The Independence Day 2015 BOF Mailbag
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day 2015! The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and Batman is now 76. Coincidence? I think not!

Below you will find the latest BOF Mailbag. Thanks for all the questions and keep them coming via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER.

Also, please post your thoughts, feedback, and opinion in the COMMENTS SECTION below!

Now, on with this weekend's mailbag...

JETT SAYS: I believe that Bruce has become so consumed with Batman that he’s letting everything else go. My question is, however, is why isn’t Alfred taking care of that sh*t?! Wouldn’t that be part of his duties?!

Conspiracy theory here, Jett: The 2018 release date for the next solo Batman film is, as you've said, optimistic at best. Do you think they are shooting footage for it during the BvS and SUICIDE SQUAD shoots?

JETT SAYS: Hi Tyler. Do I think they are shooting scenes for Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film during the BvS and SUICIDE SQUAD shoots? Nope. Could I be wrong? Absolutely – but I don’t think I am. Now, I do think it’s strong and likely possibility that Jared Leto’s Joker has a cameo in BvS and that it required him to film it on the SUICIDE SQUAD set in Toronto. But getting back to the solo Batfleck Batflick (Yes, I’m sure that’s getting old but it’s just fun to say and type!), I do not believe it’s going to be a 2018 release – I think 2019 or 2020 is more likely.

Do you think we'll ever get BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES released on Blu-Ray?

JETT SAYS: Hey Steven! I think it’s inevitable; don’t you? Furthermore, I hope ALL animated Batman TV shows that haven’t gotten the Blu-ray treatment yet do so ASAP. I think the only two series I have on Blu-ray (and that has been released in that format so far) is BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and BEWARE THE BATMAN.

Do you think MASK OF THE PHANTASM is better than Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher's movies?

JETT SAYS: Absolutely it is!

Let's assume Warner Bros. shared your opinion about not teaming up Batman with super powered heroes and villains, but still wanted an expanded universe. Could that work? Obviously there wouldn't be a BATMAN v SUPERMAN movie, but a MAN OF STEEL sequel, maybe with a Batman cameo. And then what? Batman cameos in the JUSTICE LEAGUE films? Batman cameos for AQUAMAN and WONDER WOMAN? Batman cameos for all the solo movies until a 2020 Batman film?

JETT SAYS: I think that if you’re going to create a shared DC Cinematic Universe, then Batman needs to be included. No, it’s not the way I would’ve done it, but that’s not the point. I don’t think Batman could be excluded and then pop up via cameos in various DCCU films. I also don’t think you could make Batman movies alongside DCCU films with Batman and have the Bat-universe totally separate from the DCCU. I think that answers your question. Here’s how I would’ve done it…

I wouldn’t have had a shared DCCU, but I would want as many DC films as possible. I agree with Chris Nolan when he said that the best way to do these things (DC superhero films) is to let them be their own thing. He also pointed out Marvel and DC’s major difference: Marvel was created as a single comic book universe while DC characters mainly lived within the world of their own comics. I concur with Mr. Nolan and comic book history backs him up. Thus, I would’ve hired the best filmmakers, writers, and actors and told them to make the best films possible and not worry about continuity or the events of other films.

You heading to SDCC this year?

JETT SAYS: Nick, under protest, I am going to Comic Con International San Diego next week. I am going for one reason and one reason only: BATMAN v SUPERMAN (And hey, if they want to throw in SUICIDE SQUAD as well, I’m cool with that). I will likely be attending any press events Warner Bros. makes available, so stay tuned to BOF next Saturday, July 11th for the BvS lowdown!

Jett, have you recently heard anything about a first director's cut of BvS? And if so, did you hear anything positive or negative about it (without giving any spoilers)?

JETT SAYS: Jorge, I’ve heard nothing other than it apparently went over well with the folks at Warner Bros. – which means nothing of course. Frankly, I’m avoiding details about the film as I want to go in fresh when I see it next year.

What do you think of Warner Bros. moving their DC/Vertigo films over to their sister company New Line Cinema? I think this is a smart move so they can keep the two universes separate.

JETT SAYS: I’m totally for it and see no issue having certain DC films – or DC sister imprints like Vertigo – over at New Line. I know Dwayne Johnson has said and/or insinuated that SHAZAM! will be a DCCU film, but I heard it would not be and that’s why it was set up at New Line as opposed to Warner Bros. This is probably the right place for that JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK/DARK UNIVERSE (or whatever it might be called) as well.

I’m not sure if this was already asked (it probably was), but do you know if a new trailer will debut during SDCC? What about exclusive footage?

JETT SAYS: I’ve theorized that a second trailer might be dropped around the time of Comic Con ’15, but I’ve heard nothing about it actually happening to be honest. I figured they might drop one next week and then the last one sometime in November or December. I do suspect that whatever footage is screened at SDCC next week will be exclusive just as it was last year. However, the cast and crew will be doing press afterwards, so lots of info will come from that next weekend.

Hello Jett! Longtime fan of yours and fellow Texan! Given what Ben Affleck said in terms of describing Batman, are you worried that this Batman will be even darker than the Nolanverse Batman. While I personally prefer a dark Batman, there are a lot of people that are kind of put off by the whole “dark and brooding thing.”

JETT SAYS: Great question. You know Chapman, I was just thinking about this topic after I read Affleck’s quotes. I’m thinking that this may be the darkest version of Batman on film to date. In fact, if I get the chance at Comic Con next week at the BvS presser, I’m going to ask both him and director Zack Snyder that very question. Clearly, this incarnation of the character is based a lot on THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS’s Batman, and that was a rather dark and cynical take on Batman. Cheers to Texas…and Batman…and the 4th of July!

Nobody expected JURASSIC WORLD to get near, let alone beat THE AVENGERS box office records, so anything is possible now. What do you think BvS can reach in terms of $$$ on its opening weekend and theatrical run?

JETT SAYS: Barry, box office predictions are not my area of expertise. Therefore, I passed along your question to longtime BOF contributor and FORBES.COM film blogger Mark Hughes…

Mark Hughes here. BATMAN v SUPERMAN is no doubt going to be huge. Batman is a proven draw, and having him in a team-up film means an even bigger draw at this point. We know now that films can have summer-sized opening weekends in outlying months, and THE HUNGER GAMES back in 2012 gave us the biggest March domestic opening of all time with $152 million. I expect BvS to beat that record, and the only question is whether it can approach/top $200 million in North American receipts. It's possible, but hard to say with any certainty. So for the domestic opening weekend, I'd guess somewhere in the $160-200 million range for BvS, with a mid-range of $180+ million.

That suggests an international opening of the same or much higher, so a conservative estimate would probably be $200 million overseas, for a total global opening weekend of about $380-400 million. If it tops $200 million domestically, expect a huge overseas cume in the neighborhood of $250-300 million. I think $400+ is likely, regardless of whether it's any good, because I think it's almost critic-proof and will open huge just on its concept alone. The better quality a film it is and the better the reviews, the more likely it is to open on the higher end of estimates.

For total worldwide box office, it's all about the multiplier. If it manages merely a terrible-to-average box office run, then it should perform in the $750-800 million range on the low end. That's about as close to a "flop" as it would get, and obviously that's not remotely bad box office. But if it performs in that range, then everyone will rightly say it under-performed. More likely it will do at least a 3x to 3.5x multiplier, for a total of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

For comparison, by about the middle or end of next week, JURASSIC WORLD will already have a multiplier of 3x (meaning three times its opening weekend worldwide), after less than 30 days in release. Some estimates expect it to hit $2 billion, although I am betting it finishes a couple of hundred-million below that figure, which still gives it a 3.5 multiplier.

Based on Batman's popularity and ability to get to $1 billion in his last two films, the popularity of superhero team-up films, the fact this is a first time ever for Wonder Woman on the big screen, and the fact it will be linked directly -- including via heavy marketing -- to the same year's SUICIDE SQUAD movie featuring The Joker, I feel BvS will surely pass $1 billion, and the only question is whether it can approach $1.5 billion. I don't feel that's a given at this point, and am going to keep my expectations at a more conservative estimate range of $1.2-1.3 billion for now. As it approaches and we get a better sense of just how good it will be, and how crazy the public goes for it, I'll revise my expectations accordingly.”

What announcements do you see Warner Bros. making about a potential stand-alone Batman film?

JETT SAYS: Next week at Comic Con? I don’t see it being announced there – but you never know I guess. Besides, they’ve already said that they are indeed planning for solo Batman and Superman films in addition to the ones they’ve already announced with dates.

With all of this press coming out about BvS, what are your thoughts on it? What’s your take on Batman, the setup for the fight, the fact that they fight, and the hinted at romance of Bruce and Diana?

JETT SAYS: Matthew, my take is that we still know very little about this film and that’s a good thing! Ben Affleck’s comments about Batman is really nothing we didn’t already know about how the character would be portrayed in BvS. We kinda knew that Batman would look at Superman as a threat to humanity and Earth and that they’d end up fighting. As far as a “hinted” romance between Bruce and Diana, I didn’t interpret that publicity pic that way. In fact, I don’t think this Batman has any time for romance has we know he’s consumed with being Batman to the point that nothing else matters. Ultimately, all the ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY article did is to throw more fuel on the fire of anticipation for BvS - which of course, was its intent.

Oh yeah, I do know this: I don't like the look of the new Bat-suit as much when it's displayed in bright surroundings (see below). It looks WAY better in a dark environment.

My friends and I really want to know your pick for Terry in BATMAN BEYOND?

JETT SAYS: Jeremy, I don't have one as I'm not very good at "casting." I know I wouldn't cast "young" nor would I make Terry a teenager in a live-action BEYOND movie. I'd probably do it different that the animated series when it comes to Terry's origin as Batman. I'd go with Terry being Bruce's clone/offspring and Bruce being aware of it, but I wouldn't have Bruce involved with the murder of Terry's "father."

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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