The October 2019 BOF Mailbag #1

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JETT SAYS: For me personally? Well…

Do you think we’ll ever learn what really happened with Jonah Hill [and THE BATMAN]? I found the report about WB letting him choose which role to be rather disconcerting.

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure why Jonah Hill is getting the business because Matt Reeves eyed him for a role in THE BATMAN.  The dude is a darn good actor.  I guess a lot of people are thinking all he’s done is SUPERBAD (which is awesome, by the way) and films and roles like that one.

In terms of what happened, I’m sure he wanted a shitload of money or top billing in the film, maybe both.  WB didn’t budge and he decided to pass.  I don’t believe anything is nefarious or suspect here at all.

JETT SAYS: First of all, the term “DCEU” was never official or something that WB coined — it was a made-up name by a writer.  But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll begrudgingly use it to answer your question for the sake of simplicity.

Warner Bros. isn’t pretending that the “DCEU” or a shared cinematic DC universe still exists; they have in fact basically said that it doesn’t.

They are going to make solo DC movies that are total reboots — like THE BATMAN — one-offs like JOKER, and even films such as WONDER WOMAN 1984, BIRDS OF PREY, and THE SUICIDE SQUAD that will include actors who were in previous “DCEU” movies.  However, none will connect nor will any of these films be used to set up some multi-character team-up movie.

That’s the bottom line and easy for one to wrap their head around methinks…unless you’re part of the “It’s ALL gotta CONNECT GD’it” crowd.

Do you think Nicholas Hoult be cast? What role? I hope it’s Scarecrow or Mad Hatter.

JETT SAYS: I don’t think so.  The dude was the runnerup to Robert Pattinson to play Batman, so I don’t see him taking a smaller role as a villain in THE BATMAN.  I don’t see this as a Cillian Murphy situation at all.

What’s your favorite non-Bat performance by a Batman actor? 

JETT SAYS: George Clooney in O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

I’m a Dapper Dan man.

JETT SAYS: A muscle/sportscar ala the ones from the early/mid-70s in the comics.

How likely is that WB will greenlight more “black-label” films like JOKER?

JETT SAYS: I’d say very likely.

Jeff Sneider from Collider says The Riddler is the primary villain in Reeves’ script. To your knowledge, is this accurate? Also, I’ve never heard the name Edward Nashton before — when was that his name? When was it changed?

JETT SAYS: I’ve heard it was The Penguin and reason that BIRDS OF PREY switched its villain from The Penguin to Black Mask.  Regardless, both The Riddler and The Penguin are in the film.

As far as Edward Nashton, it’s the original name for The Riddler in the comics.  I’m not 100% sure, but I believe it changed in the 1970s or so.  Today, I believe his last name is still Nashton and Nygma is an alias.

With JOKER being a box-office success, do you see WB making a sequel?

JETT SAYS: I can see WB thinking about making a sequel, but it would be a mistake and ultimately, I don’t think it’ll happen.

The genius of the film is its ambiguity — how much was real and how much was in Arthur’s head?  A sequel would take away from that and that’s why it should be left alone.  I wrote a whole op-ed on this topic and you can read it HERE.

I know most people including yourself believe that JOKER should be a one and done type of film. However, given the success of the film what would you think of a Joker vs. Batman film through Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker’s point of view?

JETT SAYS: That’s an interesting take, but I still think JOKER is a movie that simply doesn’t need a sequel for the reasons that I spoke about above and in this op-ed.

To do it, you’d have to use the twist/gimmick — whatever you want to call it — from JOKER with how much is real and how much is delusional fantasy.  Is he really The Joker and does Batman really exist?  And then there’s the 20+ year age gap between that world’s Bruce Wayne and Arthur Fleck that is would be problematic.

The next time we get a Batman vs. Joker movie, I highly suspect it’ll come via one of Matt Reeves’ sequels to THE BATMAN.

Nah, just leave JOKER be…it’s too awesome to jack with by making a sequel.

Do you have a favorite episode of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES? If so, which one?

JETT SAYS: Off the top of my head…

“Christmas With The Joker,” “Two-Face,” ‘Heart of Ice,” “The Gray Ghost,” and “Almost Got ‘Im.”  I’d say “The Gray Ghost” is probably my favorite. #AdamWest

With filming a few months (give or take) away from starting, what other info do you think will be released? Batsuit, full cast, logo etc.?

JETT SAYS: I think we’ll continue to hear more casting news up until the holidays, and then stuff will really start to ramp up early in 2020.

Related to DC on Film, with the exception of Superman we know how DC is handling its known/already on the table properties (Batman and Joker being independent, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey being only vaguely in their previous line), how do you see DC introducing new characters that have not appeared in the “DCEU?” Such as Green Lantern…or are they sticking to the known/already on the table properties right for the foreseeable future?

JETT SAYS: Well, the Batman brand is strong, so that’ll continue.  But yeah, I’m hoping they give some other DC characters a chance such as Green Lantern as you mentioned — though they could be gunshy because of the previous failed GL attempt.  I think DC on film will be fine as long as WB keeps on doing what they’ve been doing after the BvS/JL disaster: make solo films helmed by strong filmmakers.  I think they’ve found their groove again.

Greetings from Peru!  Do you think a muscle car will be the chassis for the new Batmobile…will [it] look like a 70’s mustang?

JETT SAYS: No white eyes! I don’t want to take that tool out of Pattinson’s acting toolbelt as using the eyes is too important.

Jett, you’ve been privy to screenplays for previous Batman movies before (or during production). Do you have any sense of where they are going with this one or if they are taking direct inspiration from any canon storylines?  Any chance they are going to go with a totally, non-comic influenced, original story?

JETT SAYS: I think most of the Batman films have taken some inspiration from and have been influenced by the source material.

For instance, in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY you saw a bit of YEAR ONE, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, THE MAN WHO FALLS, KNIGHTFALL, NO MAN’S LAND, and others in those three films.

With Matt Reeves and THE BATMAN, I’m pretty sure he was also influenced by Batman comics…and some non-Batman stuff too.  I’ll through this out there: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, BATMAN: EGO, SE7EN, and CHINATOWN.

With a large number of villains set to appear in Reeves’ film, is there any sense that the villains could take center stage and pull the focus away from Batman?

JETT SAYS: Not at all.  It’s going to be totally from Batman’s point of view.  Most of the villains in THE BATMAN are going to be small parts.  Don’t worry about another “spotlight on the villains” movie such as, frankly, the Burton/Schumacher movies.

Jett, do you think SHAZAM! will get a sequel?

JETT SAYS: Yes…probably.  I’ve heard we’ll get BLACK ADAM before a SHAZAM! sequel though.  We’ll see I guess.  It wasn’t a bomb, but it didn’t do awesome either — especially after getting such good reviews.

My only issue is that Asher Angel will likely age out of the role of Billy Batson.  By the time they get around to filming a sequel, he’s going to be like 19 or so.  They probably should’ve gone a little younger when casting Billy.

Yellow oval or Bat-shape?

JETT SAYS: Sheesh…I actually like both, but prefer the big bat-shape logo on the chest.  But we haven’t had the yellow oval since 1995’s BATMAN FOREVER.  So if I were making the decision, I might go with the yellow oval just to do something different.

I have seen the posts suggesting the direction the Batmobile is likely heading in [for THE BATMAN]. My question is will it still be like an actual Batmobile or, given he is likely just starting out, will it more just be a standard car?

JETT SAYS: I’ve answered a couple of Batmobile questions in this mailbag, but I’ll put it this way: He will have been Batman for about 3 years and Bruce Wayne is a billionaire.  I don’t think he has to trick out a 1976 Camero for his Bat-ride.  With that said, think “car” and not “tank.”  And motorcycle, too.

Will Arkham Asylum be shown in THE BATMAN? Will it be visited or maybe be a featured location?

JETT SAYS: With the number of villains that will be in THE BATMAN, I’m quite sure Batman will be paying it a visit during his investigation.

With Matt Reeves seeming to take a more “detective” approach to this film than past installments, are there any other depictions of Batman that you would like to see in the film that hasn’t been touched on in detail as well?

JETT SAYS: Hmm…I don’t know.  If we count the 1966 BATMAN movie, through the Burton/Schumacher films, THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, and the BATMAN v SUPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE (very short) era, we’ve seen a lot of different incarnations of Batman on film.  If throw in THE BATMAN and it’s truly a “detective movie” first and foremost, I’m thinking we’ve run the gamut.

I guess I’d say maybe a straight-up adaptation of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or a BATMAN BEYOND movie would be the next step after Reeves’ run.

Do you think if Matt Reeves does use The Joker in, say, a third film, he would gender flip and cast a woman in the role? I’m fascinated by the prospects of this. With all the takes on The Joker through the years, I feel like this would be a way to keep the character fresh. What do you think?

JETT SAYS: Great question.

Will he do it?  I have no idea — probably not, I’d guess.

But what if a woman was cast as The Joker and the sex of the character was completely ambiguous?  I know it won’t happen, but I totally could see Cate Blanchette or a Tilda Swinton playing The Joker.

If you could “dream cast” an actor to play Batman, who would it be?
And do you think we will see another version of Justice League on film?

JETT SAYS: 1) Robert Pattinson.  2) Yes, in like 20+ years…unless they do what I suggest.

It’s hard to tell this early, but do you think THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY can be surpassed by the new Matt Reeves movies, or were those the pinnacle of Batman flicks on film?

JETT SAYS: I absolutely love THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY.  However, nothing would make me happier than for THE BATMAN and it’s sequels to be considered better.  If so, it won’t take anything away from the Nolan/Bale films and will only be another feather in the cap when it comes to how awesome Batman is.

Do you think a BATMAN BEYOND movie in the computer animation style of [INTO THE SPIDERVERSE] could work? Get Keaton to voice Bruce!

JETT SAYS: I’ve been campaigning for this since I saw that Spidey movie — which I think is one of the best Spider-Man films ever.  So yes, I totally think it could work!  As far as Keaton voicing Bruce Wayne, I’m down…but he may be out of their price range.

Thoughts on more or less pressure on the director, cast, and crew due to the success of JOKER?

JETT SAYS: There’s no pressure due to JOKER‘s success on Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson, and the team at all.  JOKER being a hit means that the “Batman” brand is strong and if a Batman-related movie is good, people will show up at the theater.

What are the chances that we will see multiple Batsuits? Not big changes, just little ones either for different uses or just to show that he has various suits like in RETURNS?

JETT SAYS: When was there more than one Batsuit that Michael Keaton sported in BATMAN RETURNS?  Other than the “wings” coming out under his cape, he sported the same suit the entire film.  He didn’t start out in the BATMAN ’89 suit in RETURNS and then change suits.  The only films I remember Batman changing suits during a film was in BATMAN FOREVER, BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE DARK KNIGHT, and JUSTICE LEAGUE.

But to answer your question, no, I don’t think Robert Pattinson will sport multiple Batsuits in THE BATMAN!  Cheers!