The January 2019 BOF Mailbag #1

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Hello BOF’ers, Happy New Year and all that stuff!

It’s now 2019, so we’re 1 year closer to the next live-action Batman movie!

Of course, aren’t we always getting closer to the next Batman movie regardless of when it comes out?  ANYWAY

As promised, I answered yall’s questions that were originally intended for episode #37 of the BOF vlog.  Check out that vlog and you’ll find the mailbag right after! – Bill “Jett” Ramey

 

How surprised are you about the box office success of AQUAMAN?

JETT SAYS: Very, I’m not going to lie.  It’s going to do a billion+ dollars worldwide and I never would’ve predicted that.  I was figuring something in the $700 million — a little less than WONDER WOMAN.

Look, I was lukewarm on this movie the first time I saw it at a press screening.  But, I ended up seeing it 3 more times and ended up really, Really, REALLY digging it.  I still like MAN OF STEEL, and of course, the awesome WONDER WOMAN a little more, but this is a movie I’ll now include in my DC on film home-watching rotation.

However, the domestic box office is far from a juggernaut. It’s going to end up right where I figured it would at around $300 million-ish and possibly less (adjusted for ticket price inflation, because I compare apples to apples) than every “DCEU” (ugh!) movie except JUSTICE LEAGUE.  Check this out from BOX OFFICE MOJO

Also, it’s not going to do anything close (again, adjusted for ticket price inflation) to several other DC movies in general — especially those about a dude who dresses like a bat and fights crime…

I find it fascinating how this movie did so well overseas — especially in China — and just really damn good domestically.  What was it about this movie that made foreign audiences eat it up?  Would it have done better domestically if it wasn’t tied to BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, please.

With the success of AQUAMAN — and even the success of WONDER WOMAN — do you think it will give WB the confidence to go full steam ahead with THE FLASH since it’s now proven that these iterations of the characters aren’t tainted because of JUSTICE LEAGUE and that audiences will show up if you make quality films? I ask because what is supposed to go into production next after BIRDS OF PREY?

JETT SAYS: Great question.

The success of AQUAMAN certainly doesn’t hurt the chances for a Flash film in the near future at all.  In fact, it probably helps not only The Flash, but getting other DC characters on the big screen.

With that said, I’m still leery that a Flash film will ultimately happen.  I personally want one, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  But if when do get one, then do it just like James Wan did with AQUAMAN: make it a standalone film.

Are there any hints or indications about when WB might make an official lead actor casting announcement for THE BATMAN, or are we totally in the dark for now?

JETT SAYS: If THE BATMAN begins filming at the end of this year or early in 2020, then we’ll likely get word sometime in the Summer or early Fall.  But yeah, we’re totally in the dark until then.

Does AQUAMAN’s success save the pre-established continuity and increases the chance of (loose) connectivity among films, or does it kill it once and for all?

JETT SAYS: They are simply ignoring pre-established continuity when needed (you saw it in AQUAMAN) and will focus on solo, standalone DC movies.  AQUAMAN is a great example of not only what they are doing going forward, but the model of how to make these DC movies.  Essentially Mauricio, it’s a soft-reboot dude as I have been saying.

Are there any distant plans for another Superman film, with or (most likely) without Cavill?  WB really needs to play up the wholesomeness/good guy/family friendly aspect of this character. Maybe if SHAZAM! is a success.

JETT SAYS: Yes, there will be another Superman film…someday.  I don’t think there are any plans at all for one — soon or distant — at the moment.

Personally, I want one and I’d love for Henry Cavill to finally get a proper SUPERMAN sequel to MAN OF STEEL.

1) Does AQUAMAN’s success/momentum in December increase the possibility that we’ll see more DC movies aiming for holiday releases?

2) How do you think they’ll market JOKER differently than other comic book movies? Any idea what the alternate label will be called, or if they’ve even named it yet? “Black Label” works for the comics, but it might pigeon-hole future one-off movies as having to be dark and adult-oriented only (unless that’s what they want).

JETT SAYS: Here goes…

1) I think they’ll release DC films during the Holiday regardless of what AQUAMAN did.  It’s a good movie season…just put Batman back in the Summer where he belongs!

2) Yes, I think they will market it differently as it’s not a popcorn/tentpole “comic book movie.”  How they do it, I’m not sure.  Clearly, it’s going to be R-rated, so that should play into the equation.  Market it like you would any R-rated, weird, disturbing, small-scale crime drama, I suppose.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing JOKER.  I’ve long said that it’s going to be nothing like we’ve ever seen in a “comic book movie.”  Will I like it?  I have no idea — but I champion WB for taking a risk with such a project.

Do you think Reeves is going to use IMAX cameras while filming THE BATMAN or was that a Nolan thing?

JETT SAYS: Well, it’s definitely a Nolan thing.  Maybe, I guess.  However, I don’t recall him using IMAX cameras for any of his other films.

Jett, do you think that AQUAMAN being a popcorn, fun, action film and having the success that it had, will influence Warner Bros. when it comes to the direction and tone of the next Batman movie?

JETT SAYS: Another great question. In fact, all of them have been damn good.  ANYWAY

My answer is simple: IT BETTER NOT. (I used the red font color to show that such a thing would fire me up, FYI.)

As I said when discussing AQUAMAN here on BOF, not every comic book film needs to be THE DARK KNIGHT, and in turn, a Batman film doesn’t need to be AQUAMAN.

With all that said, they hired Matt Reeves and gave him a lot of (if not all) creative control.  Thus, they’ll let the man make the movie he wants to make.

If WB comes in and says: “Say Matt, AQUAMAN is going to make a billion dollars, so could you popcorn-up your Batman script just a tad and make it sorta fun?  That’s what the kids are all dancing to nowadays, you know. Thanks!”

Matt Reeves should say: “Peace the F OUT!”

Bill, what odds or percentage to you put on Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN starting to film this November as rumored?

JETT SAYS: Let’s give it a bigger window that November of 2019, shall we?  Let’s say a four-month window from November 2019 through February of 2020, OK?  I’ll say there’s a 62.3% chance that filming starts during that timeframe…give or take a month or two…fingers crossed.

Hey Bill and Rick!  What is your favorite non-DC Comics superhero?

JETT SAYS: I can’t speak for Rick, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same as mine: Spider-Man.

I became a Spider-Man fan when I was a kid watching reruns of the original Spider-Man animated series (“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can!”).

In fact (and don’t tell anyone please, this is between me and you), Spider-Man just might rival Superman as my 2nd favorite comic book/superhero character PERIOD.

I was also a HUGE fan of The Incredible Hulk as a youngster as well — LOVED the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno TV series back in the late 70s, FYI.

The only Marvel comic books I own and ever did were Spider-Man and The Hulk.  OK, I had a few WEREWOLF BY NIGHT ones too.

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A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey is the founder of BATMAN ON FILM. His passions include Dallas Cowboys football (fan since birth/season ticket holder since 2000), Elvis Presley, Rock music, cold beer, dive bars, the city of Austin, his summer house in Minnesota, the University of Texas Longhorns and...THE BATMAN (fan for 50+ years)! He resides in the great state of Texas with his lovely wife ("Announcer Rachel"), his youngest son, and 1.5 Boston Terriers.