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2013 BOF Mailbag #1
Author: Jett
December 12, 2012

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 “Jett,I haven’t heard anything yet about Christopher Nolan’s future plans. If I remember correctly, he is usually attached to some sort of upcoming film by now after his previous movie. Is he just too busy [producing] MAN OF STEEL even though he’s not directing it? Or is there even the slightest possibility that he might still be considering orchestrating the DC Universe on film? One can hope. Thanks and love the site!” - Scott in Tulsa

 JETT SAYS: What a timely email Scott! Right after you sent in your email, news broke that Chris is in talks to direct INTERSTELLAR for Paramount and Warner Bros. (it’ll be a co-production by both studios). The script was written by his brother Jonathan, but Chris is doing a re-write and adding in some of his own ideas. For the full story on that, CLICK HERE.

As far as Chris being “too busy” with MAN OF STEEL, that is not the case. Even though he’s producing, it’s pretty much all director Zack Snyder’s baby. And no, Chris is not going to be Warner Bros.’ “Godfather” when it comes to DC on film. He’s simply not interested in that job and, quite frankly, I don’t blame him.

 “Jett, was there ANYTHING in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES that completely surprised you? Also any chance on a “noir” Batman film set in 1939?” - Ryan L.

 JETT SAYS: Did anything surprise me in RISES? Hmm…good question. I don’t know if anything “surprises me” per se, but I went into the film completely unspoiled. Thus, I got to enjoy it as Chris Nolan and all involved with the film intended.

I’d LOVE to see a noir, 1939-set Batman film, but I don’t think Warner Bros. believes that to be a viable option.

 “Long time fan of the website since early 2000s, and a HUGE Bat fan since 1989. After BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, you were a supporter of the Nolanverse continuing on after Nolan. Why a 180 change since then? Keep up the great work with the site!” - Patrick I.

 JETT SAYS: Yes, I certainly had a change of heart for two major reasons.

One, BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES make up one complete story – “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” I don’t want anything in those films to be retroactively altered down the line to fit a new director’s vision or story. In short, I want the “Trilogy” left alone.

Secondly, I’ve come to believe that these films should be done as trilogies – four films at the most. When you go on and on and on – as was the case with the Burton/Schumacher Quadrilogy – the series is eventually run into the ground. I’d much rather see a filmmaker with respect for the character and a vision for Batman on film – like Chris Nolan previously – be able to do what he wants without having to worry cinematic continuity. That’s the best way, in my opinion, for Batman on film to stay fresh.

 “Recently, Michael Keaton said that had both he and Tim Burton stayed on for a third Batman film, it would have been more of an origin story -- similar to what Christopher Nolan [with BATMAN BEGINS]. How do you think a third Burton Batman film would have fared if it had been a film about how Bruce became Batman?” - Roy B. from New Jersey

 JETT SAYS: Here’s the real deal with this…

The idea of “Batman 3” – which ultimately became 1995’s BATMAN FOREVER -- being an origin film/prequel, was Michael Keaton’s idea, not Tim Burton’s. If Warner Bros. hadn’t, ahem, “invited Burton to leave,” his third Batman film with Keaton would still have been a sequel. In fact, he was still attached to direct “Batman 3” while Lee Batchler and Janet Scott-Batchler were writing the script. While I do believe that Keaton may have had a desire for his third Batman film to be a prequel/origin film, I don’t think going that route was ever actually on the table.

 “I know you are quite adamantly against a Justice League film that includes Batman, but since it has all but outright stated that that is the plan moving forward, what would it take to get you remotely jazzed about it?” - Nate C.

 JETT SAYS: Hi Nate, thanks for the question. Ah, JUSTICE LEAGUE

I’m not sure what could get me onboard to be perfectly honest. As a Batman fan, I’ve never been keen on Batman stories that involved him mixing it up with super-powered heroes or villains. I prefer the more “realistic” version of the character, be it in comics or in live-action films. I also believe wholeheartedly that Batman’s “realism” is what makes the character so appealing to the mainstream audience. Think about it, Batman is arguably the most popular comic book superhero amongst the aforementioned mainstream. I’m not sure they will take a shine to a Batman who fights off aliens and gods alongside super-powered beings…in (perhaps) SPACE!

It’s my hope that my friends at Warner Bros. tap the breaks on JUSTICE LEAGUE and take the time to develop solo films based on their staple of DC Comics characters.

 “Hey, Jett. I've been having this debate forever now it seems so I wanted to know if you know the answer. Is Bale's ‘Batman’ voice a function of the suit? I'm hoping you know due to your relationships with people that made the films. Thanks in advance!” - Marcus J.

 JETT SAYS: Yes, the Batsuit has some sort of contraption built into it that amplifies and distorts Bruce’s (in this case, Christian Bale's) voice. Per BATMAN BEGINS: THE VISUAL GUIDE by Scott Beatty…

Earphone: A high-tech eavesdropping device and transmitter is concealed in within the cowl’s right ear. A microphone concealed in the cowl’s sculpted jaw line, allows the bat-ears to double as powerful loudspeakers, so that when Batman speaks, everyone listens!”

Also, when I was on the set of THE DARK KNIGHT in Chicago back in 2007, I asked Lindy Hemming about it and she confirmed that in the film, the suit was supposed to have this voice distorter. Graham Churchyard, one of the main guys behind ALL of the Batsuits, told me the same thing. Of course, it really doesn’t have such a devise; Bale’s voice is altered a bit during post.

I think, perhaps, if the existence of the microphone and loudspeakers in the cowl was mentioned in BATMAN BEGINS, there wouldn’t have been such an uproar over Bale’s “Batman Voice.” Regardless, I’ve always thought it was much to do over nothing – simply a petty nitpick.

 “I loved THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I'm eternally grateful for what Team Nolan did with our beloved character throughout the Trilogy. With that said, I still think there are legitimate criticisms to be made -- especially with regards to RISES. So far, you have been extremely hesitant to voice any concerns or criticisms. I think that actually does a disservice to the film and fans. My question is: What are some of your ‘problems’ with the film -- or Trilogy as a whole? Is there anything you would have liked to see done differently?” - Aaron H.

 JETT SAYS: Hmm, interesting question there Aaron. When it comes to RISES, I think it’s been unfairly nitpicked to death by fans. Why? Well, I believe that during the four years between THE DARK KNIGHT and RISES, fans conjured up in their minds the film they wanted to see. When the movie in the minds didn’t jibe with the actual film Team Nolan delivered, they criticized it to various degrees. If that's the case for many "disappointed fans," that's on THEM, not Nolan and co.

Look, I LOVED the Trilogy, so my complaints of it are few and far between. If I’m forced to pick out some “issues” I had over the course of the three films, I guess they would be the following…

* The finale of BEGINS was the weakest of the Trilogy.

* I would have liked to have seen The Penguin used in one of the films. I know Chris said that he didn't think the character could work in his Batman films, but I don't agree with him. The Penguin could have easily been one of the mob bosses in TDK. Would it have made a difference if, instead of "The Chechen," that character was "The Penguin?" Nope. Chris and co. kinda dropped the ball by not having Cobblepott in the Trilogy. I didn't care about seeing The Riddler, but I did want to see Nolan's take on 'ol Ozzy.

Other than that, I don’t have any issues with Nolan’s Batman, and I feel it would be disingenuous of me to have some just for the sake of, well, having some. I'll leave the over-analysis to the fanboys on their internet message boards.

 “Hi Jett, know you're a big fan of Rises, but wondered if you agreed that there wasn't enough focus on Batman in it? I felt that after BATMAN BEGINS (my favourite of the three as it feels most like a Batman movie to me) and the epic THE DARK KNIGHT, ‘Batman’ became the least interesting character (note I've separated Bruce from Batman as they fulfill different functions in the films).” - Colin R. from the UK

 JETT SAYS: Hello Colin, thanks for reading BOF and sending in your question! No, I don’t agree. Why? Because all three films – “The Dark Knight Trilogy” – was always about Bruce Wayne, not Batman. And THAT is why the Trilogy was such a success – the audience truly cared about Bruce.

I totally get what you’re saying and I respect your opinion, but I'm not down with that particular point of view. Cheers!

 “Bill, I've been a follower of your site since the very beginning. I've never emailed you before, but I wanted to now that the Trilogy is over and say THANKS! I was a 15 year old kid when I found your site back in 1998 and now I'm about to turn 30 and have a great job, wife and family. Every time I thought I was 'too old' for Batman, I would simply go to your site and was inspired how you wore your Batman fandom on your sleave and wore it proudly. Not only did you have a HUGE influence on Batman on film, but you also showed people that you could be a 'regular guy' and still like Batman and comics. If anyone deserved a 'Thank You' from Christopher Nolan, it was you. I'm sure my thank you pales in comparison, but 'THANK YOU!'” - Brian from Los Angeles, CA

 JETT SAYS: Wow, I don't know what to say...that was one of the nicest emails I've ever received. Brian, THANK YOU for your wonderful email and for reading BOF all these years! Yes, It was indeed cool to get a "Thank You" card from Chris, but emails from fans like you actually mean more to me. Cheers! And hell, I've told Chris "Thanks!" in person many times over the years. It was a privledge to be able to honor him for MTV this past year.

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