BOF Mailbag: 1/18/15
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
January 18, 2015

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.

Have you read Frank Miller's HOLY TERROR and was his decision to omit Batman from the book the right call? In light of recent events, is Batman the best literary character to tackle real world worries?

JETT SAYS: No, I have not read it and probably never will due to the fact that it doesn’t interest me and that I’ve heard it’s pure garbage, quite frankly. While I don’t know what really happened in terms of Batman being omitted from the story, I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t simply Frank Miller’s decision. If I had to guess, I’m quite sure that DC and Warner Bros. didn’t want the character of Batman to be involved with something that controversial. If the story is as anti-Islam as I have read, removing Batman was the right decision. Look, I’m not trying to be all political or anything, and a story about Batman taking on anti-American terrorists does interest me, but I don’t think Batman should be used as a “piece of propaganda” as Miller originally described the project. And yes, I’m quite aware that Batman fought the Japanese and Nazis during WWII and those stories were filled with racial stereotypes. Aren’t we past that sort of stuff as a society today?

Jett, what is your favorite animated Batman film?

JETT SAYS: I’ve got two: MASK OF THE PHANTASM and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. The runners-up would be UNDER THE RED HOOD and BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER.

What is your favorite moment in the DCAU? Hands down mine is a tie between when Batman sits with Ace until she dies and the final fight between The Joker and Batman.

JETT SAYS: JPH, I’m sure it’s something from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, but it’s hard to pick out one “favorite” moment. I never got into the JUSTICE LEAGUE animated series, but I am familiar with the scene you described in your question. However, I do like the end of JL’s “Prologue” episode which, as you all know I’m sure, was pretty much the concluding episode of BATMAN BEYOND. I also love that scene in MASK OF THE PHANTASM when Bruce Wayne first puts on the Batsuit.

I know you like the band Royal Blood. What did you think of part of "Figure It Out" popping up in this past episode of GOTHAM?

JETT SAYS: Paul, I thought it was SWEET! That’s my jam right now!

Forgive me if this has been asked before, but will BATMAN v SUPERMAN be in 3D?

JETT SAYS: Sean, I know that Zack Snyder used IMAX cameras for some of the film (ala Chris Nolan and “The Dark Knight Trilogy”) and it will be released in that format. I’m not sure about 3D as of yet – though MAN OF STEEL was released in 3D, so there is a precedent with this director.

Has WB officially confirmed that Ezra Miller will be playing Barry Allen? Would you rather see them go with Wally West or another version of The Flash? Also, when it comes to Green Lantern in the DCCU will they go with Hal Jordan, another Green Lantern, or several Green Lanterns? In your personally opinion how many Green Lanterns do you want in this shared universe?

JETT SAYS: Chance…

1) No. 2) Probably Wally...unless it isn't. 3) I think it’ll be John Stewart. 4) Not a big Green Lantern guy, so I don’t really care/have an opinion.

There have been many iterations of both the Superman symbol and Batman symbol, do you have a favorite of either?

JETT SAYS: Rob, when it comes to the Bats-symbol on the Bat-suit, I prefer it without the yellow/gold oval. As far as simply the Bat-symbol, I don’t think you can go wrong with the classic Bat-logo within the yellow/gold oval. I'd say the most iconic of 'em all is the logo from BATMAN '89. When it comes to Superman’s “S,” I really liked the one that Henry Cavill sported on his suit in MAN OF STEEL.

It's generally agreed that Batman & Robin was such a failure as a Batman film because the studio interfered too much with the film-making process, whereas TDK trilogy was a success because WB let Team Nolan do their own thing. 1) Do you feel confident that WB has learned from their mistakes when it comes to dictating what film-makers can do in their movies? And 2) do you think they can be trusted to strike the balance, especially when it comes to overseeing the construction of a unified universe on film?

JETT SAYS: Matthew, I totally think Warner Bros. learned a lesson with BATMAN AND ROBIN as well as with “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” Quite frankly, Zack Snyder is pretty much getting to do what he wants with BATMAN v SUPERMAN and the two upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE films that he will direct. Of course, the folks who were running Warner Bros. back in the mid to late 1990s aren’t in charge any longer, so them “learning a lesson” might not be the best way to describe how things are done now when it comes to the studio’s comic book/superhero films. I will say that I believe that Warner is doing things a lot differently with their DC-based films than Marvel Studios is with theirs. Specifically, they are indeed giving the filmmakers MUCH more leeway and creative freedom than Marvel does – and I applaud them for that. I hope that answers your questions.

Of all your BOF travels and experiences, is there something you missed or wished you had got to do? (via email)

JETT SAYS: That’s easy: I didn’t get to meet Heath Ledger. When I went to the set of THE DARK KNIGHT in June of 2007 while it was filming in Chicago, he was not on set that day. That was, of course, a bummer, but not a big deal at the time – even though I REALLY wanted to meet him. But that’s all about ME; and it should be about Mr. Ledger. I wish what happened hadn’t happened so I could’ve told that dude at the premiere/after party of THE DARK KNIGHT that he was F’n BRILLIANT…

Because he WAS.

Was Darren Aronofsky serious with his BATMAN: YEAR ONE script? Did he actually want that movie get made?

JETT SAYS: I LOVE this question! Yes, Darren Aronofsky was “serious” about BATMAN: YEAR ONE, though he knew it was a futile effort. True story…

Back in 2006 at San Diego Comic Con, I was invited by Warner Bros. to attend a special screening of THE FOUNTAIN which Aronofsky directed and I got to meet him. The next day, one of the Warner Bros. reps came up to me and asked if I wanted to talk to the dude for a few minutes before he started signing autographs at the Warner Bros. booth. We talked a lot about Batman (he’s a BIG fan of the character) and, of course, about YEAR ONE. I asked him the same thing you asked me: was he “serious” about the project? He said yes he was and would’ve directed it if they had greenlighted the script. “But,” he continued, “I knew they [Warner Bros.] would never make that film. When they hired me, they wanted something totally different than BATMAN AND ROBIN, so I gave them something that was a total 180 from it.” Darren went on to say that YEAR ONE was indeed some “crazy sh*t” and Warner Bros. made the right choice with Chris Nolan and BATMAN BEGINS.

I’m a big Aronofsky fan (though I really didn’t like/get THE FOUNTAIN and lied to him when he asked if I dug it) and would totally be on board with him directing a Batman film someday – though I think Ben Affleck is going to be Chris Nolan’s successor. By the way, HERE is my review of DA's YEAR ONE script I wrote back in 2005.

What's your opinion of the last few dc animated movies since Bruce Timm left? Do you like the ongoing shared universe story? Do you like the reuse of the same voice actors? Do you think they have or will have influence on live-action films?

JETT SAYS: Chris, I’d prefer if the films were their own, standalone thing – like they were in the beginning. With that said, I thought SON OF BATMAN was OK to good and I’m looking forward to BATMAN vs. ROBIN. When it comes to the Justice League animated films, I simply ignore the fact that they are “in continuity” with the solo Batman movies. If it were up to me (and of course, it isn’t), I’d go with more original projects (for all characters; not just Batman) and very loose adaptations of Batman comic book stories. The only Batman comic book story that I’m keen to see adapted straight-up is GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT (and James Tucker told me it was on his “wish list”).

Considering the recent rumor/hoax about BATMAN v SUPERMAN being split into two films, what is your opinion of the "Split-Movie" phenomenon in general?

JETT SAYS: First of all Jason, I’m shocked that people actually believed that BS! OK, I guess I’m not considering which group of “fans” believed it/wanted it to be true. ANYWAY…

Is there such a thing as a “Split-Movie Phenomenon?” I know that JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to be a two-parter; but ultimately, it’s really two separate films (and I’m sure it’s considered two, not one, films in the actor’s contracts).

I guess I’m of the mind that if it’s originally planned that way, I’m OK with it. But if a film is split into two films after the fact, it makes me raise an eyebrow and comes off gimmicky.

If you were going to interview Ben Affleck tomorrow, what would you ask him about his portrayal of Batman?

JETT SAYS: Oh, I AM gonna interview Ben Affleck, but it won’t be tomorrow Gabe! Here’s what I’m going to ask him…

“Dude, you’re a HUGE Batman and comic book fan. How f***ing cool is it to suit up and pretend to be the goddamn Batman?!”

What’s the biggest honor you’ve received due to BOF? (via email)

JETT SAYS: I have four, actually…

1) Being the ONLY online outlet (and a solo-owned fansite at that) to be granted a 1-on-1 interview with Chris Nolan for THE DARK KNIGHT. 2) Chris Nolan writing me a “Thank You” letter on his own personal stationary. 3) Getting a text from Emma Thomas a few moments after I first saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES asking me if I liked the film and that “they” (her and Chris) hoped they had done Batman right with the “Trilogy.” And finally, having Michael Uslan consider me a friend and love BOF!

Honest to goodness, I'm more than humbled by all I've done because of BOF...as well as what BOF has done for Batman on film. #proud #grateful

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...
THE BATMAN!
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.


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