The January 2019 BOF Mailbag #2 by Bill “Jett” Ramey


JETT SAYS: I’m not sure, but I’d welcome it!

The “problem” — which is a good one to have — with creating a new villain is that Batman has the greatest rogues gallery of any comic book character in history.  Directors like to put their own spin on these villains and I totally understand why.  Sometimes, they make the character better (Bane in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES for example).

But as I said, I’d love it if a filmmaker came up with an original villain that didn’t come from the comics.  (FYI: Phantasm was based on the Batman villain The Reaper.)

OK, I’m starting to get excited for Reeves’ [Batman] movie from your hints!! So my question is, do you think we will get either a backstory or some kind of flashback on how Batman becomes the “Worlds Greatest Detective” It’s this aspect of Batman that is fascinating and overlooked in much of the movies.

JETT SAYS: What hints? This?

I just really like this move, that’s all. ANYWAY…

I think including a backstory via flashback would make Reeves’ film a kinda-sorta origin story, and we know that his film isn’t one.  I could be wrong, but I think he’ll just be a great detective in the movie.

In regards to that aspect of Batman not being shown much in the films, I could show several examples of Batman doing “detective work” in just about all of them, especially in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY.

Do you think Matt Reeves’ Batman film could just drop right in on a sprawling already fleshed out Gotham City with an in his prime or close to it Batman? No flashbacks, no origin, just an “I expect the general audience to know his backstory, let’s just dive in the tale?” Perhaps like the ARKHAM games?

JETT SAYS: Absolutely and I believe that’s what’s going to happen.  However, since this Batman is younger (apparently between 20 and 30 years old), there’s still a lot of room for growth.  Hopefully, we’ll see that in subsequent Reeves Batman movies.  But yeah, I expect we’ll get a Bruce Wayne that has been Batman for a little while and his universe is fairly established.

Are you buying into the Josh Gad Penguin rumors? Or is he just teasing us on Twitter?

JETT SAYS: I think he’s trying to pull off an epic troll and is obviously succeeding if we’re talking about it. If Josh Gad has been cast as The Penguin in Reeves’ film, he wouldn’t be saying anything.

Jett, when are you and the guys going to get around to doing that BOF cooking podcast?  I’ve seen you talk about it on Twitter, and I think it’s an awesome idea!

JETT SAYS: Dude, I wasn’t kidding when I’ve said we’re going to do a podcast about cooking on the BOF podcast.  I’m for real.  It’ll be me, Pete Verra, Eric Holzmann, and maybe Rick Shew who sucks.  I just don’t know if I want to give away the recipe to my world’s famous gumbo.  Stay tuned!

Loving the sci-fi vibe of the recent DETECTIVE COMICS run by James Tynion. Given that Reeves’ Batman is taking a more noir-driven route, do you think that stuff like BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN or BATMAN: ETERNAL could find a way to the silver screen?

JETT SAYS: I’d love to see Hugo Strange and his Monster Men in a live-action film!  And with cloning, DNA and all that stuff, it wouldn’t too far-fetched to create “monster men.”

I believe that solo, standalone live-action Batman films will always be relatively “realistic.”  Probably not as much as THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY‘s “hyper-realism,” but in the ballpark.

With that said, I think there’s room to push the sci-fi and fantastical elements of Batman a bit — as long as you don’t stray too far from Batman being “grounded.”

Are there any secrets you know about what Warner’s plans are that you feel you can’t share? If so, it’s alright, tell us.

JETT SAYS: I know nothing.

JETT SAYS: Just guessing, it looks to me as if Reeves’ is going for a combination of the noir of YEAR ONE (which it is not an adaptation of ) and the “Dark Knight Detective” of the 1970s.

Hey Jett, Dom here from New Jersey. Do you think Burton and Keaton will ever come back for another Batman? Have you ever thought if WB ever thought about that idea? Wouldn’t be awesome to see them do a storyline similar to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, where old Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement as Batman to face off this new threat that arrives in Gotham. And if so do you think it’s a good idea? And would bring a lot of money at the box office?

JETT SAYS: 1) I do not.

2) I’m sure that they have.

3) We say that in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, but I get what you’re saying.

4) I think a one-off Batman film with Keaton returning as Batman with Burton directing would be cool and I would support it.  The problem is that Keaton is too old for THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and too young for BATMAN BEYOND (which WB would probably want as a series, not a one-off).

5) Quite possibly.

JETT SAYS: I’ve never heard Chris O’ Donnell say anything really bad about the two Batman films he made.  I do know that he kept one of the Robin suits!

Hey, Jett! Can’t remember if you’ve talked about this, but what are your thoughts on the BATMAN: EARTH ONE graphic novels?

JETT SAYS: I like them — especially vol. 1.  I hope we get the third edition.

Is this ELSEWORLDS movie division really a thing? I don’t get the sense that JOKER will be marketed any different or branded any different.

JETT SAYS: I believe they’ve yet given it a different banner, but they said they were.  I don’t think it was ever going to be called “Elseworlds” either.  Of course, they’ve never officially given a name for their “DC proper” films like AQUAMAN and WONDER WOMAN 1984.  The “DCEU” was simply something made up by a journalist for the hell of it.

Since Warner is now less-focused on a shared movie universe and will focus on solo films, it might not even matter if it’s a DC movie like AQUAMAN or a one-off like JOKER.

Hi Jett, I have a question that I am very curious to hear from you. Ever since SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and MAN OF STEEL came out, why it’s still so hard for Warner Bros and DC comics to do another Superman movie? Would like to hear your thoughts.

JETT SAYS: I think what you’re asking is why is Warner Bros. seemingly having a hard time getting a successful Superman movie on the big nowadays, and that is a good and interesting question.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was a huge hit (I was 13 when it came out and got to experience it firsthand) as was its sequel, SUPERMAN II.

However, none of the other Superman films — SIII, SIV SUPERMAN RETURNS, and MAN OF STEEL — hit the sweet spot and were successful both critically and at the box office.  (For the record, I like SUPERMAN RETURNS and I borderline love MAN OF STEEL, but that’s neither here nor there.)

So, what’s it going to take for us to get a Superman film that does hit that aforementioned sweet spot?

Honestly, I’m not sure.

I’d hate to think this is true because I love Superman (he’s my second favorite DC character): What if Superman just doesn’t resonate with today’s audiences?  That’s what I worry about.

With that said, there will be another cinematic take on Superman and thus, another Superman film(s).  Maybe the right filmmaker will come along who has the perfect take on the character, hits that sweet spot, and knocks it out of the park for the first time in 40-ish years.

Hi Bill! From your comments Thursday, it sounds like you have some knowledge about the Matt Reeves Batman movie. I  know you can’t talk about it, but can you say you have an idea of what’s going on?

JETT SAYS:  I know nothing.

Bill, of all the Batman graphic novels, which one would you want to see turned into a movie?

JETT SAYS: I don’t know if it counts as a “Batman” graphic novel, but I’d love to see a mo-cap/CGI-animated theatrically-released version of KINGDOM COME.  I absolutely LOVE that story.

That surprises y’all, doesn’t it?

I can just imagine how cool an almost photo-realistic depiction of Alex Ross’ art would look on the big screen!

If you’re a longtime reader of BOF, you know I’ve lobbied for Warner Bros. to do this — or something like it DC — for years.  It would’ve been — and can still be — groundbreaking.

Do you know what else is great about KINGDOM COME?  The original and real Captain Marvel is still called “Captain Marvel” in it! – Bill “Jett” Ramey