Whew! Got this one in by the skin of my teeth!
Welcome to the April 2018 edition of the BOF mailbag and thanks for all of your last minute questions!
By the way, after a 30 year career in football coaching and education, I’ve RETIRED! Well, I’ve signed all my paperwork and will finish out this school year. But come June 2, 2018 — which is, ironically, the exact date I started BOF 20 years prior — It’s full time BOF from now own y’all!
Now, let’s get on with the mailbag…
#BatmanOnFilmMailbag You may have already addressed this, but who are your top choices/preferences for villain/villains of Matt Reeves’ Batman film?
— Daniel Kisala (@DanielKisala) April 30, 2018
JETT SAYS: Hmm…
I’d like to see a new take on The Penguin…Gotham mob boss, Iceberg Lounge, all of that stuff. I’d also be interested in Matt Reeves’ take on The Riddler. I’ve long said I’d like to see Hugo Strange in a Batman film. Hell, give me an obscure Batman villain like, say, Crazy Quilt (*wink*), and make it cool and interesting. And yes, I think Deathstroke would be a cool villain for a Batman movie; BUT, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case (and it won’t) now as Reeves’ totally started over from scratch.
With all that said, there’s the bottom line for me in regards to this question: Just focus on telling a good story first and foremost, and the villain(s) will take care of itself naturally.
Do you think there will every come a day when the DCEU — or what ever it is called — will have a movie as compelling as INFINITY WAR?
JETT SAYS: We’ve already had DC films as, and more, compelling that INFINITY WAR. THE DARK KNIGHT is a prime example. More recently, there’s WONDER WOMAN which was great. And while it hasn’t been all that good for DC on film overall since 2012, I’m still confident that DC on film will get back on track in the very near future. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully.
If you could cast a Batman movie pulling actors from any generation, who would you pick?
JETT SAYS: Oh man, I don’t know! Great question, but I’m going to have to think about this. Good op-ed piece topic for sure, but off the top of my head, give me Tyrone Power as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
I don’t like when Batman/Bruce Wayne is portrayed as psychotic. What’s your stance on this?
JETT SAYS: My stance on this is that I do not like it either sir. Bruce Wayne IS NOT a psycho, and Batman IS a hero.
Any insight on Reeves/WB’s thoughts on CGI villain(s) for The Batman? On one hand there’s the baggage of Doomsday/Ares/Steppenwolf, on the other there’s Reeves connection to Weta and their fantastic work on Apes and Thanos in Infinity War.#BatmanOnFilmMailbag
— Ryan Helms (@RHelms70) April 30, 2018
JETT SAYS: I’m not a fan of CGI villains…especially when they look terrible like Doomsday and Steppenwolf. Really, unless you’re using Clayface (I’m a definitely NO on that…unless you go with the original Basil Karlo actor/master-of-disguise version), why would you need to use CGI to create a Batman villain? Just give me an actor in makeup and let him do his thing. (And yes, I know that CGI was used in THE DARK KNIGHT to bring Aaron Eckhart’s Two Face to life. But, Two Face in TDK was NOT a “CGI Villain.”)
What’s your favorite episode of THE BATMAN?
JETT SAYS: There’s an episode from season four titled “Artifacts” that I quite liked. Overall, THE BATMAN was OK. The first two seasons are the best of the series of the five. I also enjoyed the animated film THE BATMAN VS. DRACULA.
@BATMANONFILM Did Zac Levi audition for MoS ? #BatmanOnFilmMailbag
— Apostolos Kyriazis (@Tolismann) April 30, 2018
JETT SAYS: I remember hearing about Levi and Superman at some point. However, I can not say for sure that he auditioned for the part. Maybe he met with the studio/director/producers at some point. Regardless, he didn’t get the part. Of course, he would go on to be cast as a character that many believed to be a Superman ripoff, Captain Marvel (now called simply Shazam), in the upcoming film, SHAZAM!
Is it feasible to be a director driven studio and have a shared universe? Seems like a cake and eat it too situation. #BatmanOnFilmMailbag
— Paul Miller (@BattyForDaddy) August 28, 2017
JETT SAYS: Personally, I don’t think so. I believe that in order to have a cohesive and ultimately successful shared cinematic universe, it has to be producer-driven. It’s much more like a television production than a film to be honest. This is why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been so successful under Kevin Feige.
Film is a director’s medium. When a big story is being told overall and includes many different movies to tell it, you got to adhere to certain guidelines and restrictions to allow for continuity, that it can limit creativity. It’s the studio and producer, not the filmmaker, that’s creatively in charge — and frankly, they should be.
Of course, Warner Bros. tried to create a director-driven, shared film universe based on DC Comics characters, but they failed…miserably.
As they course-correct in the wake of the BATMAN v SUPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE misfires, they’ve continued to say that they are going to stay the course when it comes to being director-driven when it comes to DC on film. This tells me (and WB has pretty much said as much) that DC on film at Warner Bros. is going have their “Feige” and their DC cinematic universe is going to be shared in name only.
Look, maybe it can be done, but I doubt it. I just think too hard to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to a shared cinematic superhero universe.
When someone asked Matt Reeves what his favorite Batman comics are he mentioned YEAR ONE, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, DARK VICTORY, and EGO by name. What’s your favorite from that list?
JETT SAYS: They’re all great. However if I’m having to pick one from this specific group, it’s YEAR ONE as it just might be my all-time favorite (though Sean Murphy’s WHITE KNIGHT is moving up my list rapidly).
As I was revisiting THE DARK KNIGHT MANUAL recently I found this interesting bit of info regarding Batman’s possible timeline. It states that “after 5 years as Batman my original suit had taken some blows, and range of motion had become an issue. An updated suit enabled much more freedom.”
I’ve always felt that There was a larger time gap in between BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT and this book clarifies that to a degree. What are your thoughts, sir?
JETT SAYS: Possibly. I agree with you (and I did read that in the book your referenced) that it’s possible that there was more time between the end of BATMAN BEGINS and the, um, beginning of THE DARK KNIGHT than a year-ish that’s generally acknowledged and accepted.
If we do the math, Bruce Wayne turns 30 during BEGINS, and is in his early 40s in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. We also know that eight years passed between the death of Harvey Dent — “the last known appearance of The Batman” — and when he “returns” in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Thus, we’ve got about two to five years in Bruce Wayne’s life — which could’ve included Batmanning — that are not accounted for.
The bottom line is that anyone can can interpret all of this any way they want. If the RISES haters want to use the “Batman doesn’t quit/An 18 month Batman sucks!” argument, they can. On the other hand, if someone wants to think that Bruce continued on being Batman for a few years after TDK ended, they can, and BOTH will be right…
EXCEPT for the misguided RISES haters who are empirically WRONG. – Bill “Jett” Ramey