The September 2016/Labor Day BOF Mailbag!
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day 2016!

And more importantly, it means that football in America is back baby!

Here in Texas, high school football began across the Lone Star State over a week ago. And what a kickoff weekend for college football it was! And I can say is...

HOOK 'EM!

Below you'll 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.

Thanks for reading mailbag and listening to the podcast! Now, let's get started! And...

GO COWBOYS!

With talk of all the deleted Joker and Harley scenes (some of which we've seen in trailers or set videos), do you think there's any chance we'll get an “Ultimate Edition” of SUICIDE SQUAD on Blu-ray that's possibly R-rated? More so than BvS, I think this film could benefit from an extended cut to help with the editing and tonal issues.

JETT SAYS: Anthony, I think – maybe – that we’d have already heard of such a cut for SS if it was happening. However, with so many cuts of this film being made prior to release, and combined with Jared Leto publicly saying several of his scenes as The Joker were cut, I’m thinking it’s still possible.

Is it a foregone conclusion that JUSTICE LEAGUE will be another critically-panned Zack Snyder film and that all hope lies on the shoulders of WONDER WOMAN? Or is the future more hopeful for the DCEU ?

JETT SAYS: Steve, no, I do not believe that we can already deem JUSTICE LEAGUE – especially 14 months or so out from release – to be a “critically-paned Zack Snyder film.” Frankly, anyone already chalking JL up to be one, is simply going out of their way to hate on this film, the DCEU, and Mr. Snyder.

However sir, I will say that three films in, the buzz surrounding the DCEU isn’t strong nor is it positive. All three DCEU releases have been panned critically – that’s an irrefutable fact. Furthermore, except for SUICIDE SQUAD, the other films have underperformed at the box office and were met with a “meh” by the mainstream movie-going audience. This isn’t a good thing for the future of the DCEU. BUT…

Despite my own “meh” response to the JUSTICE LEAGUE footage shown at San Diego Comic Con, I shall always reserve final judgement until I see the film. Also – and I’m not going to lie – Ben Affleck having more “say” on JL and the DCEU going forward (and Geoff Johns as well), it something I view as a good thing. Cheers!

In your review of BvS’s Ultimate Edition, you state: "Batman does not blatantly kill. Not even a battle-weary, tired, broken, Goddamn Batman!" However, and pardon my ignorance if I'm wrong here, is it not implied in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS that he ices the mutant who's holding the child hostage? This is also what Zack Snyder references when he "excuses" Batman's killing in BATMAN v SUPERAN

JETT SAYS: Joseph, the way I interpreted that scene in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is that Batman uses rubber bullets to incapacitate his enemies, not out-right murder them. It was pretty clear – at least to me – in RETURNS that Batman use brutal and violent force against the bad guys, but never crossed “that line.” Hell, he wouldn’t even kill The Joker at the end.

In regards to Mr. Snyder, let’s just say that the two of us have very different views of the character of Batman. Thus, I’m also not a fan of Bruce Wayne getting raped in prison during his globe-trotting, pre-Batman days. *sigh*

JETT SAYS: I thought it was a B...that’s basically it man. I enjoyed it more the first time I saw it in the theater than I did BATMAN v SUPERMAN. To me (since I wrote the thing), my review was a reflection of a film that deserved a B: slightly above average but no were near being great. I will say that I’ve liked it less upon subsequent views. If I had to grade it now, it’d probably drop to the B- range.

Heath-Joker or Jared-Joker? Who did it better?

JETT SAYS: David, while I really, Really, REALLY liked Jared Leto’s portrayal of The Joker, and VERY MUCH look forward to seeing more of him as The Clown Prince of Crime in the future (and we WILL), Heath Ledger’s Joker – as directed and co-written by Chris Nolan in THE DARK KNIGHT – is my favorite. It’s now a legendary portrayal of a cinematic villain regardless of the fact that TDK is just a “comic book film.” Ledger’s Joker and the film were game-changers for the genre.

Turning the page – and we must – who says that Mr.Leto can’t ultimately deliver a performance that will be as revered as Mr. Ledger’s – especially with a writer/director like Ben Affleck running the show.

I just finished Glen Weldon's book, THE CAPED CRUSADE, due to Robert Reineke's recommendation/review on BOF. One of his major threads throughout the book is that fans have been pushing ever since the lightness of the 50's comics and 60's TV show for Batman to be presented seriously as a dark, obsessed loner, which achieved culmination and mainstream acceptance in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. This fan crusade seems ironic now as the most common request I see on BOF comment boards are the introduction of Robin or other costumed members of the Batman Family (as Weldon says Batman as a father figure is the last essential piece of the character). Do you think we fans are victims of our own success and Batman on film will now be fixed as a loner for a long time to come? Or do you think we can have our cake and eat it too? Do you think WB will dare produce a film in the near future that's a serious Batman story with sidekicks without veering into 1997's BATMAN & ROBIN territory?

JETT SAYS: Great book, and a great question Matthew. I totally get “the crusade” as it was (and still is) my own crusade with BOF all these years. In regards to your main question, I don’t think that Batman having a Robin or a Nightwing fighting alongside of him means the film can’t be “dark and serious.” Now, the darkness, and a bit of “realness,” is lessoned with a teenage sidekick standing next to Batman and fighting crime with him – especially in a live-action film that’s trying to be, well, “dark and serious.” With all that said, I do think Ben Affleck’s solo Batman film will feature at least one Bat-sidekick – probably Nightwing – and definitely will not be anything like BATMAN & ROBIN in tone or, well, anything else! Finally, I concur with Mr. Weldon that “Batman the father figure” is one of the core aspects of the character (Hell, Batman was one of my father figures growing up!). Even Chis Nolan knew that by inserting his version of Robin into THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in the form of John Robin Blake.

SUICIDE SQUAD will cross $300M domestic this coming week and will end with $720M worldwide without China – that's better than GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY without China ($680M+), can you use your power to make sure Warner Bros. doesn't get too cocky and work hard to ensure that director’s cut their own cohesive stories in the future so we get critical AND financial success next year? Thanks.

JETT SAYS: OK, here goes…

WARNER BROS., I COMMAND THEE NOT TO GET TOO COCKY OVER THE SUCCESS OF SUICIDE SQUAD AND LET DIRECTOR’S MAKE THE FILMS THEY WANT TO MAKE! HOCUS-POCUS, ABRACADABRA, SHAZAM AND BABBA BOOEY!

Oliver, I don’t have that sort of power or influence, but I do the best I can to lobby my friends at Warner Bros. to do what’s right by Batman when it comes to his cinematic endeavors in a respectful manner. Cheers!

JETT SAYS: I thought Batman showing up was cool – but there really wasn’t much of him as the promotion led us to believe (which I didn’t expect anyway). If your question regarding Mr. Affleck and Mr. Terrio and the script was referring to SUICIDE SQUAD, I don’t believe either had anything to do with it.

And Batman DID NOT not kiss Harley!

Do believe the “Deathstroke is the main villain in Affleck’s solo Batman film” rumors?

JETT SAYS: Frank, I we all talked about this in-depth on the latest BATMAN ON FILM PODCAST. So please, check it out!

Jett, have you heard any truth to the rumor that we'll be getting a third season of YOUNG JUSTICE via Netflix? As far as animated shows in the DC Universe, this show is right up there with BTAS and STAS. Cheers!

JETT SAYS: Hey Tyler! I got no idea man, sorry. I’m sure I’ll hear something from Warner Bros. Animation if and when this happens dude.

With the recent success of the BATMAN ‘66 comic book series crossing over with other old school properties, who would you like to see next? My vote goes to The Three Stooges.

JETT SAYS: Nick, mark me down for Elvis. And not 50s (the best) or 70s (well, you know) version of The King, but late 60s, post-movies, comeback Elvis! And throw in 60’s Tom Jones in there as Batman’s sidekick too!

Dig this dialogue…

(In Elvis voice) “Say Batman, I’m Elvis...Elvis Presley. Uh ah, I ain’t no Captain Marvel Jr. or anything sir, but I’d like to team-up with you…if you’ll have me. I can even bring my own sidekick sir, Tom Jones! He’s from Wales and all, but I figure that’s OK.”

(In Adam West Batman voice) “Elvis, while Robin and I may not approve of your, well, ‘seductive’ stage gyrations, we are indeed happy to have you and Tom Jones join the team.”

(In Elvis voice) “Thank you sir, thank you very much!”

JETT SAYS: Apparently, there were several cuts of SUICIDE SQUAD and the one we saw in theaters was the “winning” choice. However, I don’t know if we’ll see a director’s or ultimate cut of it like we did with BvS…but I’d like to.

What are your thoughts on Jim Stalin/Jim Aparo's run on BATMAN from issues #414 to #432? Plus, THE CULT. I feel TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST is vastly underrated in the pantheon of Batman stories, as is THE CULT.

JETT SAYS: Cullen, Jim Aparo is one of my favorite Batman artists and his run on BATMAN with Jim Stalin was a good one. For the record, I read that run retroactively as I wasn’t reading comics consistently in the 1980s. Also, while THE CULT and TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST usually don’t rank as “must-read” Batman comic book stories, I think, overall, they’re very much appreciated.

Would you be down for an animated THE LONG HALLOWEEN adaptation?

JETT SAYS: Gabe, I don’t know. I believe that story would really have to be pared-down to make it fit as a 70 to 90-ish production. Also, I’m more of a fan of the “inspired by” way when it comes to these animated Batman films; but, I did love THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS animated film(s) and I’ve been banging the drum for a GOTHAM BY GASLAMP movie for years. To digress, I do think an animated film of TLH is doable, but a lot of it would need to be cut…and do you want to do that?

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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