"The BOF Mailbag" - October 31, 2014
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Novemember 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It's been a couple of weeks, so below you'll find the latest BOF Mailbag.

Also, thanks for all the questions and keep them coming via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER.

With 19 movies(which does not include the next X-Men, Spider-Man including solo Batman & Superman movies) coming within the next 6 years how much longer do you think it will take before Comic Book Movie fatigue sets in with the general movie going public? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Dave, has fatigue set in for comedies? Dramas? Horror films? Sci-fi flicks? I think that as long as the studios are devoted to delivering good, quality comic book films, the audience will flock to see them.

Jett, what is your favorite non-Batman comic book film?

JETT SAYS: Oh man, I’ve got a few…

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, SUPERMAN II, SPIDER-MAN 2, THE INCREDIBLES, UNBREAKABLE (not based on a comic book, but a superhero film nonetheless), CAPTAIN AMERICA, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, X-MEN 2, and MAN OF STEEL off the top of my head, but there are more.

Is there anything we can do to combat this “Spoiler Culture” that's out there? I don't necessarily have a problem with them being out there for those who seek them out, but I'm ticked off about how unavoidable they've become. When even mainstream news outlets are spoiling things (like what happened late last week), we've got a problem.

JETT SAYS: Jorge, I doubt it bro. Are you trying to get me going on a rant about my hatred for bad fanboy behavior and the world of fanboy message board activity?! HA!

While it’s infuriating, this is the way it is nowadays, sadly. The ADHD generation doesn’t want to – or feel that they should have to (they’re entitled, you know) – wait for, well, ANYTHING. And unfortunately, it’s these sort of fans to which these sites cater.

Regardless, I’ll never budge on my “No Spoilers” stance – no matter that it will make, and is making, me/BOF a fossil. Trust me; I’m quite aware that BOF and my way of running a site aren’t “cool” anymore…to some.

Nonetheless, I made A LOT of great friends and got to do A LOT of cool stuff over the years because of the way I chose to operate this site. It allowed me to earn the respect of folks like Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas, and the great Michael Uslan. I know this: No fansite will EVER do what BOF did when it came to influencing Batman on film – and I’m PROUD as hell about that.

I know THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and Frank Miller's “A-hole Batman” is a big inspiration for BATMAN v SUPERMAN, but do you think they'll examine Batman and Superman's friendship and similarities at all. or will they hold that off for the Justice League movies?

JETT SAYS: Ricky, I don’t think that Batman and Superman are going to be pals in BvS and I’m not sure they’ll be buddies in the two JL films either. Reluctantly allied against a common enemy is probably more like it.

9 years on, how do you feel about the resurrection of Jason Todd?

JETT SAYS: Same as I did when he was brought back. I thought it was a typical comic book stunt and the character should’ve remained dead. With that said, I think that BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD is one of the best animated Batman films to date.

What Veterans actor would you like to see in the DCCU? I'd love to see Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro as gansters, Denzel Washington as a villain, even Jack Nicholson could do some damage as well...other younger members like Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, maybe?

JETT SAYS: I don’t know Jouse, I think having DeNiro or Pacino as gangsters would come off looking like stunt-casting and rather cliché. Matt Damon had his chance to be in a Batman film once – as Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT – and turned it down. I guess I’m of the mind that the filmmakers should simply hire the best actor for a role instead of finding one for a “name actor.”

Let's ask a real question: What is your favorite beer to drink while watching Batman?

JETT SAYS: Much to the chagrin of all the beer snobs/connoisseurs out there, I’m a Miller Lite guy and have been one since, well, I’ve been hoisting beers.

You've said that you would not like a “Dark Knight Trilogy” based comic set in the Nolanverse. Why do you feel that way? Let's pretend that Nolan gave it his blessing and it had good writers. I know for myself – and I’m not a comic reader – that a realistic take on Batman's story, based in a similar or the same universe, would be cool enough to convert me.

JETT SAYS: Matt, for me, I don’t want anything to “mess” – if you will – with any of the events from the “Trilogy.” However, I might be interested in a miniseries that told a story about Batman’s adventures between the end of BATMAN BEGINS and the beginning of THE DARK KNIGHT – as long as it didn’t “explain” anything about The Joker. Yes I know that the animated BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT kinda did that. However, while those stories are set in the Nolanverse, they are not part of the continuity of the films. So perhaps a story set in between BEGINS and TDK would work and be cool. Also, I certainly don’t want to see a story set after the events of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Maybe one day.

Alright, I've always been a big fan of Batman on film and didn't start reading the comics until a couple of years ago. Of course I read THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. And my first thought after reading it was (please don't mad at me) that it was over-hyped. I didn't really like the first half (especially the Mutant stuff) and while I did like The Joker stuff and the Superman stuff, I thought those parts didn't belong in the same story. I guess I'm more of a Long Halloween guy. I was wondering if you could gather some thoughts about why you love THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and maybe some counter points to what I've mentioned.

JETT SAYS: Gabe, I can see why some people – especially if they first read it recently – could consider it overrated. However, its impact is HUGE in terms of the mainstreams perception of both the character of Batman and comic books in general. I guess one of the primary reasons I love this book so much is that I was around when it was released and got to experience it and its impact firsthand. I was in college when it came out. I would go down to my local mall’s bookstore and read each installment off the rack. When it was finally collected into a graphic novel, I bought and re-read it ‘til the spine broke. To me, it’s a brilliant Batman story; though it’s filled with political subtext (which I simply choose to ignore). While there’s nothing I really don’t like about TDKReturns, I will say that the Superman stuff – especially Superman being portrayed as a pawn of the U.S. government – is my least favorite thing about it. But I gotta admit, Batman kicking Superman’s ass is pretty damn awesome!

What do you hope happens in Afflecks solo Batfilm? I'm personally hoping for a “Court of Owls” adaptation.

JETT SAYS: JJ, I’m not a big fan of straight-up adaptations when it comes to live-action Batman films. I’m more of an “inspired by” guy. Personally, I hope that Batfleck’s solo Batfilm features the final epic battle between Batman and The Joker ala THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. I think that it could even include some flashbacks showing how one of the Robins died. Perhaps it was at the hands of The Joker?

As far as you know or care to guess, how much of a connected storyline will the DCU movies have? Will they have the freedom of telling their own stories with the characters, or will it be limited to the overall story told through each movie?

JETT SAYS: It would be my preference that the solo films would be as much of their own thing as possible and that the studio allows the chosen filmmaker put his or her stamp on the character. However, that’s an issue with having a “shared universe.” For example, whomever ends up directing the solo Wonder Woman or Aquaman film will have no say on the casting of the main character. That won’t be an issue with the next solo Batman film of course as the dude who will play that film’s Batman – Ben Affleck – will likely direct. For as much success that the Marvel Cinematic Universe films have had – and I’ve liked them all except for IRON MAN 2 (and IRON MAN 3, kinda) – they’ve got a “cookie cutter” feel to them. Quite frankly, outside of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, I don’t think any director has been able to do his/her thing, if you will. That, in my opinion, is unfortunate.

Would it be a mistake if Harley Quinn is not in SUICIDE SQUAD? I've seen rumors where she's not included in the lineup. I feel DC would be dropping the ball if they didn't have The Joker's main squeeze involved.

JETT SAYS: No, not at all. The Suicide Squad has been around for a while in the comics, so there’s been a variety of team lineups over the years. If Harley ever shows up in a live-action film, I’d prefer it to be in a Batman movie. However, if the character ends up in SS, I’ll have no problem with it...as long as she's played by a really hot blonde with HUGE boobs.

Hi Jett! Will The Joker be mentioned in BATMAN v SUPERMAN?

JETT SAYS: Sean, I don’t know, but I think it’s safe to assume that The Joker exists in this new Batman on film world. Remember, this Batman has been Batmanning for 15 to 20 years, therefor I’m of the belief that everything “Batman” – allies and villains – have been around for a while too.

Jett, The Flash will have both a movie and film incarnation going on simultaneously. Even though they won't necessarily have the same audience, do you think since Grant Gustin is playing Barry Allen, Ezra Miller should play Wally West just for the sake of being different?

JETT SAYS: Rob, perhaps. Personally, I don’t see Miller as Barry Allen. It’s going to be interesting to see how Zack Snyder and his cohorts interpret The Flash for the DC Cinematic Universe. Personally, I’m glad that they didn’t tie-in the DC TV Universe to the DCCU. I never thought they would anyway.

I highly respect your "no spoilers/no scoops" rule, but it seems like the "Jena Malone" cat is out of the bag. I saw it reported by major outlets while searching for Frank Miller news. I hope I'm not disrespecting you by posting this, but do you have a take on the situation? If it's true, do you think they might as well just call it THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?

JETT SAYS: Adam, I agree with you that the cast is indeed out of the bag when it comes Jena Malone and BvS. Without blatantly saying whom she is allegedly playing, I’m totally down with it if it turns out to be true. Heck, I think it’s a pretty damn bold and inspired move by Snyder, Goyer, and Chris Terrio and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how they’ll interpret this particular character – who will clearly be a bit older than her comic book counterpart – for BvS.

As far as just saying to hell with it and calling it THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, I don’t think BvS’s storyline is going to follow TDKReturns that closely at all. From what I know, Batman’s characterization is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, not the film’s plot. However, I think this is as close as Zack Snyder is ever going to get to actually making a TDKReturns movie – which he has long wanted to do. I’ve told this story before, but I got to chat with Zack for about a half hour at a party for SUCKER PUNCH during San Diego Comic Con 2010 and he told me straight up that he wanted to make that movie, “…when Chris [Nolan] is done [with Batman on film], of course.”

The best way to look at it Adam, I think, is that Batman’s characterization and his universe in BvS and the DCCU will be HEAVILY influenced by Miller and TDKReturns.

How do you feel about Batfleck only getting one solo film? If that's the only glimpse we get into this Batman's Gotham, wouldn't they be leaving a lot of money on the table if they only did one? (Affleck's career aside; as you said, Affleck's in good enough shape to play the character for quite a while.)

JETT SAYS: Josh, I don’t think only one Batfilm with Batfleck is set in stone. Ben playing Batman may end up being the Warner Bros. equivalent of Robert Downey, Jr. playing Iron Man in the MCU. Ultimately, I think it’s all up to Affleck wanting to do it past 3 team-up films and one solo Batman movie. We’ll see. Personally, I think it would be really cool to see a 50ish Batman on film in a few solo Batflicks.

Do you think that Nightwing already exists in this new Batman on film universe?

JETT SAYS: Yep, absolutely. As I said earlier in this mailbag, I think all of Batman and his world already exists. I believe that Dick Grayson is Nightwing in the DCCU and at least one Robin has already died in the line of duty.

So my wife and I are expecting our first kid in April. Awesome, right?! Anyway, for a proper education, here's what I'm thinking: ages newborn - 6 will be the '60s Adam West with THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD mixed in. Ages 7-12 will be the classic animated series (not leaving anything behind, but introducing more mature takes along the way). Ages 12 -15 may be the Burton/Schumacher series, though I'm undecided whether to include them at all. Finally, the full blown classics consisting of the Nolan “Dark Knight Trilogy” and the ARKHAM series starting at ages 14-15 (this will also be the time I break out the graphic novels, though my personal favorite, JOKER, will probably still need to wait). Thoughts? Suggestions? Wanna buy us some diapers? Thanks as always for running a great site!

JETT SAYS: Trey, I say congrats and that you certainly have it all planned out! All my children – who are now 19, 17, and 13 – were raised as Batman fans and still love The Caped Crusader. The only thing I’d add is don’t forget to buy the kid lots and Lots and LOTS of Batman action figures!

I'm a HUGE Batman fan, but I'm REALLY excited about a few of the other films and SUICIDE SQUAD is the one I'm most looking forward to seeing. Do you think it'll be set in the DC Cinematic Universe?

JETT SAYS: Jack, I too am looking forward to SUICIDE SQUAD and have long wanted to see Warner Bros. make a film out of this property. At first, I thought that a SS film would exist outside of the DCCU and be an R-rated New Line release. However, I’m now positive that it’ll be part of the DCCU. In fact, Jesse Eisenberg is going to be playing Lex Luthor in that film as well as BvS, so says the rumor mill.

There was a Justice League film in early development between THE DARK KNIGHT and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Was the writer’s strike the main reason it didn't get made?

JETT SAYS: That would be JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL and it actually was in active development while Chris Nolan was filming THE DARK KNIGHT in 2007. Yeah, the strike was one of the reasons it fell apart and was shelved; however, there were a couple of other things that doomed it as well. Like, the fact that it, well, was going to suck and Chris Nolan wasn’t, ahem, too happy about it and let Warner Bros. know it…allegedly. Frankly, if Warner Bros. had gone ahead with that film and released it after TDK, I’m of the opinion that Chris would’ve walked.

After Warner Bros. released their list of upcoming DC movies, what was left off that you'd like to see as a live-action DC film?

JETT SAYS: Metal Men, Doom Patrol, and Booster Gold come to mind. I was (and still am) very keen on that "Justice League Dark" project, but I dont' think that's going to happen. I also think Deadman would make for a good TV series. Think of it as a superhero/horror version of QUANTUM LEAP.

What are the chances of us getting a live-action movie Batcave complete with the dinosaur and giant penny?

JETT SAYS: I’d say pretty good – though I don’t know if they’re actually in it. However, I do know for sure one thing that’s in it and it’ll be hanging in a display case.

Jett, why did you cover Nolan's INTERSTELLAR? He's doesn't care about Batman anymore, so why give this guy any run on a Batman site? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Chris is my friend as is his wife, Emma Thomas. I'm a HUGE fan of Chris's films and I enjoy covering them. They were kind enough to have me invited to the first screening of the film out in LA last month, and I very much appreciated that nice gesture. You want to know how many small, individually run websites were invited to that screening and press junket? One. And that would be the one owned by yours truly. Although I was unable to get to LA to attend, I sent my good friend Sean Gerber in my place (you can read his review HERE). Really dude, I don’t get why you would have a problem with it anyway. If you’re not interested in reading what I, Sean, or anyone else has to say about non-Batman related projects on BOF, simply ignore them.

JETT SAYS: I'm quite sure that by March 25, 2015, everyone and their brother will know that Batman and Superman are appearing in a live-action film together for the first time.

A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.

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