The June 2019 BOF Mailbag #1


Welcome to the first BOF Mailbag of June 2019.  And a belated Happy Fathers Day to all my fellow Dads!

Thanks for all the questions and make sure to keep those cards and letters coming.

Lots of questions about Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN, so let’s get to ’em! – Bill “Jett” Ramey

JETT SAYS: I’m hearing that additional casting is imminent.

Do you see THE BATMAN taking place over a few months like THE LONG HALLOWEEN or making it shorter and taking place over a few days?

JETT SAYS: Well, we’ve had a Batman film that took place over the course several months/a year and that was the last solo one, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, so going that route isn’t something new.  With that said, I’d have no problem if THE BATMAN did take place over, say, a year ala TLH.

I suspect we’re getting some sort of mystery that Batman is trying to solve and it’s going to lead him to question several Batman villains.  If so, it would probably work better if the narrative takes over a little bit of time, not, like, in one day/night.

Hey there Jett! What would you prefer? The new suit being inspired by the first comic book appearances, or all black with the yellow oval like the ones in the 80s/90s? (I believe it could happen if they wanted to cash in on the nostalgia factor, but on the other hand, Matt Reeves probably wants to do something unique following his own vision.)

JETT SAYS: I’d love to see a Bat-suit based on those early 1939 appearances of The Bat-Man in the comics, but modernized, if you will.  The yellow oval returning to the movie suit would be cool too.  And yes, I agree that Matt Reeves will go with something fresh and new in which we haven’t really seen on film yet.

And the cowl/cape/boots/gloves/etc. MUST stay black!  No blue Batman, please.

Man, I’m not good a fan-casting to be honest, but I can definitely see Andy Serkis as The Penguin.

Does the possibility of half a dozen members of Batman’s rogues’ gallery appearing in Matt Reeves’ film worry you or do you think it could work within the context of a whodunnit that needs multiple suspects?

JETT SAYS: Alex, it doesn’t worry me in the least — even if they’re more than 6 villains in THE BATMAN.  Most of the villain roles in THE BATMAN are minor ones in terms of how much screentime they’ll get, so all’s good.

Keep in mind that BATMAN BEGINS included 6 villains — the fake Ra’s Al Ghul, the real Ra’s Al Ghul, The Scarecrow, Mr. Zsazz, Joe Chill, and Carmine Falcone — and didn’t feel overstuffed.

JETT SAYS: Nothing I’ve seen (casting calls) or heard suggests that The Joker will be in THE BATMAN.  With Todd Phillips’ JOKER starring Joaquin Phoenix coming out later this year and Jared Leto’s version of the character kinda/sorta still existing (in the periphery) in any DC movie featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn (BIRDS OF PREY, for example), I don’t think it’s time to introduce yet another live-action movie Joker just yet.

I do think that if Reeves indeed plans on a trilogy, then The Joker must show up in one of the 3 films — I just don’t think it’ll be in THE BATMAN.

As far as Macaulay Culkin as The Joker, I think this nothing but a BS rumor based on nothing but the fact that he’s really a really skinny and weird cat.  To me, it reeks of the same sort of fan nonsense when Crispen Glover was “rumored” to be in the mix to play The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT.

When will Condiment King, Kite-Man and some other D-list villains appear in a Batman movie? They could be used in TV news reports and not actually shown fighting with Batman.

JETT SAYS: Look, I have a soft spot in my heart for the silly Batman villains that have appeared in the comics over the course of Batman’s 80-year history, obviously (i.e. Crazy Quilt).  But some of these — like Condiment King — simply can not be used in a live-action movie that’s meant to be serious.

That being said, I’m sure some of these sorts of members from Batman’s rogues’ gallery could be adapted for a serious, live-action Batman film and not come off as being nothing more than a goof.

Why didn’t Reeve casted someone who look like Affleck cause Patterson don’t and he’s playin a prequel?

If Reeves’ new Batman works, do you think Warner Bros./DC wipe the slate clean and use this rendition [of Batman] for any potential “DCEU/shared universe” films WAY down the line?

JETT SAYS: I doubt it — and I don’t say that as someone who isn’t a fan of Batman mixing it up with superpowered beings or the shared cinematic universe thing.

From what I know and have heard, WB isn’t bullshitting when they say they are less focused on the shared DC universe on film deal and simply interested in making good, solo, standalone movies based on DC characters.

They tried, things didn’t work out all that well (and we know all the reasons, but let’s not rehash all that BS again), and they are done.

If THE BATMAN is truly the beginning of a new Batman on film trilogy, it’s going to be at least a decade from now before it’s completed.

Think about that for a second.

It’ll likely be 2029 — TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY-NINE! — when THE BATMAN 3 (or whatever it’ll be called) bows.

So, I don’t see a 43-year-old Robert Pattinson — who just spend a decade of his life playing Batman — continuing on in a new Justice League movie.

Plus, even it such a film is WAY down the line, you’d have to start building towards that NOW.

Not happening.

Can we not simply enjoy all DC on film endeavors going forward in the post-BvS/JL world and not worry about trying to make it all “connect?”

Hello Jett.  I have been thinking of ways the new Batman films may be able to differentiate themselves from the previous incarnations and thought of an idea. What if 4-5 villains were introduced in the first film and some of them play a role in more than 1 film?  Perhaps someone (The Joker?) can have a role in all 3 films — assuming it’s a trilogy. We’ve always had new villain(s) in subsequent Batman films for the Burton/Schumacher/Nolan movies and this can be something new. What do you think, can it work? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Hamad, I dig what you’re suggesting here sir.

While I don’t think The Joker will be in THE BATMAN (see above), the “seeds” of him already existing can certainly be planted in film one.

Of course, I’d point out that The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) kinda played that “connective tissue” role in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — but admittedly, in cameos in TDK and RISES.

But yeah, I’m with you man, good idea!

JETT SAYS: I’m pretty sure that Bruce Wayne and Alfred will be inhabiting Wayne Manor in THE BATMAN with The Batcave existing underneath and that’s ALL we’ll see in the film.

Also, in theory, he’s probably got a penthouse in downtown Gotham with a mini-Batcave in there somewhere.

And I’m quite sure that Bruce Wayne owns a lake house connected to yet another mini-Batcave because, well, he’s Batman, to hell with that BvS/JL nonsense.

JETT SAYS: James, without a doubt it’s Michael Keaton.  Even today you have fans wanting MK to play the aged Bruce Wayne in a BATMAN BEYOND movie.  What ironic about the love for Keaton’s Batman is that his casting was almost universally bashed by fans back when it was announced in 1988!

With Bale, it’s different because his Batman story ended with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES with his Bruce Wayne riding off into the sunset (or Italy) living happily ever after with Selina Kyle.

As far as Affleck, while he had his supporters (which again is ironic due to how his casting caused a fanboy meltdown when announced back in 2013), his Batman wasn’t beloved like Keaton and Bale and was not accepted overall by the audience.

While both Bale and Keaton’s places in Batman history is solid, Affleck’s will barely register and, I believe, will end up a blip on the Batman on film screen.

Do you think it’s possible Reeves and WB will refrain from confirming who the “main villain” is since it’s supposed to be a detective story?

JETT SAYS: Absolutely and I hope that’s the case.

What do you think the chances are more films like the JOKER are made — assuming it’s successful? If someone came with, as an example, a creative and unique one-off take on BATMAN BEYOND, do you think WB would be willing to make it during time Reeves has Batman locked down (presumably over next decade for a trilogy)?

JETT SAYS: I know that Warner Bros. wants to do more of these one-off DC films like JOKER, so the more successful it is, the more likely that it’ll happen.

As far as a BATMAN BEYOND movie running concurrently with Reeves’ THE BATMAN series, I don’t see that happening as BEYOND wouldn’t be a one-off as they’d want more than a single film, probably a franchise.

Bill, The Joker and Robin weren’t mentioned for the first film.  Do you think they’ll be in the 2nd one?

JETT SAYS: As I said on the last BOF Vlog, both Robin and The Joker are very important to the Batman mythos and history and I think they have to be included at some point for a Batman film series (or trilogy of movies) to be considered “definitive.”  So yes, I think we’ll see both characters at some point in Reeves’ trilogy.

Would it be a good idea for Reeves to do his entire trilogy without The Joker?

JETT SAYS: See the previous question/answer.

This one is comic related, Have you heard anything on whether Geoff Johns and Gary Frank have started work to finish volume 3 of BATMAN: EARTH ONE or whether it’s on the back burner?

JETT SAYS: I haven’t heard anything about that one in quite some time, to be honest.  I know they started it and I assume it’ll be released at some point.  When that actually happens, I have no idea.  Heck, DOOMSDAY CLOCK hasn’t been released on-schedule, so take that for what you will.