Also, Sean Gerber and I answered some of your questions during last week's BOF PODCAST, so make sure you CHECK IT OUT if you haven't already.
Jett, what do you make of the claim that Warner Bros. has a “No Jokes” policy when it comes to their DC Comics films? True or BS? (via email)
JETT SAYS: John, it’s BS. The idea that Warner Bros. has mandated that all DC-based films be these ultra-serious and morose endeavors without any moments of levity is ridiculous. Now, has Warner Bros. decided to make their comic book films differently from the way Marvel Films makes theirs? Yes, absolutely. While the MCU films are “living comic books” (Hmm…isn’t that what Joel Schumacher said about BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN AND ROBIN?), Warner Bros. wants their films to be more grounded and “realistic” – and that’s more than OK by me. As far as the original story that spawned this rumor, it was an op-ed piece, not a news story as claimed by the author.
In regards to “The Dark Knight Trilogy: and the character of Rachel Dawes – would you have rather had Katie Holmes for BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, Maggie Gyllenhaal for both, or another actress all together? This seems to be a spirited conversation whenever I have it with others and I'm curious to hear your take. As always, outstanding work with BOF. Thanks!
JETT SAYS: Geoff, I’m often asked “What was the real deal with Katie Holmes leaving?” Although I think the answer to that question is obvious, I’ll simply say as I’ve said many times that Ms. Holmes didn’t leave due to a “scheduling problem.” It was an amicable and mutually agreed parting of the ways and I’ll leave it at that. Now on to your main question…
I really didn’t have a problem with Ms. Holmes as Rachel Dawes in BEGINS like some folks do. Was she the “weak link” of the cast? Yes – but look who was in that cast! So if she had stayed on for TDK – and I’m sure most people expected that to happen – that would’ve been fine by me. Now, I do think Maggie Gyllenhaal is a better actress than Katie Holmes, so they did get upgrade in that regard. I guess, for me, I’m OK with two different actresses playing the same charter – Rachel Dawes – in “The Dark Knight Trilogy.”
@BATMANONFILM Can you see a Ben Affleck directed Batman film getting nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars?#BOFmailbag
JETT SAYS: Sure, why not? He’s already directed an Academy Award winning film in ARGO, so he has the reputation of being an auteur and a “serious filmmaker.” So yeah, if the film is good enough, I don’t see why is couldn’t happen. One day, a comic book-based film will win a Best Picture Oscar and all involved will have Chris Nolan to thank for opening that door with THE DARK KNIGHT.
Hello Jett. I have a general question about Batman, do you think the character would have become as popular as it has if it originally had superpowers, like getting bit by a bat giving flying ability for example? (via email)
JETT SAYS: Hamad, I do not. I 100% believe that Batman is popular – the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream audience – because of the Two R’s: Realistic and Relatable. I’ve talked ad nauseam about that here on BOF, so I won’t rehash that argument again. But I will point out that there was a point in Batman history where DC almost canceled Batman comics. Why? Because his stories had gotten so far-fetched, outlandish, and ridiculous that people reading simply lost interest. Batman is at his best – no matter the medium – when he’s kept grounded. Remember, none of us could be Superman, but if we squint our eyes real hard – and had billions of dollars in the bank – at least it’s plausible that we could be Batman.
Jett, it seems to me that several media outlets and the 15-seconds-of-internet-fame sites are on a frenzy for reporting anything BvS related - even more than what I can remember during the filming of “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” Specifically, wild rumors and plot details that are as hard to believe as they are to hear. What's your take on the reason for this? And do you believe this could hurt the marketing for the film or just increase its hype?
JETT SAYS: Jorge, some sites have to do this to keep up with their competitors and simply have no choice. They’ve made their bed when it comes to the type of site they want to be long ago and now they have to lie in it. As far as the “15 seconds of internet fame sites,” they do it because, well, they want their 15 seconds of internet fame.” Hell, there are some sites that simple make shit up and couldn’t care less that it’s total BS. These tools obliviously get off on the attention.
Look, I’ve said this many times: It’s much easier to post set pics and plot spoilers than it is NOT to post that sort of stuff. You and I many not like it, but it is what it is and it’s not going to change. Jorge, I’m sure you know the sites that do not and will not post that sort of stuff, right? Just go to those sites that you trust and avoid the ones that post that nonsense. And no, I don’t think it will hurt the marketing of the film at all. The only people who are getting hurt are the ones who constantly look for set pics and spoilers and end up not enjoying the film as much as they would if they had known nothing.
At the end of Rises do you think fans would have been happier if Blakes legal name was Dick Grayson?
JETT SAYS: Briefly – and then they’d flip out and complain that Nolan F’ed up the character of Dick Grayson because he wasn’t a circus acrobat and grew up as Bruce Wayne’s young ward. Robin John Blake was Chris Nolan and company’s version of “Robin” and fit the character’s role in the Batman mythos just as well as Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, or Tim Drake.
Jett sir, what do you think of Jeremy Irons as Alfred?
JETT SAYS: Jeremy, I thought it was pretty damn good casting and I’m looking forward to seeing Mr. Irons’ take on this iconic Batman character. Honestly, I’m hoping for something a bit different than what we’ve seen in a live-action Batman previously. Not radically different, but a fresh take on it
Dear Jett, you said that your are not a fan of ARKHAM ASYLUM or THE KILLING JOKE. Why is that?
JETT SAYS: Mic, neither really jibe with my personal Batman sensibilities and taste – especially Grant Morrison’s ARKHAM ASYLUM. I don’t hate either – they’re just not amongst my favorite Batman stories.
Explain more why you think the movie version of the Justice League will only be 5 members and not the traditional 7? I just can't see them leaving out The Flash or Green Lantern.
JETT SAYS: Just a gut feeling based on several things I’ve been hearing Dusty. They took a stab at Green Lantern on film and it flopped. The Flash – a character that they’ve to adapt to film for years – has been regulated to TV on The CW (and no, that’s not a knock on TV or The CW!). So, do the math, you know what I mean? And as far as the “traditional seven” members of the Justice League, only fans of the comics and/or the animated series really cares about Green Lantern or The Flash being included. I don’t think that Joe Regulardude is thinking, “If The Flash and Green Lantern aren’t in that Justice League film, I’m not going to see it goddammit!!!” Frankly, it’s all about Batman and Superman – especially the former.
Is Bruno Heller a Batman fan? A comic book fan?
JETT SAYS: I think Mr. Heller is a Batman fan just like many non-comic book reading people who love the character.
From a pure casting perspective, what do you think of Jason Momoa as Aquaman?
JETT SAYS: Seferino, I like it. I don’t think Aquaman has to be a blonde, Scandinavian-looking dude. While I may not want to see Aquaman alongside Batman in either BvS or JL, I am definitely looking forward to that solo Aquaman film.
Is it true that Dwayne Johnson is deciding between Black Adam and Shazam? If it is true, do you think Warner Bros. should convince him to play Shazam. Someone with The Rock's personality should play a superhero and eventually be around for several movies. What do you think?
JETT SAYS: Chance, I think he should play BOTH Captain Marvel/Shazam AND Black Adam.
I'm as curious as everyone else is regarding Scoot McNairy's role in BvS but these rumors are full throttle out of control. Jimmy Olsen now? Your latest thoughts on this ongoing debate?
JETT SAYS: I think it would be cool, but it’ll never happen.
As mentioned in the previous podcast it is fairly likely that Guillermo Del Toro's JUSTICE LEAGE DARK is now off the cards. Now that CONSTANTINE is due to hit smaller screens and providing the show goes on to be successful and gains a few seasons from NBC, do you think we may see the JLD pop up on the show as an alternative at some point in the future? Cheers Bro!
JETT SAYS: Ben, I’d love to see some of those characters show up on CONSTANTINE. I’m a fan of Deadman and I think the character would make for a really good TV series. Think of it as a supernatural/superhero version of QUANTAM LEAP.
You've stated that Hugo Strange is amongst your favorite Batman villains. What about him puts him in your top 5?
JETT SAYS: He’s not a “freak.” He’s an equal to Batman intellectually, he’s interesting, and I like him.
Have there been any Batman comics that you feel have been underrated?
JETT SAYS: Nick, that’s a great question. I’m sure there are MANY stories that aren’t given their proper due. I need to ask Michael Uslan that question the next time we talk – especially when it comes to stories from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Personally, I think Paul Dini’s run on DETECTIVE COMICS a few years ago – before all the Morrison nonsense – was brilliant. If you haven’t read HEART OF HUSH, you should. It’s better than the overrated HUSH in my opinion.
Do you think that Warner Bros. initially wanted to go right into a MAN OF STEEL sequel? Or do you think they were planning BvS as a follow up all along? Thanks Jett, you're great!
JETT SAYS: Adam, I think this is a tricky question to answer as there many different things that went into the decision to make BATMAN v SUPERMAN and not a straight-up sequel to MOS. While MOS was a success, I think the fact that it underperformed a bit (WB thought they had a billion dollar film based on the film’s early buzz) led to Batman being included. Zack Snyder claims that when they were kicking around ideas for a MOS sequel, the idea came up to make Batman the antagonist. While I do believe him – to a certain degree – I think it’s likely that WB said to him and David Goyer, “How could you fit Batman into this next film?” I just don’t think the inclusion of Batman was as organic as Mr. Snyder claims.
What happens if and when comic book characters outlive comic books being consistently published?
JETT SAYS: The iconic characters like Batman will continue on without a hitch. Batman isn’t just a comic book character; he’s in video games, films, animation, books, apparel and other mediums. I don’t think comic books will every completely go away, but I do think the day will come when it’ll be a completely digital medium.
By putting DC properties on TV 4 times a week, can this better pave the way for DCU movies down the line? The way having a cartoon with Batman on the air every year since ‘93 laid ground work for Nolan?
JETT SAYS: Well Jason, it certainly doesn’t hurt the DC Comics brand. I’m not sure how much it will help their cinematic endeavors in the future, but yeah, it’s definitely not a negative.
JETT SAYS: Hey Paul, thanks for the question! I’m thinking negative on Jim Gordon being in BvS. Now, will he be mentioned/acknowledged? That’s still up in the air and a possibility I guess. I will say that Jim Gordon definitely exists – as does the entire “Batman Family” – in this new DC on film universe…unless he’s dead.
This dude should be the new, older Jim Gordon!
@BATMANONFILM Looking back, compare your feelings about pre-production of Wolfgang Petersen's BvS with the one arriving in '16. #BOFmailbag
When Wolfgang Petersen’s SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN was announced, I was very happy. How come? Because I was simply happy that Batman was coming back to the big screen. After BATMAN AND ROBIN, I wasn’t going to be greedy.
When that project went into turnaround, I was quite disappointed – but I should have been. Why? Because, basically, the end of SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN was what quickly led to a Batman on film reboot to be helmed by a young filmmaker named Christopher Nolan.
My feelings about Batman being in BATMAN v SUPERMAN are quite different today than they were for SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN well over a decade ago. For me, getting Batman on film so soon after “The Dark Knight Trilogy” is gravy. While it might not be my personal preference to see Batman up on the big screen alongside a flying invincible alien who can shoot lasers out of his eyes (or any sort of superpowered being for that matter), I am excited about the new Batman in Ben Affleck and I trust director Zack Snyder to do right by the character.
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.