nashton, The Joker, and Oz will all play important roles throughout THE BATMAN SAGA.  So I wouldn’t say that The Penguin is necessarily a “secondary” villain.

JETT SAYS: Absolutely.  WBD wants to be in the DC/Batman business with Matt Reeves and frankly, they need him more than he needs them. So I’m not worried about WBD or Gunn and co. doing anything to run off Reeves.

I’m a fan of James Gunn, but I’m not a fan of this new DCU shared universe thing.  I have no issue with Gunn being in charge (along with Peter Safran), but I’m of the opinion that they’d be better off simply making the best possible DC movies and not trying — AGAIN — to have it all connect.  Basically do what they are doing with THE BATMAN SAGA with DC on film.

JETT SAYS: No. I think the move was due to allowing Reeves and Mattson Tomlin the time needed to finish and refine the script (they did not work on it during the strikes), as well as having studio space available for filming.  Reeves and Gunn long ago hashed out what each planned to do with Batman so that they wouldn’t step on each other’s toes, so that didn’t play a role in the release date move.

Since the Bat-Family thing didn’t work in BATMAN & ROBIN, and the “DCEU” fizzled spectacularly, what makes anyone think that it will work in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD? Are fans of this new connected universe forgetting that not everything works well from COMIC page to screen, least of all, a 30+-year-old, dark, and mysterious vigilante running around with children? How many times must it be proven that solo Batman in a serious setting, without any connected universe, is what sells in live-action?

JETT SAYS: I don’t think BATMAN & ROBIN didn’t work because of Robin and Batgirl in it, but it also didn’t help.  When it comes to the new DCU and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, I assume that James Gunn — a big comic book fan — wants these films to be very, well, “comic booky,” if you will.  Thus, the DCU Batman will come with the Batman Family.  It remains to be seen if it will work, though I am skeptical.

As David Goyer once said, Robin (and Bat-sidekicks) are tricky — especially when you are trying to make a grounded and serious Batman film.  I do not think that Robin can be portrayed as being a 12 or 13-year-old; he’s got to be 16 or 17.  Honestly, I do believe that BATMAN FOREVER did “Robin” pretty well.  Dick Grayson — as portrayed by Chris O’Donnell — was supposed to be 17 and it worked. (I ignore the people who say Robin was 25 in BF; O’Donnell was in his 20s, yes, but his character in the movie was 17. No different than any of the actors who have played Spider-Man.)  I also believe that Christopher Nolan and co. did “Robin” well in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and that version of the character — played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt — absolutely worked in context to the world of THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY.

To me, when you start adding additional sidekicks/partners for Batman the door is opened for it to come off silly and/or not to be taken seriously…especially of the sidekicks/partners are children.

Is there any hope of quality Batman films after the Reeves SAGA?

JETT SAYS: I am quite sure that there will be more quality film adaptations of Batman after Reeves is done with THE BATMAN SAGA.  Whether that includes THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and other movies featuring the DCU Batman, remains to be seen.

You said that we are going to see all those DCU projects getting delayed. Considering the abysmal results WBD had last year with the closing of the DCEU, any chance they are quietly pivoting away from the shared universe and turning each project into its own separate thing?

JETT SAYS: I said that DC Studios/WBD have already adjusted the projects listed in the big “Gods and Monsters” announcement.  I also said that shouldn’t come as a surprise and I wouldn’t be shocked if some of those projects didn’t come to fruition.

With that said, no, they are going full steam ahead with this new DCU shared universe come hell or high water.  Maybe it’s a success, but I don’t see it for many reasons I have already mentioned ad nauseam here on BOF, BOF podcasts, and BOF social media.

JETT SAYS: I haven’t seen DUNE 2, but I’ve seen ELVIS, many times, and I know people are raving about his performance in the former.  I think he’d make a great Harvey Dent, so yeah, I’m on board the cast Austin Butler in THE BATMAN: PART II train. TCB⚡.

JETT SAYS: I have no idea, I’m just a fan.  I’ll leave it up to the creatives — Matt Reeves and Matson Tomlin — to create…and figure that out. Maybe Bludhaven just sucks more than Gotham?

IF a Batman live-action series were created, would you A) Prefer Bruce is already Batman at the beginning of the pilot? B) A big reveal at the end of the pilot?

JETT SAYS: I’m not a big proponent of a live-action Batman TV series.  I prefer film when it comes to live-action Batman.  But I’d say if HBO or MAX did a limited prestige Batman series of say, 6 to 8 episodes, choice A, for sure.  I’d do it in TRUE DETECTIVE style as well.

I say THE BATMAN: PART II held off ’til 2026 means no PART III.  Your thoughts?

JETT SAYS: I am told there will be 3 films and perhaps another MAX series in THE BATMAN SAGA.  Everyone I know who would know is steadfast that Reeves had a trilogy planned and it will be finished with THE BATMAN: PART III.

Even though you want another attempt at a shared DC Universe, want Batman hanging out with Green Lantern and Superman, and want corporate WB dictating the stories instead of hiring a director with a good vision of a single story character; I really like your website. Keep up the good work!!!

JETT SAYS: Thanks! 😂🤣😅

Which theme do you consider Batman’s theme in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY? It’s not like the Burton or Reeves movies (for example) where you can identify a single theme.

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure the exact name of the music, but the theme you hear at the end of each movie when we see the title of the 3 films and the credits start rolling.

You can ONLY pick ONE Batman item from your collection. What would it be and why?

JETT SAYS: That’s easy, this…

Why?  Because it validates the respect that the filmmaker of THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY had for me and BOF.  That’s pretty cool, right?

JETT SAYS: Well, I suspect that Oz/”The Penguin” will emerge as the winner of the Battle For Gotham’s Underworld, so perhaps Sofia doesn’t make it out alive. But that’s just me doing fan fiction. We’ll see soon enough once THE PENGUIN drops later this year.

When can we expect to get an update on Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham getting a trade paperback release?

JETT SAYS: November 12th. It’s already available for pre-order on Amazon. Ordered mine a couple of weeks ago.

Do you consider James Gunn a better filmmaker than Zack Snyder?