The BOF Mailbag 2013 #2
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (@BATMANONFILM)
December 19, 2012
“I loved the Nolan Batman films, but now I'm worried. It feels we are headed down the BATMAN AND ROBIN route. Do you think you will go through the same struggle again of what it took to get [Chris] Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight Trilogy?’” - Milan P.
JETT SAYS: Milan, based on the folks in the know that I’ve talked to, yes, there is a lot of concern that Batman on film is going to go down a “Let’s make it lighter and more ‘popcorn!’” route. Let’s be frank: “The Dark Knight Trilogy” was not “kid friendly,” thus, it couldn’t have all the toys and crap that usually goes along with these sorts of films. Yes, there were “toys,” but they were meant for folks like you and me, not children. Consequently, I’m quite sure that there’s a push within some folks at Warner Bros. to market their comic book-based films towards the, ahem, “younger crowd.”
Hey, if my good friends at Warner Bros. didn’t learn their lesson with crap like BATMAN AND ROBIN, well…
So to answer your question, yes, I’m prepared to bang the drum harder and louder than ever for Batman on film to be done RIGHT. While I know I’m just spinning my wheels with my opposition to a Justice League film, I do so only because I believe that it is NOT the RIGHT thing for the Batman film franchise – and for other solo DC-based films too.
“Hey Jett, I am a huge fan of Nolan’s Bat-Films and am very grateful that I got to experience the ride. I recently watched the Trilogy back to back to back, and there was a particular issue that bothered me. It seemed throughout the Trilogy that Batman was actually very careless with lives – especially when operating his vehicles. He also killed Harvey Dent – something no one seems to mention – and "didn't save" Ra’s Al Ghul. I know a lot of this needed to happen for the visual aspect, but since ‘not killing’ is one of Batman’s defining aspects, does this bother you a bit? Also the way he encouraged the cops to go to their slaughter in RISES seemed uncharacteristic, as one would think Batman could come up with a better plan than unarmed cops running to their deaths? I realize that no film is perfect, but this is the one huge negative I saw in the Nolan films. - Mance from Austin, Texas
JETT SAYS: Hello Mance, thanks for the email.
First of all, I think you need to take into account that Batman is not an executioner or murderer. That aspect of Nolan’s Batman was clearly established in BATMAN BEGINS. Remember, he refused to chop off that criminal dude’s head to finalize his induction into the League of Shadows.
In regards to your claim that Batman “killed” Harvey Dent, he absolutely did not kill Two Face, OK? He saved Jim Gordon’s son and Harvey died in the process – that’s NOT murder. Batman had no way to know that Harvey would land in a funky way and break his neck. Hell, Batman fell from the same height and survived. Plus, it was Harvey’s own actions that led to his death anyway. Blame Dent, not The Batman.
When it comes to not saving Ra’s Al Ghul, I have no issue with it at all. “I’m not going to kill you, but that doesn’t mean I have to save you” is, again, not the same as executing someone.
As far as leading unarmed cops to their slaughter, I’m not sure where you are coming from on this one. An army was needed to save Gotham from Bane and Talia. The Gotham PD was that army and The Batman was their general.
The bottom line here is that some bad guys might have died as a result of Batman’s actions throughout “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” but his “No killing, no guns” stance – as he told Selina in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -- was never compromised.
However, I am with you on Batman being a little reckless with his driving!
“It seems like a Justice League movie with Batman in it is going to happen no matter what. I understand why DC/Warner Bros. wants to do it, but think it will limit future solo Batman films. A Justice League movie NEEDS Batman, but solo Batman on film doesn’t need a JL film. Do you agree?” - Colin R.
JETT SAYS: Do I agree? Does Commissioner Gordon light up the Batsignal? Here’s the deal…
If the rebooted Batman on film is introduced in a Justice League film, then any future solo films will be subservient to that Batman. If you’re a filmmaker worth your salt and are absolutely dying to take on Batman, wouldn’t you want a blank canvas and not a paint-by-numbers kit?
“You seem to look down on other fans because you’ve made many derogatory statements towards fanboys on your website and podcasts. Why do you hate the people who make up your audience? I love BOF Jett, but I’m just sayin’….” – Orlando from Atlanta, Georgia
JETT SAYS: Do I “hate” fanboys? Well, I'm not too particularly fond of them!
With that said, let me clarify what the moniker “fanboy” now means, OK? That term – which I personally used to love and embrace – has now become associated with the absolute WORST of fandom. Sadly, it now refers to the old stereotype come to life and that SUCKS!
So when I say I hate “Fanboys,” what I’m totally referring to the MINORITY of anti-social, message board-trolling shit-talking internet tough guys that make the MAJORITY of us look bad.
Look, I LOVE comic books and comic book characters and I’m TIRED of the mainstream thinking that folks like ME and YOU are a bunch of socially-arrested tools. Quite frankly, those folks are not my audience anyway.
“I have been a BOF regular visitor since BATMAN BEGINS. You mentioned that you would tell us why RISES was not filmed in Chicago after its release. Could you let us know why Chicago was not Gotham City?” - Steve L.
JETT SAYS: I think I’ve already revealed this in another mailbag and I know that my source – Emma Thomas – has publically explained why as well. SO…
I asked Emma back in ’11 why they didn’t film in Chicago and she provided me with a very reasonable and legit answer. They – “Team Nolan” – felt that they’d shot just about all of Chicago during BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT they needed for those two films. And believing that Gotham should be portrayed being a huge metropolis, they wanted to explore other parts of the city that were not seen in the two previous films. Thus, the New York, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, London and CGI mash-up we got in RISES.
“If JUSTICE LEAGUE does indeed come out Summer 2015, what year is most likely for the next solo Batman film to hit theaters?” - Thomas G.
JETT SAYS: Even if a JL film wasn’t coming, my suggestion was for Warner Bros. give Batman on film time to breath a bit before shoving the reboot down our throats. I’m thinking 2017-ish – JL film or not.
“Jett, do think six or seven years into the future that the movie-going public and Batman fans [will watch another origin story] film? What if it’s coming from another perspective, Alfred's or something along those lines?” - Justin
JETT SAYS: Hmm, maybe. Since BATMAN BEGINS is pretty much – or as close as it gets – to a “definitive” Batman origin film, I’m not so sure that another one is needed. Also, Batman’s origin was even show via flashbacks in BATMAN ’89 and BATMAN FOREVER. The idea of showing it from a different POV – such as Alfred’s as you suggest – is interesting, but then the entire film would probably come from the POV of someone else besides Bruce Wayne and I’m not sure that’s the right way to go.
Personally, I want to see an adaptation of BATMAN BEYOND for the next Batman on film trilogy (If you want to read my take on it, CLICK HERE). However, if the cinematic Batman reboot is simply another incarnation of Bruce Wayne Batman, I’d prefer for it to feature a Batman in his prime and not rehash his origin.
“Hello Jett! Cheers to all of your amazing work! I check your site on a daily basis, and have for the past 15 years! My questions is more of a ‘What-could-have-been.’ I love all 3 movies of the Trilogy, and in no way do I wish for them to be any different. Just out of curiosity, do you feel if Heath Ledger had not passed away, RISES would have had a different plot? I completely understand, and respect, Nolan and Co. for not mentioning or having The Joker in RISES, but do you feel the plot would have been different, and how so? Also, do you feel The Joker had any part of Ra's overall plan? Or, was he simply a ‘Happy Coincidence?’” - Mark C.
JETT SAYS: Hello Mark and thanks for being a BOF’er all these years! On to your questions…
After BATMAN BEGINS and before THE DARK KNIGHT, I do believe that David Goyer and Chris Nolan planned for The Joker to be in Parts 2 and 3 of their trilogy. However, once they began writing the story for TDK -- along with Chris’ brother, Jonathan Nolan – what was planned for The Joker all went into TDK. So, I’m not sure that The Joker would’ve returned in Part 3 even if Heath hadn’t passed in early 2008.
And no, I do not believe The Joker was a member of, or had anything to do with the League of Shadows. He was totally – as you said – a “Happy Coincidence.”
“What can you tell us about this ‘Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ of ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ that comes out later this year ?” - Ryan S.
JETT SAYS: All I’ve heard is that it’s coming out and that Chris might have recorded “Director’s Commentary” for all three films.
“Hi Bill, love the site. I know you’ve postponed putting the ‘Blogs’ of the ‘Trilogy’ on the site. Any idea when you’ll post them? Thanks!” - Chris C. from OKC
JETT SAYS: Sometime this year, I’ll post them. I have a personal reason for not doing so back in the December of last year (2012) as I had originally planned. It’s nothing bad or anything, I simply have a personal reason for not doing so that shall remain private for the time being. Thanks for understanding and the patience!
“If MAN OF STEEL is a massive hit, what affect do you think it will have on Warner Bros.’ Justice League movie? Also, would you agree that this new Superman movie is set in the same universe as ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy?’” - Ethan from the UK
JETT SAYS: If MAN OF STEEL sucks and flops – which I do not believe will be the case – then a HUGE monkey wrench will be thrown into WB’s plans for a JL movie. However, if MOS is good and a success – which I do believe will be the case – my good friends at Warner Bros. are going to have a HUGE and IMPORTANT decision to make. Do they allow Zack Snyder and co. (Chris Nolan and David Goyer as producer and writer respectively) to tell their story of Superman ala “The Dark Knight Trilogy” as was originally planned? Or, do they hijack Synder’s Superman to use in JUSTICE LEAGUE? It’s my hope that they do the smart thing and go with the former option.
And, is MAN OF STEEL in the same universe as “The Dark Knight Trilogy?” It is absolutely and unequivocally NOT. The only thing MOS has in common with “The Dark Knight Trilogy” is that Goyer, Nolan and Synder intended it to be its own thing and not part of some unified cinematic superhero universe.
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