Joe, if WB had pushed forward with BATMAN TRIUMPHANT – which was actually going to be called BATMAN UNCHAINED which we recently learned – I think it’s fair to say that we’d have gotten one, maybe two, more Batman films set in the “Burton/Schumacher” universe and the franchise would’ve been driven right into a ditch. We’d never have gotten Nolan, BATMAN BEGINS (nor its two sequels), and I’m not sure the comic book movie genre would’ve survived!
Do you sense that the mainstream audience is tired of the traditional or more well-known comic book heroes due to seeing them too often over the past decade? BATMAN v SUPERMAN underperformed, CIVIL WAR – despite red hot reviews – will struggle to get to $400 million domestic, and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE bombed. The only movie that exceeded expectations is DEADPOOL.
JETT SAYS: I don’t think so Hummad. CIVIL WAR was/is a huge it amongst both critics and fans and has already passed the billion dollar mark worldwide. I would use the word “struggle” in describing CW at all. BvS underperformed because it just wasn’t a very good film, period (sorry BvS lovers, that’s just the fact of the matter). As far as the new X-MEN film, it appears that it’s going to perform to Fox’s expectations (although it’s not going to make the money that DAYS OF FUTURE PAST took in).
With all that said, I get what you’re asking: Are we getting to the point of comic book/superhero movie fatigue? I don’t think so – or at least I hope not. I don’t think we should judge every one of these films to be a success only if they make a billion dollars or more. That’s just unfair (but not unfair to BvS as that’s what the studio was expecting). I’m of the mind that if the film is good, both critics, fans, and the mainstream audience will respond accordingly.
JETT SAYS: I don’t think so and I don't I want to imagine it!
Do you think the new DC Films structure with Geoff Johns at the helm is going to make a big difference to the casual movie-going fan as it has the comic book movie community?
JETT SAYS: Barry, I don’t think so – at least not directly. The mainstream really doesn’t have a clue who produces a film or who does or doesn’t have creative input. However, if it this new “DC Films” at Warner Bros. does indeed improve the quality of the studio’s DC Comics-based movies, then it’s certainly going to affect the general movie-going audience – albeit indirectly.
What are your thoughts on REBIRTH?
JETT SAYS: Jeremy, you can hear my thoughts on REBIRTH on the latest BOF podcast!
I like that Margot Robbie pitched a Harley Quinn movie but it seemed strange that it was announced right before the changes with Charles Roven. Should WB/DC get their internal issues straightened out before announcing all new films?
JETT SAYS: Well to be fair Tyler, Warner Bros. didn’t “officially” announce this project, it was a scoop by the HOLLYWOOD REPORT (though if it came via a trade, WB likely leaked it intentionally). But currently, this film isn’t on WB’s DCEU film schedule.
Do you know if Geoff Johns was hired to help with the SUCIDE SQUAD reshoots before the BvS test screenings/release? Isn't it awesome that we might get a Batman film that has Batman facing off against The Joker on the 10 year anniversary of THE DARK KNIGHT?!
JETT SAYS: Oliver, I’m not sure about the Johns/SUICIDE SQUAD reshoots timeline. If I had to guess, I’m sure it was in the works before BvS…well, at least I hope so because if not, it would be a reactionary decision.
As far as the solo Batfleck Batflick in 2018 – a year which will mark the 10th anniversary of THE DARK KNIGHT – I’m still not seeing how it’s possible time and schedule-wise for Ben Affleck to have it ready for a release two years from now.
Hey Jett, what are the chances of Warner Bros. moving heaven and Earth to get the solo Batflick out for a 2018 release?
JETT SAYS: Dude, I’d LOVE for it to happen, but like I told Oliver in a previous answer, I don’t see how it’s possible time-wise at this point. I suppose if Ben started working on it early next year (2017), it could happen. But keep in mind that he’s currently finishing post production on LIVE BY NIGHT as well as filming JUSTICE LEAUGE, PART 1. Right now, I guess, we can keep our fingers crossed!
JETT SAYS: I don’t know man, who are they going to hire from Marvel/Disney? Kevin Feige? Let’s see how things go moving forward now that we have DC Films…and Ben Affleck.
This is probably long-winded... with Berg and Johns now in charge of the DCEU going forward, and Affleck being made an executive producer on JUSTICE LEAUGE, do you think this all means that Affleck is in this for the long haul and we may be getting more Batfleck movies/cameos, etc. than what we all originally thought? Thanks!
JETT SAYS: Great question Jeremy W.! I think that’s definitely the case – in fact, I’ve thought this from the moment it was announced that Ben Affleck was the “New Batman.” Even though he’s approaching his mid-40s, the dude can play Batman for another 10 to 12 years. He loves Batman and DC Comics and except for his solo Batman films (PLEASE have that be plural!), working on these DC movies won’t take up a great deal of his time. And let’s be honest, shall we? It’s a great gig and pays really, Really, REALLY well. It’s good work if you can find it – just ask Robert Downey, Jr.
Did Zack Snyder's personal fandom of comic books play a role in BATMAN v SUPERMAN’s divisive reception? Is the DCEU better off hiring filmmakers that have an appreciation for, but aren't "fans" of, the source material?
JETT SAYS: Excellent question Andrew! Man, this is a tough question for me to answer – especially the first part regarding Mr. Snyder’s fandom. I like Zack very much and the dude has been nothing but nice and cool with me. I’m certainly not going to question Zack’s love for comics and these DC characters, but I will question the decisions he made in BvS ‘cause that was his baby totally (Making Batman a cold-ass killer? Come on man!).
As far as your second question regarding filmmakers, I do think Warner Bros. is going to stay true to their “filmmaker driven” approach going forward with the DCEU – with a few tweaks, of course (DC Films). I know it’s not a popular opinion amongst fans, but I subscribe to the Chris Nolan theory of the DCU on film: Keep ‘em separate. Make as many DC-based films as you want, but don’t force them to coexist in the same cinematic universe. Frankly, you saw the result of that what happens when you “force” something to happen in BvS. I truly believe that shared cinematic universes are creatively stifling.
Jett, with your constant criticism of BATMAN v SUPERMAN and the DCEU after BvS was released, is Warner Bros. upset with you? (via EMAIL)
JETT SAYS: I don’t know Mike. – I certainly hope not. I would hope that they appreciate the fact that I do have integrity and will offer up some, ahem, “constructive criticism” when it’s needed. And goodness knows it’s needed post- BvS! I’ve had a great relationship with Warner Bros. for over 13 years now. I truly believe that they respect me and what BOF stands for as well.
With that said, I find it very ironic that for nearly a decade during the run of THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, I was accused by many of being a WB/Chris Nolan ass-kisser and nothing more than a shill for their endeavors. Now, according to some, I’m a “hater” and how dare I not love BvS!? HA!
Hey Jett! This is my first time writing, because I've been really curious about something which I have not seen addressed anywhere at all, and would love to hear your thoughts. Seeing as how David Goyer was so heavily involved in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, MAN OF STEEL, and then BATMAN v SUPERMAN in its genesis, do you think it's odd that he's been absent from nearly all BvS press? What do you think he thinks of the final product and its reception? And do you think he still has any place in the DCEU? (via EMAIL)
JETT SAYS: Dan, for years here on BOF, I’ve said that I’m a fan of David Goyer and believe that he deserves maybe more credit amongst fans than he got for his work on THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. Also, I quite liked MAN OF STEEL for which he wrote the script and co-authored the story with Chris Nolan. While he did write the first draft of BATMAN v SUPERMAN, it appears that it got a significant rewrite/polish via Chris Terrio. Furthermore, while Chris Nolan (and his lovely wife, Emma Thomas) were credited as “Executive Producers” on BvS, neither really had anything to do with the film. From where I stand, once Chris and Emma were not actively involved with BvS and the DCEU going forward, Mr. Goyer’s influence and involvement decreased significantly. Personally, I think it’s a loss for the DCEU going forward because I truly believe Mr. Goyer is a great “ideas guy” and would be an asset to the DCEU brain trust.
Full David Goyer Disclosure: I say this with peace and love, peace and love, OK? Of all my interactions with folks at Warners and “Team Nolan” during the run of the TRILOGY, Mr. Goyer was the only one who disappointed me personally. Regardless, I still stand by Goyer praise.
Hello Jett. Do you find it odd that Lois Lane never mentions or has any conversation with Clark about Batman in BATMAN v SUPERMAN? I found that kind of strange, you'd think Clark would seek her advice considering she's a top journalist and would at least offer an opinion. Thanks and take care. (via EMAIL)
JETT SAYS: You know what Hamad? I never thought about that ‘til you brought it up in your email. Yeah, it’s a little strange, but maybe something was filmed that addressed it, but didn’t make it in the final theatrical cut. Or maybe, Clark was just more interested in bathtub time with Lois than asking her about The Batman.
JETT SAYS: If it’s a fan online petition, it’ll go nowhere. But regardless, I could dig it, totally. I’d say it’s up Duncan Jones’s alley as well.
What is your opinion of SUICIDE SQUAD’s initial very positive reviews from people who are claiming to have seen the movie –especially seeing as how initial reports on BvS were extremely favorable?
JETT SAYS: Hey Chris, we talked about this on the latest BOF PODCAST actually. I know that there have been test screenings. Now, were these reports really from folks who have seen the film? I have no idea. But I will say that SUICIDE SQUAD’s buzz has been positive from the get-go and I have high hopes for – and am very confident in – this move (*fingers crossed*).
You’ve had a lot of awesome surprises during your tenure as BOF founder and leader. What was your best and worst memory?
JETT SAYS: João, you’re acknowledging BOF’s 18th year anniversary, no? Regardless, I’ll go with that premise as I’m VERY proud of this milestone! My best BOF memory is getting a handwritten “Thank You” letter from Chris Nolan on his own stationary. My worst memory is BATMAN v SUPERMAN.
How deep into the Jason Todd lore will the new Batman movies go?
JETT SAYS: Dude, I think it HAS to be addressed after the “Dead Robin Suit” was prominently displayed in BvS’s marketing and in the film itself. I’m hoping the solo Batfleck Batflick is a prequel to both MAN OF STEEL and BvS and tells that story. However, I hope like hell that the fine folks at DC Films leave this “Cinematic Dead Robin,” well, DEAD. As a doornail dead, please.
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.