Hello Jett, hope you're well. Do you think that the good TV ratings GOTHAM got shows that the mainstream audience isn't Batmaned-out from Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy?” I was a bit worried that this may come into play like it has for the Spider-Man movies. (via email)
JETT SAYS: Hamad, I think the possibility of Bat-burnout always exists, but it’s a very small possibility due to the fact that Batman is simply different from the other comic book superheroes. As I’ve said many, Many, MANY times here on BOF, Batman is the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream audience by far. I feel that as long as the Batman stuff that’s being produced in various mediums is good, people are going to want it. Indeed, GOTHAM is going to be an interesting endeavor in terms of ratings, as well as holding and gaining an audience. Will people want to watch a Batman TV series without Batman? However, I’m of the belief that GOTHAM will be “Batman” enough to bring in an audience. Thus, as long as the show is good, it’ll be a success.
Big fan of the site Mr. Ramey. My question is what is the one thing you have always wanted to see batman do or say in a movie. #BOFmailbag
Well, with seven live-action films to date, I guess I could say that I’ve seen just about everything I’ve wanted to see when it comes to Batman on film – especially when it comes to Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy.” But I’ve always wanted to see an older Batman depicted in a Batman film. Not the 39ish year old Batman from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, but a Batman in his mid-40s on into his 50s. And it looks as this is the kind of Batman we’ll be getting with Ben Affleck in BATMAN v SUPERMAN as well as future solo films afterwards.
Jett, now that it is all said and done, if Heath Ledger had lived, do you think we would have gotten a different “Dark Knight Trilogy?” And if so, how? Would we have still gotten Bane? Do you think (or know) if Chris Nolan had plans to take it in a different direction all along, or would he have had Batman and The Joker go at it for multiple films? I love the “Trilogy,” but how much of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was part of the original plan?
JETT SAYS: Matthew, I believe that much of the “original plan” for three films was put into THE DARK KNIGHT. However, Chris told David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan not to hold anything back for a sequel, so that’s exactly what they did when it came to writing the story for that film. Honestly, I don’t think we would’ve seen The Joker in the third film – which of course went to become THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – even if Heath hadn’t died in 2008. A cameo appearance with Ledger as The Joker? Perhaps – but not “Batman vs. The Joker, Round 2.” Knowing how Chris went about creating the films of the “Trilogy,” it’s pretty darn clear that he never wanted to repeat himself. Quite frankly, another film of Batman vs. The Joker would’ve been lazy and I’m positive Chris knew that. So, how different would RISES have been if Heath hadn’t passed is something we’ll never know. However, I think, ultimately, it would’ve been pretty much what we ended up getting.
Any plans at all to do a full length feature film in the style of the ARKHAM videogames?
JETT SAYS: Garrett, I’ve heard nothing about any sort of project like this. I will say that I’d be totally down with CGI-animated ARKHAM film. I personally don’t think they’d ever go with a straight-up, live-action adaptation of the videogame series. However, I believe that if something like that were to happen, it would a home video project as opposed to a theatrical release. But yeah, I’m on board!
All of this talk of a Suicide Squad film has got me thinking about villain-centric stories. Which Batman rogue do you think could sustain their own full length feature film with Batman appearing either very little or only at the end?
JETT SAYS: Ricky, that would be The Joker, totally. Catwoman would work in a solo film as well despite the fact that they actually did that and the result sucked. But yeah, I think a film with The Joker as the main character could work – though it’s very unlikely to ever happen.
The mailbag continues after the jump!
Have Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher made any comments whatsoever about “The Dark Knight Trilogy?” Have they even seen the films?
JETT SAYS: I think Burton has said some positive things about it – though I’m also pretty sure he said he’s never seen any of Nolan’s Batman films based on things he's said when asked over the years. I did find this one quote from via CINEPLEX MAGAZINE...
“I always get told that my [Batman] material is dark, but nowadays my version of Batman looks like a lighthearted romp in comparison to Christopher Nolan’s...."
Uh, "dark" and "weird" are not the same. ANYWAY...
As far as Schumacher is concerned, I don’t recall ever reading or hearing him say anything about it publicly. Frankly, I don’t think it really matters at all what either think about the “Trilogy.”
"Dark" or "Weird?" You be the judge!
What aspects of Grant Morrison’s Batman do you think could serve as inspiration for future Batman films, live-action or animated?
JETT SAYS: NONE – I’m not the biggest Grant Morrison Batman fan. But all kidding aside (and I’m not kidding all that much), I like the character of Damien Wayne, so seeing that character adapted for a live-action Batman film would be cool. With that said, that’s already happened in animation with SON OF BATMAN.
Heck, maybe Batman will get Omega Sanctioned in BATMAN v SUPERMAN to set up JUSTICE LEAGUE…
...or maybe NOT.
Which book of Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURS is your favorite?
JETT SAYS: Book 1, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Totally.
Assuming Ben Affleck ends up directing a solo Batman film(s), it seems reasonable to assume his buddy Kevin Smith will have some sort of input – whether credited or not. Have you read Smith's Batman comics, and if so, what did you think of them?
JETT SAYS: Stephen, I wouldn’t say it’s “reasonable” that Kevin Smith would have any input. I’d say “possible” is a better way to look at it. Personally, I don’t think he’ll have any creative input as Affleck and Chris Terrio will most likely handle the writing duties. As far as Smith’s Batman stuff – and I’m definitely a fan of KS – I thought that THE WIDENING GYRE and CACOPHONY were “OK.” I did check out and enjoy his first BATMAN ‘66 story and will probably buy it as a TPB.
Who do you think is bad guy #2 in BATMAN v SUPERMAN, and do you think there's a chance that it's Crazy Quilt?
JETT SAYS: For a long time, I was hearing it was a Lex Luthor-created “Doomsday” (Ugh…I’ve always despised that name!). However, I’m of the belief that that scuttlebutt was a red herring. Honestly, I really don’t know who “Bad guy #2” is or if there’s going to be one. As far as Crazy Quilt is concerned, I think they’re saving him for a solo Batman film.
Do you think that BATMAN v SUPERMAN has the chance to beat THE AVENGERS at the box office?
JETT SAYS: Barry, absolutely. It’s Batman and Superman in the same film for the first time, so that’s going to be a huge initial draw. And if the film is well done and world of mouth is good, it’s on!
Are there any actors you've wanted to see play Batman? For me it's Jon Hamm. Though I didn't realize how much I wanted Ben Affleck to play Batman until he was cast.
JETT SAYS: Gabe, I’ve always secretly thought Ben Affleck would be a good Batman/Bruce Wayne. Heck, back in the very early days of BOF – I’m talking 1998 to 2000 – there was some rumors about Affleck playing Batman in an adaptation of YEAR ONE and I was totally down with it back then. Honestly, Ben’s been my #1 choice for the next solo Batman film director for years now and I hope that ultimately ends up coming to fruition.
It’s funny though, that Affleck was once rumored to play an young, rookie Batman and ends up getting the gig years later and playing an older, mid-40 version of the character!
Who would you like to play The Joker next and do you think we might see him in any of the next few Affleck Batman films?
JETT SAYS:Alright, alright, alright, ALRIGHT!
Ryan, I think it’s HIGHLY likely that we’ll see The Joker in a Batman film alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman. And to play him, give me Matthew McConaughey. I’d love to see a Batman vs. The Joker story on film based on their THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS confrontation.
How do you prefer your Barbara Gordon? Pre-Oracle, Oracle, or New 52 Batgirl?
JETT SAYS: Cameron, I’m not the biggest fan of the “Batgirl” concept – never have been, even when I was a kid in the 70s. So I guess if I had to choose, I like the character as Oracle.
Since you experienced both, which movie's marketing was more impressive, BATMAN ‘89 or THE DARK KNIGHT?
JETT SAYS: Wow, great question. I’d say that the Batmania surrounding the release of BATMAN ’89 was at its greatest out of any of the Batman films. It’s almost incomparable, though THE DARK KNIGHT came the closest. As far as pure marketing, I’d say it was THE DARK KNIGHT hands down. The “Why So Serious?” viral marketing campaign was brilliant. Plus, the fact that they had to hype up and sale a film when one of its main actors – probably #2 in the cast – had died a half year before its release had to be a very daunting task.
Most of the attention seems to be on Batman right now. Since this is supposed to be a MAN OF STEEL sequel, how do they put the emphasis back on Superman for the marketing?
JETT SAYS: Come on Kerry, do you need a refresher course? It’s all Batman now days!
Who would win in a fight, Batman or Chuck Norris? Answer carefully as Chuck Norris could possibly read this!
JETT SAYS: Batman wouldn’t fight Chuck Norris. Batman would keep Chuck Norris in a compartment in his utility belt and use him as needed.
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.