The November 2017 BOF Mailbag!
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: November 12, 2017

Welcome to the November 2017 BOF Mailbag!

Thanks to you all for the questions -- I tried to get to as many as possible -- and please keep them coming via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER.

And since this is a holiday month -- the US's Thanksgiving comes next week -- you an expect another installment of the BOF podcast in November.

Since this is the last BOF mailbag before JUSTICE LEAGUE comes out, I want to say that I hope that everyone who has “been waiting their whole lives” for this movie isn’t disappointed and like it.

Also, I’m personally very excited for BOF’s JL watch party in Austin, TX next Saturday (11/18). It’s going to be a damn good time no matter what! I’m looking forward to meeting all the longtime BOF’ers who are making the trip – whether it’s a short or a long one – to Austin to hang out with us! FYI if you’re going: I’ll be giving away a JL backpack full of JL swag (Thanks Warner Bros.!) during the pre-screening meet-up! A BIG THANKS to Justin Kowalski, Ryan Hoss, Peter Verra, and Chris Clow for hosting satellite watch parties in Pasadena CA, Raliegh/Durham NC, New Brunswick NJ, and Skokie IL, respectively.

As far as my review of JUSTICE LEAGUE (as well as those by Jo Hyde, Rick Shew, and Ryan Hoss), you’ll be able to read it on Wednesday, November 15th, @ 1:50 AM Central Time. Our JL podcast will drop early in the week after opening weekend, FYI.

And finally, if you haven’t entered BOF’s JL sweepstakes/giveaway, there’s still time! CLICK HERE to do so! ANYWAY...

Post your thoughts, feedback, and opinion in the COMMENTS SECTION below.

JETT SAYS: I was ecstatic! I knew that Christopher Nolan had been hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct a new Batman film, but it was the announcement that Christian Bale had been cast as Batman in the Summer of 2003 that a new Batman film was really going to happen sunk in. All I wanted when I started BOF in 1998 was another – and GOOD – Batman movie. And BATMAN BEGINS was it.

Man, those were the gool 'ol days...

Bill, how do you think JUSTICE LEAGUE will do critically and at the box office. Thanks! (via email)

JETT SAYS: Chris, when it comes to box office, predictions and analysis aren’t my forte. I think it’ll do along the lines of the previous LADCOF films (MAN OF STEEL, BvS, SUICIDE SQUAD, and WONDER WOMAN), and I do not believe it’ll make a billion dollars worldwide. If WONDER WOMAN – which is better than JL – and, quite frankly, BvS – a movie featuring the two most iconic comic book superheroes ever – couldn’t break the $1 billion mark, JL won’t either. Now, I’ll be more than happy to be proven wrong because it’ll be good for DC on film going forward.

As far as the audience’s reception, I believe that it’ll be a bit better received than MAN OF STEEL, and totally better than BvS.

Is Joss Whedon contractually bound from commenting on JUSTICE LEAGUE until the film is released or finished with its theatrical run, or is he just being a respectful gentleman? Maybe a little of both?

JETT SAYS: Honestly, I really don’t know. If I had to guess, part of his deal coming on meant that Mr. Snyder would be the only “credited” director, while Mr. Whedon got a writing credit. And frankly, I’m sure he got a big enough check to not care about getting a directing credit – you know what I mean? Look, there’s A LOT of PR at hand with this entire situation. All parties agreed to the narrative that was going to be made public I assume.

Before I was under the impression that WB has already written off JUSTICE LEAGUE, and are looking past it in regard to DC on film. But your recent report seemed to contradict that saying that any new DC films (besides the ones already filmed/filming or greenlit like AQUAMAN and SHAZAM!) are on hold until the studio sees how JL is received and performs. So my question is: does this mean that if JL is a critical/commercial failure that we might not get DCEU 2.0 that focuses on solo films after all?

JETT SAYS: Alex, don’t worry – DC on Film 2.0 won’t be affected all that much by the performance of JUSTICE LEAGUE whether it’s good or bad. If the reception is poor, most of those “announced” films might come to fruition – FLASHPOINT is a great example. On the other hand, if JL does OK – say like $700 to $800 million worldwide (it AIN’T going to a billion, no way), they may go ahead and greenlight FLASHPOINT and, say BATGIRL (though I’m not convinced it’s going to happen regardless) or something like that. Regardless, we’re still going to get AQUAMAN, WONDER WOMAN 2, and THE BATMAN.

Who is Rick Shew and what does he do?

JETT SAYS: Peter Verra, Rick Shew is my fellow Texan and BOF brother. Luv that dude!

We're a good team...when we like each other. ;)

It sounds like JL was considered so bad by WB that anything Joss Whedon did to the film (and it sounds like he did plenty!) would be an improvement. So, shouldn't BATGIRL be considered a definite to be made – like THE BATMAN and WONDER WOMAN 2 – as a reward to Joss for his work on JL?

JETT SAYS: Oh Glen, you’re smart bro. ;)

In your opinion Bill, who is the most responsible for the DCEU’s (is that not a thing anymore?) problems? Snyder and Ayer, the studio, or the "superhero fatigue" that is causing filmmakers/studios to try different things while trying to please the general audiences producing mediocre (at best) films as a result?

JETT SAYS: *takes a deep breath and exhales* Panos, dude, I don’t know if I want to touch this question with a ten foot pole!

But I will.

Bro, it’s a combination of things and shouldn’t be pinned on one person or entity. I will say – and this is 100% my VERY educated opinion – it all started with the planned straight-up sequel to MAN OF STEEL having Batman injected into it, and becoming BATMAN v SUPERMAN. WB knew BEFORE BvS was released that they had a problem on their hands. The resulting negative reaction to that film caused a chain reaction of changes that affected SUICIDE SQUAD (for the bad), WONDER WOMAN (for the good), and the prime example, JUSTICE LEAGUE (TBD).

Hell, the changes on JL started before it started filming last year and continued during principle photography. AND THEN, it got almost three months of reshoot/significant rewrites under another director, Joss Whedon, simply to make it “watchable” and “OK.”

UGHHHHHHHHH!

Bottom line: It took a village, if you will, to get us to this point with DC on film. With that said Panos, I think they’ve finally got it figured out moving forward post-JUSTICE LEAGUE.

JETT SAYS: I don’t’ know man – I think it’s totally up to Matt Reeves. We’ll see.

There are considerable style differences between a Hans Zimmer/ Junkie XL score and the Danny Elfman style. I love both. But do you think the choice to go with Elfman was DC’s additional way of saying they are making a break from the Synderverse? IMO, Elfman’s use of the Williams’ Superman theme and Elfman’s own Batman theme (however small) is DC’s way to appeal to the lowest common denominator, rather than to try new things and push the limits.

JETT SAYS: I agree with you 100% -- though that’s a Warner Bros. decision, not DC.

Now that you have retired from coaching, what’s next for you? Are you really going to work on BOF fulltime, or will you work on a new career?

JETT SAYS: Well, I haven’t retired yet. I’m still working the “real job” until the end of May 2018. But as far as what I’m going to do next, I am going to work on BOF full-time as the new site – BOF2.0 – goes live on January 1, 2018. I’ll also find something else to do part-time to help keep me busy. Just because I’m retiring from my first gig – which will have lasted 30 years – doesn’t mean I’m shutting down. I’m still young dadgummit!

Not Batman related but have you seen THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES documentary? Tim Burton seems like he really wanted this movie made. What are the chances WB gives it an animated adaptation? I haven’t read the script but it seemed like there was a lot going on in this film…Doomsday, Luthor, Brainiac, and a giant mechanical spider LOL!

JETT SAYS: I have seen it and I thought it was fantastic. Burton’s SUPERMAN LIVES was going to be one crazy-ass Superman movie, that’s for sure! But no, I do not think it’ll get the animated movie treatment. I don’t think WB would want to start doing that with films that they shut down like this one – and SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE: MORTAL, and BATMAN UNCHAINED (which we all called BATMAN TRIUMPHANT for years).

What do you think caused WB to finally realize that waiting to see how a film performs before making future plans is the best way for them?

JETT SAYS: The performance of BATMAN v SUPERMAN as well as all the damn changes they had to make on JUSTICE LEAGUE to salvage it.

In any new incarnation of Batman [on film], I look forward to seeing new designs (e.g. what the Batsuit, Batmobile, Batcave, Gotham, etc.) will look like. How about you?

JETT SAYS: Me too sir! I especially look forward to seeing the new Batsuit and how it looks. But yeah, I’m interested in the designs of all that stuff!

Given all the rumors suggesting that THE BATMAN and SHAZAM! will not be part of the LADCOF, do you think AQUAMAN and WONDER WOMAN 2 will be the last films to be part of this cinematic universe And that the reported "Elseworlds" brand of movies will actually replace it?

JETT SAYS: I think it’s possible, yes. But I’m thinking that there will still be a “DC Cinematic Universe” (DCCU) going forward as well – though the films that are a part of it will be mostly standalone.

When it comes to Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN, it’s going to be interesting to see where it fits in all of this. Maybe it is separate from the other DCCU movies and exists in its own universe. Or hell, it could be part of the DCCU, but set several years before the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE that featured an older, mid-40s Batman. Yes, I’m talking about prequels with a younger, in-his-prime Batman.

As far as the future of DC on film post-JUSTICE LEAGUE, I look forward to seeing where Warner Bros. takes it. I’m of the mind that you simply make good DC movies and not worry about shared universes and continuity.

Jett, seeing that all the JL posters, promos and trailers do not show/include Superman, do you expect to see a second wave of this after the movie’s release, that will include Superman? I guess my real question is will we get any true JL stuff that will include Superman. Just doesn't seem like the JLA without The Man of Steel! (via email)

JETT SAYS: Hi Mike, thanks for the question sir. I think the marketing after the release will be about the same as it was before. Word of mouth will tell the people that didn’t know Superman is in it that he’s actually in it. Look, they’re playing to the general audience in their marketing, not fans – fans who frankly know that Superman returns in the movie.

How do you think the diehard Zack Snyder fans – the ones who worship him and BvS – will react to a JUSTICE LEAGUE which we know has been changed dramacially? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Aaron, that’s a hell of an interesting question and scenario sir. If they are expecting JL to “feel” just like BvS and be very “Snyderish,” they are going to be disappointed. If that’s the case, I wonder if they’ll turn against JL or will they continue believing the narrative that Joss Whedon simply carried out ZS’s vision. The bottom line is Aaron that if ZS had finished the film and WB had let him make the film he really intended to make, the move hitting theaters next week would be very, Very, VERY different.

A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.

His passions are Dallas Cowboys Football, Elvis, Rock-N-Roll, cold beer,
dive bars, the city of Austin (Texas),
The University of Texas Longhorns, AND...

THE BATMAN!

He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS
with his lovely Minnesotan wife,
his youngest son (who is now taller and heavier than his dad), and 1.5 Boston Terriers.


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