(9.1.12) "Your latest op-ed makes you come off like a whining fanboy. Everybody wants a Justice League movie dude, so get over it. It’s going to make a shit-load of money. I love Batman in the Justice League because it shows how badass he really is? Have you ever read a JL comic in your life? Did you not watch the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE series? Screw a ‘realistic’ Batman and screw your beloved ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’ too! Nolan’s films sucked!" - Name withheld due to lack of balls
JETT SAYS: HA! And I’M the whining fanboy?
Let me say this to both our anonymous author friend here as well as to those who are reading right now. My "whining" is actually a combination of my personal opinion on the topic, as well as things I know about the Justice League film project that I can not reveal on BOF. This ain’t “uneducated bitching” my friends, OK?
Now as far as the claim that “everyone wants a JL film,” that’s total BS. I don’t, and there are A LOT of Batman fans just like me that couldn’t care less about one. And if you’re including the mainstream audience into this nonsensical claim, then you are clearly delusional. The mainstream doesn't give a flip about a JL film one way or the other. It's not even on their radar. If you actually believe these folks are jonesing for this film like fanboys, you are living in fantasy land. Now that doesn’t mean that they won’t go see it, but don’t lop that group of folks into this ridiculous “everybody wants a JL film” statement.
Now, I do agree with you that a JL film will, potentially, make a shit-load of money. There have been a lot of films that suck and/or bad for that particular genre/film series and still make a lot of dough. My primary concern is that a JL film will become the tail that wags the Batman on film dog, you know what I’m saying? While a JL film’s influence on the solo Batman series is my #1 worry, I also have lots of trepidation with the “JL Affect” on other prospective solo films based on DC Comics characters. If you think I’m blowing smoke out my you-know-what about this “JL Affect,” then you’re either tremendously naïve or choosing to be ignorant.
And bro, are you REALLY going try to argue that a JL film is viable -- and Batman “works better” within that context -- based on comic books and an animated TV series?
What “works” in comic books and in animation (I LOVE both the comic book and animated film/TV series incarnations of the genre, FYI), doesn’t always translate to live-action film. 99% of the audience that go to see comic book-based movies ARE NOT seeing things through “Fanboy-Colored Glasses.” You know who is reading and watching this stuff? I can tell you…
COMIC BOOK FANS!
Therefore, there is a big chance that JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to come off as a big ’ol cheese-fest to the “Regular Joes” out there. This is especially true when it comes to Batman. These folks are used to a “realistic” Batman and the proof is in the pudding known as Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy.” Seeing Batman up on the silver screen with the “Superfriends” in tights, fighting aliens/robots/supervillains, and/or being placed in magical/supernatural/outer space locales is sure to make the mainstream audience snicker, if not laugh out loud.
Regardless, a JL film is going to happen, so I know that fact is making lots of fans break out into a happy dance. But remember…
“Be careful what you wish for, as you just may receive it.”
(7.24.12) "Hi Jett! Thanks to BOF, I got a steady diet of news about [THE DARK KNIGHT RISES] for the last two years and was able to see it this past weekend completely unspoiled. You’re a class act dude. My buddies and I have been arguing over this one thing about the film and we hope you can settle it one way or the other. Did Batman live, or was Alfred seeing Bruce at the end his imagination? Thanks!" - Kyle from Tampa, Florida
JETT SAYS: Hi Kyle. Thanks for the nice words and I am SO glad that you got to see RISES unspoiled bro. Really, that means A LOT to me. Cheers! On to your question…
No, that was NOT Alfred’s imagination at the end. Batman, well Bruce actually, lived. How do we know this? Well, the biggest giveaway is that he’s with Selina at that café. Alfred would never fanaticize about Bruce running off with a thief! But here’s the giveaway...
She’s wearing Mrs. Wayne’s pearls -- the one’s that the folk’s in charge of settling Bruce Wayne’s estate discovered were missing.
Secondly, why do you think Lucius Fox learning that The Bat’s autopilot had been fixed by, uh, Bruce Wayne was included in the film? There was no reason for this quick scene to be in RISES other than to show us that Bruce lived.
So how did he escape The Bat and not be incinerated when the nuke detonated? Well, remember, Bruce Wayne prepares for EVERYTHING. And, more significantly…
HE’S THE GODDAMN BATMAN AND THAT'S WHY! ;)
Like it or not -- and I personally LOVE it -- Team Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has a happy ending. Cheers brother!
The mailbag continues after the jump!
(6.14.12) "Hi Bill, got a question for you and I’m very interested in your response. What do you make of [Christopher] Nolan’s recent ‘The source material is irrelevant’ comment when it comes to Batman films? I LOVE his [Batman movies] and I found that comment a bit offensive as a HUGE Batman fan. What’s your take? Can you shed some light on it?" - Amanda from New York, NY
JETT SAYS: Hello Amanda and thanks for sending in your question and for reading BOF which you obviously do! On to your question…
I get where you’re coming from, trust me. In fact, I’ve got TONS of email the last few days over Mr. Nolan’s quote -- most of which were nasty, full of expletives, juvenile (For cripe's sake, CLEAN UP your message boards folks!) and obviously sent by those who make up lowest rung of fandom.
Look, if Mr. Nolan said it in the exact same context as it was reported, then, yes, I'd say it was a poor choice of words. With that said, I wasn’t there and I don’t know the question that prompted that response, nor do I know if anything he said before or after was omitted.
As a Batman fan of 40+ years now who loves, Loves, LOVES the character, I certainly get how such a comment can piss one off. However, I happen to know for a fact that Mr. Nolan has the utmost respect for not only the character of Batman, but for those of us who dig The Dark Knight as well.
Hey, I’m not a “Chris Nolan Whisperer” -- though I play one on the Net. What I personally believe Mr. Nolan means is this: "Yes, you should honor the source material; however, you don’t want to regurgitate what is in one medium (comic books) to another (film)."
Didn’t you see bits of YEAR ONE in BATMAN BEGINS? THE DARK KNIGHT definitely took a cue from both THE LONG HALLOWEEN and THE KILLING JOKE (“You wanna know how I got these scars?” = “If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”), right?
Hell, I’ve yet to see RISES, but it definitely has a THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS/KNIGHTFALL/NO MAN’S LAND vibe, don’t you think?
While I love all of those stories, there's no way in hell I'd ever want to see a straight-up, live-action movie of, well, ANY of 'em!
Yes, I know my response comes off as a Chris Nolan apologist and kiss ass. But you know what? Mr. Nolan has nothing to apologize for when it comes to his Batman films and my “kissing ass” is simply…I think they call it…RESPECT.
I promise, if…IF…I get the chance to chat with Mr. Nolan again, I’ll ask him about that comment. Fair enough? :)
(6.4.12) "Dude, Nolan’s f%cking-up by not even mentioning The Joker in [THE DARK KNIGHT RISES]! How in the hell can what he did in [THE DARK KNIGHT] not be acknowledged in RISES? Hey, the guy (Heath Ledger) died, not the character! They should’ve recast [the part of The Joker] or CGI’ed him! I already know you’ll disagree with me ‘cause your [sic] a Nolan kiss-ass! So f%ck you too!" - “Mr. J 07051980”
JETT SAYS: Wow.
Where DO I start?
I get it that there are many fans who would’ve liked to have The Joker at least mentioned in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. HOWEVER…
It was Mr. Nolan’s call and I totally respect his decision. In fact, not only do I respect it, but I support it too -- which I’m sure disappoints you quite a bit “Mr. J 07051980.”
In coming up with the RISES story and script, Chris believed that mentioning The Joker would be inappropriate as they’d be forced to account for a real life tragedy.
Yes, that certainly begs the following question: “Would The Joker have returned if Heath had not passed away?”
Maybe. And maybe not too.
Look dude, Mr. Nolan had a personal relationship with Heath. I didn’t, and neither did YOU, OK?
I’m sorry, If Chris’ decision “bothers” you bro. All I can say is in response is...
“GET OVER YOURSELF!”
So, where HAS The Joker been for the last 8 years? I think The Batman himself provided a prophetic answer at the end of THE DARK KNIGHT…
JETT SAYS: Hi Tyler. Thanks for your patronage brother! On to your question…
To put it bluntly: NOPE. Heck, THE AVENGERS had probably made my desire not to see a JL film even stronger!
Now that THE AVENGERS has hit the big screen, a JL film -- no matter how “good” it is -- will come off as nothing more than Warner Bros./DC Comics simply copying Marvel. The mainstream audience will think that they are being reactive instead of proactive and truth be told, they’d be right.
I know that probably doesn’t matter to the average DC fan -- they just want to see a JL film. But it does matter when one tries to predict the how a JL movie will perform at the box office since the mainstream will make up 95% or more of the audience. Beside Batman, is there any member of the Justice League that folks are just dying to see on the big screen. And hell, the Batman that will appear in a JL film is NOT the one that is so popular amongst the mainstream (i.e. The Batman of Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy portrayed by Christian Bale). Will non-comic bookers accept a Batman that exists alongside super-powered beings (villains or heroes) or one that might blast off into space at any given time?
I don’t know. Moving on from The Batman…
Think about it folks, GREEN LANTERN sucked, WB/DC has yet to find a way for Wonder Woman to work as a live-action film, and we don’t know how Superman’s return (no pun intended) is going to be accepted when MAN OF STEEL comes out next Summer. (For the record, I think MOS is going to kick ass -- though I thought the same thing about GREEN LANTERN. Doh!)
The only thing you can 100% count on when it comes to DC on film right now is The Caped Crusader. Batman is arguably the most popular of ALL comic book superheroes no matter the publisher or universe.
Does the mainstream audience have any desire to see “Batman and his Super Friends” on the silver screen? My guess is no, they don’t -- they just want Batman on film.
If my friends at Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment had some cojones, they’d do something that has yet to be done: Make a CGI/MoCap superhero film. My #1 choice for such an endeavor? The Justice League.
Think about it y’all. They wouldn’t be “copying Marvel” and they’d actually be being, well, proactive.
Hey, it’s just a matter of time before someone makes a great CGI/MoCap superhero film -- why shouldn’t it be WB/DC? And is there a better candidate than the Justice League?
Going that route, you’ve got a “having your cake and eating it too” situation. Live-action solo films based on DC characters can still be developed without the worry of, ahem, “cinematic continuity.”
A JL movie can be it’s own thing without infringing on the solo films. Hell, you might actually attract topnotch filmmakers to take on Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, or even the Batman on film reboot (Ben Affleck! To direct, folks, to direct!) ‘cause they wouldn’t have to deal with putting square pegs into round holes (i.e. “cinematic continuity”) when making their films. They can just “make ‘em.”
Is there anyone reading this that thinks that Chris Nolan would have actully taken on Batman on film if he had to adhere to that BS? Hell no!
While THE AVENGERS is indeed a lot of fun, it certainly has its issues when it comes to “cinematic continuity" quite frankly. If one had not seen any of the lead up films, they'd most likely be pretty clueless when it came to the film’s storyline. Plus, the biggest problem with IRON MAN 2 is that it comes off as nothing more than a set up for the team-up film. Let's not sit here with any sort of revisionist history and say that Marvel did it flawlessly when it came to TA and the five set-up films, OK?
Sorry for getting a bit long-winded there Tyler! Did I answer your question? *wink*
(5.6.12) "THE AVENGERS makes $200.3 million it’s opening weekend…WOW. The. Best. Opening. Ever. Tracking estimates, all of them, were predicting it to be in range of $150 million-ish. So, is this saying that if THE AVENGERS can do this, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is going to best it for sure? Since we all know the anticipation behind RISES is larger, more dedicated, and this franchise as more love and support, what's stopping it from getting the box office crown this Summer?
Does this mean we have a formidable adversary here?"
- Myk M.
JETT SAYS: Hi Myk! Great question. (For the record, Myk did say in his email that he loved THE AVENGERS and was genuinely excited for it. He definitely did not bash THE AVENGERS, so don’t read that into his question. ) Here’s what I think…
First of all, I am tremendously happy over THE AVENGERS’ (Read my review HERE) box office this weekend. The fact that it’s a Marvel film and I’m a DC guy is absolutely insignificant. I LOVE comic book movies and I root for ALL of them be good and perform well at the box office. Why? Because it’s good for the comic book/superhero movie genre. Frankly, DC fans who root against Marvel films and hope that they fail -- and vice versa -- are clueless losers who need to get a life. Anyway…
Can THE DARK KNIGHT RISES top THE AVENGERS? Absolutely -- it‘s going to kick major ass at the box office. Will it? I have no idea.
Here’s what RISES has going for it that THE AVENGERS doesn’t: Bruce Wayne.
The Batman is arguably the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream audience. Hell, even BATMAN RETURNS and BATMAN AND ROBIN made money and they’re both crap! When you mix the popularity of The Caped Crusader with the fact that RISES is the final film of Chris Nolan-directed trilogy, it makes for a rather powerful combination.
Honestly, is there anyone -- and you can exclude comic book nerds like you and me -- who saw THE DARK KNIGHT and will not go to see it’s sequel? I don’t think so!
Really, THE AVENGERS and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES are apples and oranges. The former is a wonderful, CGI-heavy popcorn superhero movie; while the latter is an old school action/drama flick where comic book superheroes and villains just so happen to make up the cast. The more money each make -- and I’m rooting for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN too -- the more firmly established our beloved film genre becomes. One last thing…
A big “F-YOU” to all the highfalutin cinematic snobs who blast these films due their source material. Y’all need to pull that corncob out of your asses and quit hating on these films simply for the sake of hating. These films are indeed ART, you sanctimonious, arrogant A-holes! *middle finger*
JETT SAYS: Hello BOF’ers! Since I received several hundred emails in my inbox with essentially the same question you see above, I figured I’d provide an answer here in the BOF Mailbox instead of individual responses and/or an op-ed. I'll let y'all know what I think after watching it here one more time...
HOLY SHIZZLESNITS! THAT IS AWESOME!
Really, I was blown away even though I’ve actually seen some of this footage previously be it, ahem, “somewhere” or via the PROLOUGE last December out at the premiere in LA. With that said, I’ll scattershot a hodgepodge of thoughts/reactions…
* I'm both super excited and sad at the same time. After watching it the first time early this morning, my first thought was "Wow, this is the last trailer for a Nolan-directed Batman film." Bittersweet.
* If there’s still any doubt about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, this trailer should finally put that nonsense to rest. And as far as the costume, it looks fantastic -- even better when seeing it context of the film. Really people, if you’re reading this and still complaining, stop and keep it to yourself because you now will look really silly.
* I truly believe that Tom Hardy’s Bane is going to be the first villain in this trilogy that we’re truly going to hate. Did you actually hate The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT? Yeah, The Scarecrow is a little smarmy bastard, but not really worth hating. But this Bane…he’s going to be one mean and evil bastard!
* Yes, I am in love with The Bat. Wasn’t that last scene in the trailer F’n awesome!
* There’s definitely more to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake than simply “Gotham Police Officer John Blake.”
* There’s something about both Jim Gordon and Alfred that’s heartbreaking. I don’t know what it is…yet.
* Batman emerging from the smoke -- I figure he’s answering Gordon’s call -- gave me chills!
I’ll leave it for that right now as I’ll be discussing this trailer in detail in a few days when we record a new BOF Podcast.
I SO love you Team Nolan!
(4.28.12) Hey Jett. I'm a longtime follower from your ‘Jett60’ days. Always appreciated your work. I'm curious about an opinion piece you did over 3 years ago about things you wanted to see in the next movie. You spoke of the need to see a fully functional Batcave which would be a major upgrade from BATMAN BEGINS and more in line with the comics version. I am a big sucker for the Batcave -- it's one of the things I love most about the character! I know that you are not going to reveal any significant spoilers, but as a fellow fan of the Cave, can you share if there will be a significant hi-tech upgrade of it in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Thank you! - John Q. Davis, Jr.
JETT SAYS: Hi John. Glad to hear from yet another BOF’er who goes back to the good ‘ol “JettD 60’s BATMAN 5 Page!” Ha! On with your question…
I need to tread carefully with my answer here as I do know some specifics about The Batcave in RISES and I currently can’t disclose how and what I know. That info will be revealed here on BOF shortly. With that said, I can and will provide you and the BOF readers the following…
Yes, The Batcave has been upgraded since the events of BATMAN BEGINS. However, don’t expect anything like what we see in the comics, animation, or the totally decked-out ones found in the two Joel Schumacher films and the 60s TV show. In fact, I’d compare it more to Tim Burton’s two Bat-Flicks to be honest. And no, I’m not saying that Chris Nolan is giving a nod to those films. Think Bruce’s command center underneath his penthouse in THE DARK KNIGHT, but bigger and in an underground cave.
John, I think you and most Bat-Fans are going to dig it as long as you keep in mind that it exactly what you would expect it to be coming from Team Nolan.
Of course, there are those “fans” who are going to bitch, complain, and blast Chris and co. for not including a giant penny and T-Rex. Of course, these are the same individuals who would bitch, complain, and blast Chris and co. if RISES’ Batcave actually had a giant penny and T-Rex!
(4.26.12) "Jett, Thank you for your dedication to all things Batman! Longtime reader (circa 2000). I am going to ask this question with all due respect. Do you think in any way, shape, or form that Chris Nolan would give a nod -- discreetly (inside nod) or indiscreetly -- to Heath Ledger? Perhaps, something as simple as in dialog, like ‘That ledger is vital to the crime scene.” Your thoughts?" - Cheyenne K.
JETT SAYS: Hi Cheyenne, thanks for your longtime readership! In regards to your question, I don’t see that happening -- it’s just not the way Mr. Nolan works. I have no idea for sure, but would bet that Heath Ledger’s classic performance as The Joker -- and all the accolades and awards that came because of it -- is a much greater tribute than any sort of nod he could provide in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. You know what I mean? However…
It will be interesting to see how Nolan and co. handles The Joker in RISES. Will he be mentioned in the film at all? And if so, how?
I’m of the mind that The Joker does not have to be mentioned no matter how big of a part he played in THE DARK KNIGHT. It wouldn't bother me in the least, nor would it surprise me, if there's not a single reference to The Clown Prince of Crime in RISES.
Here's the bottom line folks: If Chris Nolan feels a mention of The Joker in needed in RISES, he’ll be mentioned. If not, he won’t -- it’s that simple.
(4.8.12) “Hi Jett! I have a short question/observation and a perhaps longer question for you…
First, in the trailer for RISES, we see that the Gotham Sharks' colors are yellow and gold. Aside from the fact that those are also the Steelers’ colors, do you think that the yellow/gold are an homage to the yellow and gold bat insignia from BATMAN ’89? Also, any idea or thoughts on whether the sharks are a reference to “Bat-Shark Repellent” from the 60's movie?
My second question has to do with RISES shooting in New York. In BEGINS and TDK, it seems as if Gotham has been firmly established with Chicago in mind. It seems strange that Nolan and Co. would suddenly decide to abandon Chicago as Gotham and use another city instead. Do you think some of RISES’ will take place in another major city and that New York will be a stand-in for Metropolis (without mentioning or acknowledging the existence of Superman) perhaps?
Thanks! I am avoiding any and all RISES that doesn’t appear on BOF! ”
- Dave R. from Hoboken, New Jersey
JETT SAYS: Hello Dave. Thanks for reading and I’m certainly proud that BOF’s hard “No-Spoilers Dammit!” policy is appreciated. On to your questions…
First of all -- and no offense brother -- are you for real here?
Gotham’s football team is actually the Rogues, not the Sharks. Thus, no homage to BATMAN ‘66. As far as the colors, the reason the Rogues are the same color as the Pittsburgh Steelers is because they shot the football scene in Heinz Field where black/gold (it’s really yellow) dominates the stadium. It would make much sense for the Rogues to be...I don’t know...royal blue, silver, metallic silver blue, navy blue, and white -- even though it’s a MUCH prettier color scheme -- as those colors would conflict what’s actually in the stadium.
As far as your second question, RISES only shot briefly in New York City, so I don’t think Gotham’s skyline in RISES will literally be The Big Apple’s skyline. Actually, they shot much longer in Pittsburgh, so the Steel City is more akin to Chicago than NYC. Plus, the Gotham City of the Nolan Trilogy has always been -- in terms of a wide skyline shot -- an amalgamation of a real city, models, and CGI.
As far as RISES talking place in another city that could be a wink and a nod to Metropolis, nope -- absolutely not. While Bruce may travel outside of Gotham in RISES, the film’s setting is definitely and without a doubt, Gotham City.
One last thing in regards to not shooting in Chicago. I know the reason they didn’t this time and totally get and understand why. The answer? I can’t reveal that right now, but I can shortly…like this Summer. Cheers!
(3.21.12) “Hi Jett. There’s some scuttlebutt on the Net that Nolan will be at Comic Con [in San Diego] this Summer and the premiere for RISES will be taking place there. Is this true? I’m from Texas and will definitely go to Comic Con if this is the case. Thanks!” - Michael from Roundrock (Austin area), TX
JETT SAYS: You just one of many BOF’ers who have emailed me with the same question. Apparently, there are many Batman fans who have yet to attend Comic Con that are planning to make the pilgrimage based on this recent “news.” Let me say this: Those reports are bullshit based on nothing more than speculation and wishful thinking. Consequently, I would not recommend to any of you all to book travel and accommodations in San Diego if you would only be going for a RISES panel. PLUS…
Furthermore, I’d bet money that the premiere of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will not take place at this year’s Con despite the fact that it’s being held a week before RISES hits theaters on July 20th. If I had to guess, the premiere will take place in either LA or New York (excluding the international premieres) like BEGINS and TDK respectively.
As far as Mr. Nolan attending Comic Con along with members of the cast and crew, I have no idea. He’s never been to THE Comic Con before, so perhaps he’ll make an appearance this time since RISES is his last Batman film. Also, I suspect that MAN OF STEEL will indeed have a big presence there this Summer. And guess who helped write the story with David Goyer -- Chris Nolan. Oh yeah, he’s producing it along with his wife, Emma Thomas.
Bottom line Michael, I think there’s a resonable chance for some sort of RISES panel/Team Nolan appearance in San Diego this July. However, I certainly wouldn’t expect it. I do not believe the film will screen at Comic Con, but you never know.
Personally, I think would be a cool thing for them to do for the fans and allow them to show Mr. Nolan their appreciation. For me, it won’t bother me either way if RISES is at Comic Con or isn’t. Look, I’ve been lucky and have had the chance several times -- as recent as last December at the RISES PROLOGUE premiere -- to visit with Mr. Nolan (and other members of the cast and crew) and tell him “THANKS!” for all he’s done for Batman on film. But if they were to ask me -- and they won’t -- I’d recommend that they go to Comic Con this time for the Bat-Fans.
(3.4.12) “Hey Jett. What’s the deal with the marketing for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? It’s March already, the film is only 4 months from release, and we haven’t gotten anything since last December! I feel like they’re really dropping the ball here. I wonder if the [mainstream audience] even knows about this film? What do you think? Big fan of BOF -- been reading since 2000! ” - Lance from NoCal
JETT SAYS: Hi Lance from NoCal -- which I assume means you’re from Northern California/Bay Area, correct? Thanks for your 12 year readership -- very much appreciated. Now on to your question…
No, I certainly do not think Warner Bros. or Chris Nolan and co. are “dropping the ball” with the marketing of this film at all. Let me point out one reason why by quoting you: RISES is 4 months from release. Trust me, what we’ve got right now is simply the calm before the storm. And quite frankly, they probably could refrain from any publicity and RISES will still kick ass at the box office! But don’t worry about that, because things will definitely be ramping up soon!
What I believe is causing many folks, like you, to worry is that there has been no viral marketing this time around like there was 4 years ago for THE DARK KNIGHT. Truth be told, while TDK needed that viral campaign, RISES doesn't.
Actually, both film's conventional marketing has been about on the same schedule. Since the mainstream audience didn’t have a clue that “Why So Serious?” and “I Believe in Harvey Dent!” was taking place back then, it’s my guess that the publicity for RISES feels about the same to them as it did for TDK. And to be honest, I bet more of the previously mentioned “mainstream” audience was more aware of RISES when it started filming than they were when TDK began lensing.
The only discernable difference I see is that TDK got a lot of notoriety due to the death of Heath Ledger in January of 2008. But that was a horrible tragedy, not movie publicity.
Look, I do get it, OK? We’re Batman fans and we want more because, well, we’re Batman fans. THAT is really at hand here amongst the MANY folks who feel like you do. I don’t believe deep down you really believe that Warner Bros. is “dropping the ball” -- and they aren’t.
On the other hand, there are many A-holes out there who think they’re “owed” something by Nolan and the studio and will never be happy. They’d bitch and complain even if Mr. Nolan himself came to their house and personally screened a trailer early just for them! Clearly, you’re not an embarrassment to fandom like that sort. Anyway...
Don’t worry brother, your fixin’ to get what you’re looking for when it comes to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES marketing/publicity -- sooner rather than later.
(2.26.12) “Hey Jett, quick question. I sometimes get the feeling that you're not the biggest Kevin Conroy fan. In you're JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM review, you said that Conroy was ‘yet again’ voicing Batman. What’s your take on Conroy as Batman? I personally can't get enough of him. Would you like him to voice Batman in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS [animated] film coming up? Thanks Jett, keep up the great work!” - Matt from Chicago
JETT SAYS: Hi Matt, good to hear from you! On to your question…
Sorry, I do not want him to be voicing Batman in the upcoming animated THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS two-parter. With that said, you’re feeling is wrong as I am a BIG fan of Kevin Conroy’s voice work as Batman. HOWEVER…
At this point, I’d prefer that most times than not, other actors were cast as the voice of Batman in these films instead of Mr. Conroy. Why? Because I rather like hearing Batman sounding a bit different in each one of these animated movies. But of course, they still sound like, well, “Batman” when it’s all said and done.
I’m not saying that I’m against Mr. Conroy getting work as the voice of The Dark Knight at all. The ARKHAM video game series shouldn’t have anyone else do the talkin’ but Conroy. And despite my somewhat negative dig at his casting in JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM that you alluded to in your question, I actually thought it was a good fit for the film.
With that said, I’m just hoping they first look to others to give Batman a voice in these films before turning to Conroy. Honestly, I think Andrea Romano has done a wonderful job casting Batman in these films -- except for BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHT. If Christian Bale couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, the LAST person they should’ve hired for that project was Mr. Conroy.
So here’s “Much Props!” to -- in no particular order -- the other actors who have portrayed Bruce Wayne a vocal box of late in these DCU Animated Films: William Baldwin, Ben McKenzie, Jeremy Sisto, and Bruce Greenwood.
And hey, there have been others besides Mr. Conroy who have provided the voice of Batman on a animated TV show. Both Rino Romano and Diedrich Bader were pretty damn good at talkin’ Batman in THE BATMAN and BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD respectively -- especially Mr. Bader. How ‘bout one, or both, of these talented individuals returning to Gotham in a future animated endeavor?
Look, I know that when many Bat-Fans read their comics, it’s Mr. Conroy’s voice that they hear -- my 15 year old son included. I TOTALLY respect that. BUT…
Maybe he's not the voice of Batman in everyone's heads?
(2.18.12) “Hi Jett/Bill. I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your recent op-ed about how BATMAN BEYOND could possibly used as the basis for the next trilogy of live-action Batman films. Interesting spin you gave it by making the narrative non-linear and featuring an old Bruce Wayne who is no longer Batman, Terry McGinnis as the Batman of the future, and an in-his-prime Bruce Wayne Batman. With that said, what would you think of a trilogy based on [Frank Miller’s] THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS? A similar premise to your [BATMAN BEYOND] scenario, but only featuring Bruce as Batman. Also, what’s your thoughts on single films based on classic Batman comic book stories, like ARKHAM ASYLUM for instance? I found your site back in 2003 while searching the Net for news on what would become BATMAN BEGINS and you are the best at what you do!” - Mike from Boston, MA
JETT SAYS: Hello there Mike! Thanks for being a reader for (almost) a decade and the nice words about BOF! On to your question…
I’m not personally in favor of straight-up, live-action adaptations of classic Batman comic book stories for one basic reason: I know what happens in ‘em! You know what I mean? Now, I wouldn’t mind if a Batman film was “based on” or “inspired by” a classic Batman comic tale, but I’m not in support of any sort of adaptation ala WATCHMEN -- even though I liked the movie.
However, I think a Bat-Film “inspired by” THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS could definitely work. Basically, your talking about an 50ish Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement and donning the cape and cowl once again to save Gotham City. I dig it -- though I kinda think that’s the route that Chris Nolan’s going with the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Also, I don’t know how you’d get a trilogy out of such premise quite frankly. That’s why I think that a BATMAN BEYOND-inspired can give you the opportunity for more than one film-- especially if you’re telling Bruce’s story in both the future and present.
Now you mentioned making a film based on ARKHAM ASYLUM, so I’m going to assume that you’re alluding to one-offs. If so, I can say with all certainty that Warner Bros. is not interested in such films. Why? Because they want a trilogy -- or more -- of ‘em. As a result, I don’t think we’re ever going to see a film based on your suggestion, or YEAR ONE, or THE KILLING JOKE, etc., etc.
Here’s my belief when it comes to the future of Batman on film: Warner Bros. needs to hire a filmmaker that has a vision and a passion for the character of Batman and let him do his thing over the course of three films and three films only. That’s right, I’m in support of trilogies by one director and creative team. Once they’ve told their tale, hit the reset button and do it again. There’s no need to drag a story and continuity out film after film after film -- you know what I’m sayin’? All that ends up happening is that you handcuff filmmakers by “continuity” and running that sucker into the ground.
Thank GOODNESS Nolan realizes this and actually doing what has never been done before in a series of comic book-based films: Allowing the story to come to a proper end.
Think about it, OK? Not only did Chris Nolan and co. revive the Batman film franchise with BATMAN BEGINS, he provided Warner Bros. -- and the entire genre - a blueprint on how to do it right.
The mailbag continues after the jump!
(1.28.12) “Longtime reader and lifelong Bat-Fan. With the 8 year time gap between THE DARK KNIGHT and RISES, I’ve got a few questions: Has Bruce stopped being Batman after the events of TDK or did he continue on as Batman for a while?
Since RISES is the end of Nolan’s Batman story, I would love to see veteran Batman. What’s your view on all this? Thanks for your time man!” - Marius M. from Germany
JETT SAYS: Hi Marius! A BOF'er from Deutschland? Awesome! Thanks for reading bro! I must say that you've posed a great question and one that will untimely be answer by Nolan himself come July. But here’s my take on it…
I believe that RISES is Team Nolan’s version of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, OK. So like Batman in the classic graphic novel, I think Nolan’s cinematic version will be “retired” at the beginning of the film. Like Gordon says in trailer #1, “We were in this together…and then you were gone.”
Further proof of my hypothesis comes from Chris Nolan himself. He recently revealed a very interesting plot point about RISES: What if Bruce Wayne’s plan actually worked and the type of crime that existed prior to The Batman’s appearance had been eradicated? Perhaps the time actually came when Batman was no longer needed?
It’s my belief that Batman didn’t quit after conspiring with Gordon to take the blame for Harvey Dent’s murders. Even though Gordon had to “chase” him, here’s betting that they still worked in concert and led Gotham into “peace time.”
As far as Bruce Wayne walking with a cane in trailer #2, I suppose that’s due to the wear and tear inflicted on his body being Batman. Nolan’s mantra with these films has been “Keep it real!” correct? Don’t you think that going out night after night Batmaning it up in Gotham took a toll on ’ol BW physically?
So yes Marius, I do believe that the BEGINS/TDK/RISES Batman did indeed become -- at some point over the course of that eight year gap -- the seasoned, kick-ass crime fighter we all know and love.
I’ve got to tip my hat to C-Nol, David Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan here. Deciding to pick up the story almost a decade --and not immediately -- after the events at the end of TDK is F’n brilliant! Wow, the “What has Batman and Bruce been doing for eight years?!” questions are endless! Did he ever encounter other classic Bat-Villains after The Joker and before Bane? How did Batman and Gordon hide the truth about Dent for so long? Did Bruce and Dick Grayson ever cross paths? Etc., etc., etc.
Geez, I can not WAIT for late June/early July ’12 to get here so I can finally see what Team Nolan has in store for us!
(1.21.12) “Hi Bill. Recently, we’ve seen quotes from Chris Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, and Christian Bale in which they all expressed a bit of sadness due to [RISES] being their last Batman film. As someone who has followed [BOF] since 2000, I’m very curious about your personal emotions when it comes to this film. I hope this question isn’t too sensitive, and if so, my apologies.” - Greg from Baltimore, MD
JETT SAYS: Hi Greg! Nope, not a sensitive subject at all. In fact, it’s a great question!
When I started this website 14 years ago come June, all I wanted was another Batman movie -- and after BATMAN AND ROBIN in ’97, that was FAR from a done deal. Well, that’s only partially true.
What I wanted was to see Batman really taken seriously cinematically which would hopefully result in a GREAT Batman film. And quite frankly, I selfishly hoped that I’d finally get to see “My Batman” up on the silver screen as well.
I did, and it’s called BATMAN BEGINS/THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. And I figure that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will follow suit resulting in a “My Batman on Film Trilogy.”
I’ve also got to do some tremendously cool things over the years -- things that I never ever imagined even doing in the first place. I’ve been to the set of these films, met and visited with the cast and crew, attended premieres, and traveled to awesome cities thanks to BOF. But the thing that means the most to me is that I earned the respect of the folks behind these films because I’ve ran this site in a respectable manner.
Oh yeah, there's one other thing that makes me very proud. I believe that I've represented Batman Fans in a quality manner. I've showed a lot of people -- be it folks at Warner Bros., Chris Nolan, Michael Uslan, Chris Corbould, and others -- that you CAN be a Batman geek and not come off as the stereotypical, message board-posting, spoiler-seeking, antisocial-acting, internet tough guy "fanboy." Quite frankly, those people are the minority and not the norm of fandom.
So you bet your ass there’s a bit of me that’s totally bummed out that RISES is IT for this particular story of the celluloid Bruce Wayne. Consequently, that also means the fine folks who gave it to us -- I call them “Team Nolan” -- are done as well. BUT…
To be honest, I’m very much looking forward to the future as I feel as if I’m going “back to my roots” if you will. After RISES has come and gone, I’ll be banging the drum for the continuation of the Batman film series. We’ve already heard that Warner Bros. plans to reboot the franchise with Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas staying on as producers. I want to do whatever I can to make sure that happens and happens in a timely manner.
Here's the bottom line for me: As long as there is Batman on film, there will be BATMAN ON FILM.
News continues after the jump!
(12.13.11) “Hello Jett! Two questions if you don’t mind. One, Bane’s voice how got a lot of shit online since the [RISES PROLOGUE] press screening --what’s you take on it? Secondly, what’s ‘Team Nolan’ like in person? Are they as cool as you make them out to be? I appreciate your no-spoiler policy and a big THANKS for all you do and have done for us Batman fans over the years.” - John from Chaska, Minnesota
JETT SAYS: Hi John! Thanks for your email, questions, and your support. I've been to Chaska, MN a few times and actually spend a lot of time in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" each year! On to your questions…
In regards to Bane’s voice, much to do over NOTHING. Did I not understand a few things he said? Yes -- and I get the criticism that’s been reported by my brethren in the press. Apparently, a lot of the negativity/freaking out is coming from fanboy message boards by people who have yet to SEE THE DAMN THING! That’s sad, yet TOTALLY expected.
And funny too -- once you get past the ridiculousness of it.
As far as a description of Tom Hardy’s “Bane Voice,” it sounds like he has a German accent and is talking through a bullhorn. I’m thinking that he has some sort of “amplifier” in that mask of his as it may be difficult for Bane to talk.
“Team Nolan?” CLASS acts -- each and every one! I’m very lucky that I’ve got to meet and become friendly with many of them. As much I want THE DARK KNIGHT RISES to get here, it’s also very bittersweet for me personally because it marks the end of their Batman on film run. This trilogy -- BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -- is WHY I started this site way back in 1998.
Let me say this: EVERYTHING (and MORE, actually) that I lobbied and “banged the drum” for all these years when it comes to Batman on film has come true thanks to these folks. Thankfully, I’ve got to tell them that last week and it meant the world to me to be able to do so.
(12.3.11) Hey Jett. Long time listener, first time caller I have checked the list posted on BOF, and there is not an IMAX theater close to me in Ohio; but they will be showing M:I4. The closest IMAX to me that is showing it is in Pittsburgh, over 5 hours away. Will there be an online release or any other way to see it other than bootleg crap copies? Check the site everyday, can't wait to see what happens after what some fear to be ‘The Nolanypse’ (Nolan-Apocalypse).” - Aaron from Ohio
JETT SAYS: Hi Aaron. Thanks for reading and “calling in" -- VERY much appreciated brother!
I'm pretty positive that it will not be officially released online (the one for TDK wasn't), nor will it screen in “regular” theaters either. Nolan wants it to be very exclusive and shown only in the IMAX format he favors. Honestly, I don't blame him. And truth be told, he really doesn't have to do this, you know? Name another director that's done this previously? Oh yeah, it's Chris Nolan and for THE DARK KNIGHT!
However, I do feel for the fans that don't have access to it, but I certainly don't think they are getting “screwed” or “Nolan/Warner Bros. is dropping the ball” in the least. Most fans get that I’m sure and will just chalk it up as something to look forward to on July 20, 2012.
As far as those “fans” that don’t get it -- you know, the ones that think they “entitled” and it’s their “right” to see it -- well, they need to get over their narcissistic-selves.
That’s right fanboy, the decision on WHERE and HOW THE PROLOGUE would be seen had nothing to do with you.
Aaron, my suggestion is -- if you really want to see it -- is to road trip to Pittsburgh and make a hell of a fun weekend out of it
Sorry for my rant -- which was not directed toward you bro. I’ve got TONS of email over this the last couple of days from, well, that aforementioned group that doesn’t get it.
Anyway, let me know if you head over to Pittsburgh and get a chance to see it. In fact, all of you BOF’ers who have the privilege of seeing it, shoot me an email and let me know what you think.
(11.22.11) "Jett, what’s your take on Nolan’s revelation that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will take place 8 years after THE DARK KNIGHT?" - Caleb K. from Columbia, South Carolina
JETT SAYS: Hi Caleb. Regarding your question, let’s just say that you’re not the only reader who sent in this question via email! Here’s my take…
I think that RISES is Chris Nolan’s version of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.
Now don’t misunderstand me here, OK? I’m not saying that it’s a straight-up adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic graphic novel. What I mean is that it appears to me that the TDKR writing team -- Chris, Jonathan Nolan, and David Goyer -- were simply influenced by a classic Batman story. This shouldn’t be surprising as they did this previously with BATMAN BEGINS (BATMAN: YEAR ONE, “The Man Who Falls”) and THE DARK KNIGHT (THE LONG HALLOWEEN, BATMAN #1, THE KILLING JOKE).
I’m sure that many fans might immediately think KNIGHTFALL due to the fact that Bane (Tom Hardy) is the film’s main villain -- and I expect that story influenced Team Nolan as well. However, RETURNS’ fundamental plot -- an older Batman coming out of a self-imposed retirement to save Gotham -- is the vibe I’m getting from RISES.
So yeah, I totally believe that RISES is Team Nolan’s kinda-sorta version of RETURNS.
With that said, I’ve got to wonder how much of RETURNS is in RISES other than sharing a very basic storyline? Specifically, will Nolan “kill off” Batman like Miller did? Or will he really kill him off?
(And no, Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN doesn’t count because it sucks.)
As we all know, this movie is “The Epic Conclusion To The Dark Knight Legend.”
The question is, how literal the word “Conclusion” will apply to The Batman in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?
(11.4.11) "Hi Jett. While I don’t personally mind ‘spoilers,’ I do respect your [no-spoiler] policy. My question for the mailbag is what made you so anti-spoiler in the first place? Thanks for the site -- I’m another one of you’re longtime readers!" - Rob W. from Spokane, WA
JETT SAYS: Hi Rob. Thanks for sending in your question and of course for being a longtime BOF’er! Good question and one I’ve probably never addressed specifically and in any detail. Here goes…
Quite frankly, I got to know many folks who have and still presently work on these films. In doing so, I came to understand that these people want the audience to see their work as a FINISHED PRODUCT. Therefore, I adopted a total no-spoiler policy out of respect for these folks and because I think it’s the RIGHT thing to do. In turn, it does make me proud to know that these individuals not only like BOF, but RESPECT me due to the way I opperate my site.
I came to understand that posting spoilerish information, pictures, and video is easy -- hell, ANYONE can do that. And more times than not, these individuals who supply such information to websites are, well, nothing more assholes who DO NOT have the best interest of the fans at heart. Apparently, these lowlifes get off on revealing this information and then seeing it spread across the internet like wildfire.
Also, I had two moments of THE DARK KNIGHT pretty much ruined for me by this sort of BS. I would have had no idea that The Joker would be dressed up like a GPD cop and a nurse if some MF’er hadn’t leaked those pics to someone who they knew would post ‘em online. A-Holes! Yes, it’s been almost four years since that happened but I’m still PISSED!
Truth be told, I’ve made a ton of mistakes when it comes to running spoilers on BOF, so I’m definitely not “without sin,” if you will. But I eventually had an epiphany of sorts (due to the reasons I previously mentioned) which made me stop and say, "You know, I want to run BOF in a respectful manner, web-hits be damned!"
Hey, it’s not easy sometimes to be frank. I am privy to a lot of information and I either tell my sources “Don’t say a word -- I don’t want to know!” or I sit on it. Hell, I knew that Tom Hardy was going to be Bane WAY before it was officially announced. Honestly, it was indeed TOUGH to keep my mouth shut on that one! But I did -- though I did get a kick out of all those idiots who actually believed he was Hugo Strange based on some website’s ”inside info” (otherwise known as “made up BS”). Ha!
Rob, I’ve got no issue with folks like you who don’t mind -- or even covet -- spoilers. I want you and folks who are likeminded to know that. Hey, to each his own you know? However, you won’t find ‘em on BOF now or in the future, trust me. Cheers bro!
(10.30.11) "Hey there Jett. First of all, I wanted you know that I’ve been with you since the beginning and the ‘JettD60’s BATMAN 5’ days. I was a kid back then and now I’m out of college (by a few years), married, and have two kids -- but I’m still a Batman fan! Anyway, here’s my question: Not long ago, you ran a story where one of your ‘inside sources’ had some info on the future of Batman on film. You really didn’t offer your take on what he said, so what do you think and what do you think will happen to the Batman film franchise after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Thanks!" - Brian C. from Coppell, TX
JETT SAYS: Wow, the ‘ol “JettD60” days...that’s a blast from the past! Anyway, thanks for being with me for so long Brian - much appreciated. Here’s my take your question…
I'm sure you're talking about THIS STORY, right? Bottom line, I totally believe that Batman on film will continue. It's WB's #1 DC Comics-based superhero film franchise. However, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you all that I am a bit concerned. Will WB opt for a Justic League film with Batman that's part of a united DC on film universe instead of solo Bat-Films? Totally possible.
As far as solo films, I do agree with my friend that it’ll be at least 5 years and no more than 10 before we get the first installment of the rebooted Batman on film. Personally, I think 5 is too soon and 10 too long. The last stretch between Bat-reboots -- BATMAN AND ROBIN in ‘97 to BATMAN BEGINS in ‘05 -- was 8 years, so that might as well be our point of reference. However, as my source said, Warner Bros. apparently is already thinking ahead when it comes to Batman on film and the franchise will definitely be in a much better place than it was in ‘97 after B&R.
Personally, I think 6 or 7 years is probably the right amount of time between the end of the Nolan Trilogy and the beginning of a new one. It’s also a bit comforting to hear that the studio is being proactive and already thinking about the future even though RISES is currently still filming and 9 months away from hitting theaters. And if they aren’t getting their cinematic Bat-ducks in a row, they sure as hell better be by gosh!
Of course, they’ve already got one of those ducks in a row by keeping Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas on as producers of the Batman films. My insider says that they are already kicking around names of potential directors…good! Their mantra damn well better be “Be Prepared” -- as any good Boy Scout would tell ‘em.
It’s certainly going to be bittersweet for me personally to see RISES come and go. Nolan’s trilogy is exactly why I started this website almost 14 years ago -- in fact, it’s more than I could’ve ever hoped for. I simply wanted to see the character of Batman done properly on film. That’s what I began lobbying for back in June of 1998, and that’s what I shall continue to lobby for post-RISES.
By the way, A LOT longtime BOF’ers have been emailing in lately. Like you Brian, many were “kids” when they found the site back in the day and now they are “all grown up.” Like me, I guess they are feeling a bit nostalgic as the end of the Nolan Bat-Trilogy grows nearer and nearer. Just to answer a question that many of them ask me: No, I am not going to shut down BOF after RISES. In fact, I’m fired up more than ever as I'll get back to doing exactly what the site was originally created to do: Lobby for the longterm continuation of GOOD Batman films.
(10.8.11) "Before THE DARK KNIGHT came out back in 2008 there was almost a ‘Year of Viral Marketing.’ Not only was there viral marketing at San Diego Comic Con, but there was viral marketing that led up too the film that included the ‘Why So Serious?’ campaign and the ‘I Believe in Harvey Dent’ campaign. So far with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, the viral marketing has been almost non existent. Do you think there will be any viral marketing for RISES? Or do you believe it will just have a regular marketing campaign like most summer blockbuster movies?" - Justin, A Longtime BOF'er
JETT SAYS: Hi Justin. Thanks for the email and for reading BOF. Here’s what I think…
A viral campaign -- big or small -- simply isn’t needed for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. While it may disappoint fans, not having one won’t affect the performance of the film one bit. Truth be told, the viral campaign for TDK back in ‘07 and ‘08 was for the fans, not the mainstream audience. As great as it was, I highly doubt that it helped bring in THAT many folks into the theater back in July of ‘08.
With that said, I get why it was done for TDK. For one thing, that movie was following BATMAN BEGINS which, while a success critically and at the box office, was far from being a BATMAN ‘89 or THE DARK KNIGHT Bat-Hit.
Secondly, having The Joker and Harvey Dent in that film simply fit such a campaign like a glove. Thus, “Why So Serious?” and “I Believe in Harvey Dent?” Frankly, I’m not sure how -- and IF -- Catwoman and Bane might lend themselves to a viral campaign. In fact, I’d rather them not do one if it can’t live up to what we got for THE DARK KNIGHT. How in the hell do you top that?
My advice for fans is not to expect one for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and don’t be disappointed if that’s the case.
Of course, there’s that small, but vocal and embarrassing, segment of fandom that will pitch a fit if there isn’t one because they think they it’s “owed” to them.
Perhaps we’ll get something in 2012 prior to the film’s release in July, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. If we do, consider it gravy and be happy.
(9.28.11) "I am a true Batfan as you are, and as such am happy to get ANYTHING TDKR-related. But I have to challenge you on your ‘In Nolan We Trust’ blank check. Can you honestly admit you are not disappointed by these Catwoman photos? (Spare me the SPOLIER I won't look B.S.). Just on practicality alone -- with her hair exposed she would leave DNA evidence EVERYWHERE. And Hathaway's features (read: smile) are too distinct for a modified domino/'Kato' mask to be any sort of disguise. I'm sorry, even if she's not swinging off buildings in this flick and needing a Kevlar cowl, the mere fact that these photos show her meeting with Commissioner Gordon paints him as a TOTAL IDIOT if he doesn't figure out her secret identity. Nolan and team don't need to reinvent/reimagine everything. Sometimes just give the folks what they want. And please don't compare this to Heath/permawhite Joker. At least The Joker in the end LOOKED like the Joker. Hathaway looks like Julie Newmar from the 60s -- which was a Batman farce"- David Withnolastname
JETT SAYS: Hi David. I AM a “True Batfan” and I am sure that you are too -- otherwise you wouldn’t be following THE DARK KNIGHT, reading BOF, and emailing me. As a result, I totally respect you and your opinion. With that said, here’s my response to your email -- which I presume you will not take personally…
When I say that I TOTALLY trust Chris Nolan -- “Team Nolan,” actually -- I’m not blowing smoke or kissing ass. And when I say that everyone should as well until proven otherwise, I mean that too. The bottom line here is that this director and his creative team have delivered arguably the two great Batman films to date. Thus, they ABSOLUTELY deserve the benefit of the doubt! ESPECIALLY when opinions are mostly based on illicitly shot spy pics from an on-location set.
If you disagree with that take, fine. If you don’t like the “look” of the TDKR Catwoman suit, cool. BUT, the idea that it’s preposterous to “Trust Nolan” when it comes to aesthetic decisions -- hell, any decision -- is what’s really preposterous in my opinion.
As far your other accusations…
1) I am NOT disappointed by Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman costume. A skintight, black “catsuit?” It’s pretty much what I expected quite frankly.
2) Regarding TDKR spoilers, yes, I don’t post them on BOF. However, I’ve never said that I don’t look that things that I label being a SPOILER!. Why? Because I feel it’s my responsibility to warn the few fine folks who read BOF that there may be something on the Net they don’t want to see.
3) As far as Catwoman and the claims how “easy” it would be for GPD to figure out the perp is really Selina Kyle…
Does anyone think it wouldn’t be easy for Gordon and the GPD to figure out that Bruce Wayne is really Batman?! It’s a movie for crissakes! Also, we have NO IDEA what the context is when it comes to those “Gordon meets Catwoman” pics. Perhaps he already knows who she really is? Maybe saving Gotham is more important to Jim Gordon than figuring out the true ID of this “Catwoman?”
4) The 60’s BATMAN TV show was a farce? Totally disagree with you there my friend. Yeah, it was goofy, silly, campy and it’s definitely not “My Batman. But it’s a classic and an important piece of Batman history. It made me a Batman fan when I was a kid, so I have a soft place in my heart for that show. If Lindy Hemming and Chris Nolan were actually inspired by the look of Julie Newmar’s Catwoman suit, that’s fine by me...
5) The “outrage” over the TDKR Catwoman suit is EXACTLY like “The Joker is permawhite! nonsense back before THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was released. In both cases, the “hate” for the look of each is a result of it not matching the look of The Joker and Catwoman that exists in their heads. These folks are looking at images and video -- which is totally out of context of how things will ultimately play out in the film -- and then coming up with these absolutes. “That’s NOT Catwoman! She’s got a EARS! She’s got to be wearing a COWL! She’s got to carry a WHIP! She’s got to have a TAIL!”
Hell, I’ll even add Tom Hardy’s Bane into this mix. “He’s not big enough to be Bane!” “Batman wears a Luchador mask!” Give me a damn break!
I’m not saying that it’s wrong not to like it, OK? I’m simply saying making these blanket statements that it “sucks” or “That ain’t Catwoman!” at this point in time is flat-out ridiculous.
David, my advice to you and all those who are “disappointed” is to simply to chill out and wait to see how all of it fits together next Summer. You know, when we actually get to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
(9.20.11) "Hey Jett. I just saw that video of Joseph Gordon-Levitt you just posted. I think I know who he is really playing and I want to know if you agree with me. I believe JGL is The Joker. I know that if you really know who he is playing you wouldn’t say, but I thought I’d ask anyway. So what do you think?"- Rhann S. from Kansas City, MO
JETT SAYS: Hi Rhann. Thanks for the email and for reading BOF. Let me preface by saying that your are not the only person to send in this question, so I don’t want you to think that I’m picking on you specifically, OK? Good! So here’s my answer…
Yes, I know that JGL has a physical resemblance to the late Heath Ledger. However, the idea that Mr. Nolan cast him in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES means he’s playing The Joker is CLASSIC fanboy absurdity! Let me take a guess at what sort of backstory “Manny O’Phanboi” has cooked up for JGL’s John Blake…
After The Joker was apprehended by the GPD (with the help of The Batman), he was taken to the infamous Arkham Asylum. While there, he made friends with a hot young intern -- Dr. Harleen Quinzel -- and talked her into having him transferred into Arkham’s experimental plastic surgery department. There, The Joker had “these scars” removed, killed his surgical team, and escaped…with “Harley Quinn” in tow.
With his scars healed completely, he joined the GPD under the alias of “John Blake.” How did he get past a GPD background search? Well, quite easily...
“No DNA, no fingerprints. Nothing in his pockets but knives and lint.”
Once through the GPD Academy, “John Blake” quickly moves up the ranks of the force where Commissioner Jim Gordon takes him under his wing. Little does Gordon -- and Gotham City -- know, this “Det. John Blake” is actually The Clown Prince of Crime and he’s about to carry out the ULTIMATE plan of revenge on Gordon, Gotham City, and The Batman.
How’s that? Laughable, right? Just like the idea that JGL is The Joker.
I don’t know if there’s a twist involved with JGL’s role in the film (and if I did, I wouldn’t tell you all anyway), but I will say that he’s not The Joker in any way, shape, or form.
I know Chris Nolan keeps it close to the vest and is coy as hell, but when he said The Joker wasn’t in this film, he was telling the truth.
And Rhann, no offense brother!
(9.17.11) "Hi Jett. I sort of agree with Jake Lane's new BOF OP-ED. The only thing is, I think they should do movie after movie for Batman like they've done with the JAMES BOND film series. They could get up to BATMAN 20 and more. I'm not sure if two more trilogies is enough to show all of Batman's villains. He's got a BIG rogues gallery. A trilogy based on THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS might be cool, but if they did it, I don't think the third in that trilogy should be the last Batman movie ever"- Josh R.
JETT SAYS: Hi there Josh, thanks for writing in again and, of course, for reading BOF. Here’s my take on Jake’s op-ed and your email…
I agree, in premise, with Jake’s article. However, I don’t think that it has to be set in stone that the next two trilogies feature a “Batman in his prime” and/or an “Old Batman.” I’m of the opinion that Warner Bros. should simply hire a QUALITY filmmaker who has a VISION and PASSION -- as well as a LOVE and RESPECT for the character -- and let ‘em do their thing. However…
I am totally 100% down with Jake when it comes to a Batman origin film. Just because Batman on film is being rebooted, doesn’t mean we have to start at The Dark Knight’s conception -- you know what I mean? Hell, Batman is arguably the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream (There’s no argument, he IS!), and all those folks know how and why Bruce Wayne became The Batman.
The bottom line for me is this: BATMAN BEGINS is the definitive Batman origin film. Going there again cinematically anytime soon (well, relatively speaking “soon”) will be redundant and a waste of everyone’s time.
And while I too was “WTF?!” when I learned that Warner Bros. planned to reboot Batman on film after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, I now have no problem getting BATMAN 1, VOL. 3 instead of BATMAN 4, VOL. 2.
One, I don’t want to see Team Nolan’s Bat-Trilogy jacked-with, if you will, by a new director and creative team. And two, I want the new director and his creative team to have carte blanche and not be a slave to continuity once they get the gig.
I also got several emails from folks saying Jake contradicted himself in his op-ed.
Just because he wants to see “Batman in his prime” and “Old Batman,” chronologically, as the next two Batman on film trilogies, doesn’t mean that he’s advocating or suggesting that Nolan’s “Young Batman” trilogy be incorporated into or acknowledged in future Batman films.
I’ve got to laugh a bit and shake my head when it comes to this topic to be perfectly honest.
There are these people who are “angry” -- apparently “REALLY ANGRY…GRRR!” -- about the impending reboot of Batman on film. And I’m not talking about the “WTF?!-when we-first-heard-it” fans like me and you. I’m referring to THAT segment of fandom who basically flip out over everything.
(8.20.11) "Jett, I just read something on XXX.com that actually made me shout 'Are you F***ing kidding me?!' out loud. The article was a list of 'spoilers' from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES that they wish they didn’t now know. WTF?! XXX.com has been running spoilers left and right from the very beginning! I just wanted to thank you for giving Batman fans a place where they can keep up with the movie, but don’t have to worry about seeing anything that might ruin it for them."- Jed from Atlanta, GA
JETT SAYS: Jed, I’m with you. However…
For “disclaimer purposes,” I want to disclose that I am a fan of this site (though I will not reveal it’s ID) and know folks who write for said outlet and consider them friends. But…
That doesn’t mean I agree with the way this site -- and many others -- go about covering movies while they are filming. To be flat-out honest, such an article comes off as hypocritical as hell. I mean really? You’re going to run blatant TDKR spoilers on your site and then post an article saying you wish you didn’t know some of that shit? Give me a F’n break!
But here’s the deal, OK? Sites such as these are first and foremost a business. They are businesses competing with other online movie websites. While I may not agree with the way they go about their business, I do understand the “Why” aspect of it. Quite frankly, it’s all about the money and spoilers sale.
On the other hand, you’ve got some dubious websites/blogs/DB’s who will post anything and everything related to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES simply for 15 seconds of internet, ahem, “fame.” The people behind such sites couldn’t care less about “Giving the Batman/Spider-Man/Superman/Iron Man/Etc. fans what they WANT!” Such proclamations are F’n laughable! From where I stand, anyone buying into that load of crap is a damn fool. Anyway…
I couldn’t care less if BOF only got 1 unique hit per day. I’ve done ALL that I’ve set out to do when I started this site 13+ years ago and I’m simply in “cheerleader mode” now. I’m getting everything and more that I could ever ask for when it comes to my Batman on film lobbying efforts. More importantly, I’ve got the respect of the folks -- and a lot of Batman fans out there -- who really matter.
Here’s hoping movie studios and filmmakers can find a way to protect these high-profile films a bit better when they shoot on location. That’s totally doable I believe.
And maybe, just maybe, more outlets will reject the “Let’s Run Spoilers!” way of doing business and operate with a bit more integrity. Unfortunately, that’s about as likely as me being cast as Batman in a future Batman film.
(8.10.11) "Jett, I don’t remember there being THIS much ‘spoilerish’ stuff out there for either BATMAN BEGINS or THE DARK KNIGHT as we've seen recently for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. What’s the deal?! Do you think that there’s any way that some of this stuff we’ve seen online is simply BS planted by Nolan to throw people off? I DON’T want to have this film ruined for me with all this s**t I’m seeing online everyday! Thanks!"- Michael S. from "North Jersey"
JETT SAYS: Michael, I feel your pain bro, TRUST ME.
However, no, nothing we’ve seen online in terms of spoilerish pictures or videos has been “staged,” if you will, by Mr. Nolan and co. just to throw people off. I wish that were the case, but it’s not. HOWEVER…
From what I’ve heard, despite how much has that been out there, we really haven’t seen ANYTHING -- in terms of context, story, etc. In other words, people may think they KNOW, but they really DON’T KNOW.
Sorry if I sound like I’m channeling Coach Jim Mora, Sr. Anyway…
Yeah, it’s a crying damn shame that so much info -- well, in terms of pictures and video -- has been posted online.
Look, I get why so many outlets are doing it because all they care about is hits on the website. It’s a business to them and anything Batman/THE DARK KNIGHT RISES sells. While I may not agree, I understand and get why they do what they do.
On the other hand , you’ve got these assholes who will post anything and everything for their 15 seconds of internet fame. These people are, quite frankly, the worst of the lot because they really don’t care and are only catering to the lowest of the low when it comes to fandom.
I’ll NEVER understand why someone who loves Batman movies -- or hell, movies in general -- would want to know every single damn detail of a film BEFORE they go and see the damn thing!
All in all Michael, don’t sweat it. I have faith in the folks who’ve informed me that despite what we’ve seen so far has not really affected the film for US. Ultimately, ALL will be good when take in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES next Summer.
To all of those who want to know everything about EVERYING when it comes to TDKR, you are, sadly, only screwing YOURSELF.
(7.30.11) "Bill, I have been thinking about your comments that Warner Bros shouldd pre-empt crappy photos and leaked pics from The Dark Knight Rises with official photos first. It makes eminent sense, and it is more than a little puzzling why they have not done so. It seems, perhaps, that Warner Bros is content to stick to their own schedule, and everyone else be damned. But it has occurred to me that maybe it is in the best interest of WB for leaked photos to appear first. Leaks will generate news, excitement and hype about the film in a way that official photos cannot. Yes, things like trailers will always be among the most important ways of promoting a film, and will reach a wise audience. But so too will rumors, word-of-mouth, news/entertainment industry coverage of leaks, and that sort of thing. By always ensuring that official photos are posted first, there will not be as much sensationalism and buzz about the film. If I was an executive in WB, and I felt that more consumers would view my company's product from leaked photos and footage, thereby generating me more profit, I might not be all that interested in trying to stop it. Just a thought."- Craig P.
JETT SAYS: Craig, I totally get that argument and suspect that sort of stuff goes on in the movie industry. However, I don’t think that’s the case here. Why? Two BIG reasons…
1) Chris Nolan and co. is absolutely HATES this sort of stuff. If it were up to Nolan, I don’t think we’d get ANY sort of publicity in terms of trailers and pictures at all! He’d just roll out the film and say, “This is what I’ve been working on the last two years and it’s Batman. Enjoy!”
2) These spy pictures and videos from the set are just way, Way, WAY too spoilerish for Warner Bros. to be OK with because they’re helping “hype” THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Quite frankly, this film doesn’t need this sort of, ahem, “marketing.” And if -- and let me repeat, IF -- they’re all OK with this for the sake of publicity, then shame on them for negatively affecting the enjoyment of seeing this film completely unscathed for God knows how many fans out there.
Here’s hoping that security is tightened up a bit out there in Pittsburgh so that the number of tremendously spoilerish pics and videos are reduced significantly. Also, I still think -- and HOPE -- that Warner Bros. will be a bit more proactive and release some more publicity stills BEFORE a crappy cell phone images shows up online. And yes, I’m specifically referring to Anne Hathaway totally in costume as Catwoman.
Look, I know that I’m trying to put out a forest fire with a water hose here, OK? It’s a Batman movie, the follow-up to THE DARK KNIGHT, yada, yada, yada. I get it. Consequently, every single website and news outlet are going to be all over the filming of TDKR. To be perfectly blunt, these folks DON’T CARE about the fans and not spoiling the film. They’re only interested in how many damn hits such stuff is going to generate. Then of course you’ve got the dubious websites/outlets that are only seeking their 15 seconds of internet fame by posting a “scoop.” Whatever.
I know I took the long way in addressing your question Craig, but no I don’t think what took place in Pittsburgh (or over in the UK for that matter) on the set of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was intentional for publicity. Like I said, here’s hoping things get tightened up because we’ve still got about 3 months of shooting left. At this rate, we’ll know the details of the entire damn film by Christmas!
(7.30.11) "Jett, what do you make of Bale’s ‘look’ during that press conference in Pittsburgh? He looked a little thin to me and what’s up with that beard? Love to hear your thoughts!"- Troy from Austin, TX
Well, I think he looks, physically, just as he did four years ago when he shot THE DARK KNIGHT. Plus, it didn’t help that he was wearing that baggy-ass jumpsuit either in terms of showing off his physique. Bottom line, much to do over nothing quite frankly. I’ve been around Bale several times over the years at set visits, junkets, etc., and the dude isn’t small. No offense, this isn’t Tom Cruise we’re talking about here, OK? Granted, he’s not as big as Bruce Wayne/Batman is said to be in the comics, but anyone who is freaking out over that needs to mix in a life.
As far as that beard? My educated guess is that he didn’t shave while he had a little down time after filming wrapped in the UK. While I may be proven wrong, I don’t believe it has anything to do with what will be shot in Pittsburgh. From what I know, this shoot in Pittsburgh is going to include A LOT of “on location” filming ala Chicago in ‘04 (for BATMAN BEGINS) and ‘07 (for THE DARK KNIGHT). Therefore, I suspect Christian will be “Batman” quite a bit while shooting in The Steel City.
For entertainment purposes only, perhaps I need to parooz some fanboy message boards and check out -- what I’m quite sure amounts to page after page, thread after thread -- the, ahem, “debate and discussion” of what Bale’s Pittsburgh beard really means.
(7.29.11) "Hi Jett. Like you, I prefer the ‘realistic’ take on Batman. My question to you is which ‘unrealistic’ Batman villain is your favorite? Is there one that you would particularly like to see in a Batman film in the reboot? Been with you since ‘00...thanks for all you do!"- Kristopher L. from Virginia
JETT SAYS: Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me all these years!
Good question. I’ve got to figure that the Batman on film reboot will have a different look and feel to separate itself from both the Burton/Schumacher Bat-Quadrilogy and the Nolan Bat-Trilogy. Now, I still believe that while you many use some of the more fantastical members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, they still work best when they are “grounded,” if you will. If not, they tend to come off silly and preposterous quite frankly.
My favorite “unrealistic” Batman villain is one Dr. Victor Fries, AKA “Mr. Freeze.” I’d love to see this character done right -- especially after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s turn as Freeze in the embarrassing BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997). However, I would use the Paul Dini/BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Freeze backstory for the character just like B&R did (which could prove to be problematic if you want to do something “fresh” in the reboot). I’d also do something about the cryogenic suit and the Freeze Gun since they do come off goofy in a live-action film. I’m sure that a quality filmmaker/screenwriter could come up with something, um, cool with those things and the characterr himself to make it work on screen.
If not Freeze, I’d like so see Black Mask in a Batman film -- he’d certainly be easier to adapt to film easier than a frozen dude who carries a gun that shoots liquid ice.
Although they aren’t “unrealistic” per se, I’d like to see new Batman on film versions of The Riddler and The Penguin.
It’s going to be tough for the guy who is charged with the task of rebooting the cinematic Batman, no doubt about it. Who the hell wants to follow Chris Nolan and try to “reinvent” what may prove to be the greatest and most successful comic book/superhero story ever on film? BUT, it’s GOT to be done and someone’s GOT to do it.
(7.16.11) "Hi Jett! What will be your main focus after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Do you think the Batman on film reboot will get as much attention as Nolan's films? Chris Nolan set the bar so high, do you think there are more Batman storeis to be told on the big screen?"- Pete L.
JETT SAYS: Much to the chagrin of some, BOF and me ain’t going nowhere!
Actually, BOF will be going back to its roots post-Christopher Nolan. This site’s #1 priority was, is, and will continue to be to bang the drum for the long-term continuation of the live-action Batman film franchise with the production of good and quality Batman movies. And quite frankly, I’m reenergized and quite excited for this endeavor!
As far as the sort of success and attention “Batman on Film, Vo. 3” will get -- particularly in comparison to Nolan’s Batman -- my answer is this: “Yes. It’s Batman!” More on this in a bit.
The key to the reboot will be hiring a filmmaker and creative team that has a passion for the character and a vision. With Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas staying onboard the franchise as producers and overseeing BOF, Vol. 3, I’m really not worried at all.
Let me say this about what I expect when it comes to Batman on film A.N. (“After Nolan.” While “Team Nolan” gave me “My Batman,” there certainly are other interpretations of the character out there and many more stories to be told.
For one thing, I believe we need a bit of a break from Batman on film for at least 5 years. I don’t think we’ll see the origin story again. BATMAN BEGINS gave us the definitive story of the birth of Batman, so no need to rehash it on screen again. I figure we’ll see an older, more seasoned Batman next time -- a Batman in his prime, if you will. Perhaps the next director will add a bit more of the fantastical or supernatural into his films allowing for characters such as Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, etc. to come into play. Now, I certainly wouldn’t go overboard with that stuff since I truly believe that realism -- well, perhaps plausibility is a better term -- is at the core of what makes Batman so damn popular. He is relatable.
In my opinion, Batman is the most well-liked comic book superhero amongst the mainstream movie-going audience. As long as Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment commit themselves to producing good and quality Batman films, folks will go see them. And I shall be here just as I have been since 1998, banging the drum for Batman on film, so that there ARE good and quality Batman films to go see on the silver screen.
Let me leave you with the following. I asked the great Michael Uslan about Batman’s cinematic future in our latest chat (You can read the interview HERE) and here’s what he had to say on the matter…
“I’ll answer that this way: Look at the character himself. Batman has now been around for over 70 years now and is going strong. When you look at the comic book sales figures each month, Batman is still up at the top. Year after year, people -- not just comic book fans here -- still vote him as their ‘favorite’ superhero. Look, he’s been around for 72 years now been a part of several generations. He’s been around for this long -- and I’m including writers, artists, colorists, editors, publishers, inkers, and everybody involved with Batman. These folks have been able to bring people back every Wednesday for 72 years and that’s an amazing accomplishment.”
(7.5.11) "I'm not sure if I've ever expressed this before, but I just wanted to offer my thanks for keeping BOF free from spoilers. The internet over here in Kazakhstan (I’m currently doing two years in Peace Corps over here; going to fly to Istanbul for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in the hopes that it'll be in English!) is limited, so I count myself lucky that there's one website I can always check without fear of spoiling Nolan's final installment. Hope you keep the policy for many, many years."- Casey Michael
JETT SAYS: Hi Casey and thanks for the nice words! (DISCLAIMER: Casey taught the "Batman Class" at Rice University which I visited as a guest speaker a few years ago.) Yes, I intended to keep BOF going after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and my policy of “No Spoilers” will continue. In fact, once TDKR has come and gone, BOF will go back to doing what I originally intended it to do: Respectfully lobby for the long term continuation of quality, live-action Batman films.
See, this is what many folks just don’t get. BOF is NOT a “Scoop Site” -- never has been, never will be. Look, I’ve made tons of mistakes along the way and revealed things that I shouldn’t have. As a result, I learned 2 HUGE lessons…
1) Anyone can post “scoops” and reveal information and details that will can spoil the film for folks -- especially in this day and age. Quite frankly, it’s harder to NOT post ‘em.
2) Integrity and respect (earned and given) means more than 15 seconds of internet fame.
Therefore, I’m going to keep on keeping on and running BOF the way I have been for the better part of the last 13 years.
I'll be blunt. If you covet spoilers, then don't read BOF and get your Batman movie news elsewhere. However if you want your Batman on film info to come from someone who has the respect of the studio, the filmmakers, and A LOT of people that matter in the world of Batman, then BOF is for you.
(6.25.11) "That ’Big Spoiler’ can't be true right? How? It too unreal! Also, why are you annoyed about the[Batman on film] reboot? It’s awesome!"- David F. from the UK
JETT SAYS: Well, I’m not going to say another about that "Big Spoiler" other than what I’ve already said on BOF. In other words, “No Comment.”
In regards to being “annoyed” by Batman on film being rebooted after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -- NOT true my friend!
Yes, I’d prefer that the “Nolan-verse” would continue on after this next film, but I totally get why they’re going to do it -- as well as why Nolan and co. wants it to happen.
Think about it. For the very first time in the history of Batman -- and comic books for that matter -- on film, we’ll get a complete trilogy with a beginning, middle, and end. And honestly, I don’t blame Chris Nolan one iota if he doesn’t want his cinematic Bat-Saga retconned or jacked-with in any way, shape, or form.
And quite frankly, I don’t either. This is “My Batman” and the Batman on film that I hoped for -- and lobbied to see -- when I started this site back in ‘98. (The only other thing that I wish I could have accomplished during BOF’s run is to become the hero of ridiculous message board nerds and rip-off an established, well-respected website as well. Oh well.)
Now what’s comforting to me is that Chris and his producing partner, and wife, Emma Thomas, will be in charge of this re-boot. I figure (HOPE!) that The Nolans will take pitches from filmmakers, choose one with that has a passion and vision, and let ‘em do their thing -- as they should.
Now, let’s focus on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, enjoy the ENTIRE experience (spoiler-free, of course), and THEN we’ll deal with rebooted “Batman on Film.”
That’s right haters, “we’ll” includes me and BOF. Cheers!
(6.13.11) "Hi Jett! Like you I am a big fan of Batman, but I am getting nervous about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Even though I am a fan of Batman comics, I never really got into the League of Shadows stuff. With that said, I think most people who are Batman fans -- but don’t really read the comics -- might be lost. I know it has been said that TDKR brings the story full circle back to BATMAN BEGINS, but I believe most fans and the mainstream audience expect traditional villains. Do you think if Nolan goes too far outside the box he might lose a lot of those particular fans? I trust Nolan like you, but what are your thoughts on the matter?" - Mike M. from East Hartford, NJ
JETT SAYS: My thoughts on the matter. Hmm…
I would say that I don’t think that Chris is concerned at that the Average Joe moviegoer might not know who the League of Shadows are. Nor do I think he’s worried that the LOS might not be “big enough” of a villain for the film.
Also, I don’t think the LOS is the “main villain” of TDKR. Yes, it’s quite apparent that the LOS will be a major player in the film when it comes to Bane and this Miranda “Talia” Tate. However, the LOS is only a small player in the overall story, so I don’t believe that the inclusion of Ra’s Al Ghul’s organization matters in the least when it comes to “selling” this film to the mainstream.
Why? Because I 100% believe that Chris and co. would be making this film if he/they didn’t totally believe that there was a great story worth telling. I’m not just blowing smoke here -- I genuinely believe this and I trust Chris, Jonathan Nolan, and David Goyer (and Emma Thomas, Chuck Roven, and all of “Team Nolan“) unequivocally.
Sure, we don’t have The Joker -- arguably the greatest comic book villain in history -- taking on The Batman this time around. But we’ve got Catwoman -- who is damn near as iconic as The Joker -- and one hell of a cast in Bale, Caine, Freeman, Oldman, Hathaway, Cotillard, Gordon-Levitt and of course, Tom Hardy.
Friends, Tom Hardy can flat-out act and I can’t wait to see him as Bane. Anyway…
Bottom line, it’s a Batman film and people are going to turn out opening weekend. Not only that, it’s a Batman film that’s the immediate sequel to THE DARK KNIGHT -- the greatest comic book movie of all time. It’s going to open HUGE, no doubt about it. And if word of mouth is as positive as I expect it to be, it’s going to kick box-office ass all Summer 2012.
So don’t sweat it brother, all’s good in the world of Batman on film. Hell, Warner Bros. and Nolan could have announced that Kite Man was TDKR’s main villain and Bat-Mite would be in the film and I wouldn’t have blinked an eye.
OK, maybe I would have a bit, but you know what I mean. Whatever…
What we need to be concerned about is what happens to Batman on film post-THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Warner Bros. has already announced that the Cinematic-Bat will continue, but will be rebooted. However, it’ll be the team of Mr. Nolan and Ms. Thomas that will oversee whomever is chosen to hit that reset button, SO…
“You’re in good Bat-hands with Team Nolan.”
(5.22.11) "I’m sure you’ve gotten a million of emails just like this one, but we all want to know what you think of that first image of Tom Hardy as Bane?" - William from Elk River, MN
JETT SAYS: Yes, I have received MANY emails asking the same exactly question William. But I picked yours out because we share a first name and I once had a few beers in Elk River, Minnesota. Anyway…
To cut to the chase, I like it. Honestly, it's pretty much exactly what I expected -- though I don’t think we can really judge it until we see Tom Hardy’s Bane in the actual film.
Bane and Tom Hardy as Bane (Click on the image above to see Hardy as Bane in full!)
Aesthetically, Nolan’s Bane seems to capture the spirit of his comic book counterpart, all the while giving his own “realistic” spin to the character.
Did anyone really expect this Bane to be sporting a luchador mask with big-ass tubes emanating from his head?
Apparently, some folks actually did. *sigh and shakes head*
With that nonsense in mind, PLEASE do not send any more emails to me saying that Bane should’ve been CGI’ed, OK?
And yes, Tom Hardy is plenty big enough to play Bane, OK? I’m sure that most of the people bitching about that weigh a buck ’o five and have never seen the inside of gym.
FYI: The lack of a luchador mask and a CGI Bane is the 2011 version of 2007’s “Why isn’t The Joker PERMAWHITE?!”
William, I like what I saw and, quite frankly, that’s enough for me. More Bane publicity pic be damned! Just give me THE DARK KNIGHT RISES so I can see Team Nolan’s Bane in action and in context to the film.
And furthermore, I like the fact that I can see Ryan Reynold’s GL toes!
(5.14.11) “Hi Jett! I know I could technically ask you this on FACEBOOK, but I feel like this question would read a wider audience if it gets ‘mail- bagged.’ If Miranda Tate IS Talia Al Ghul, do you think she'll be there as a love interest, an enemy of Bruce Wayne, or both? Do you foresee a catfight? Who would win? Who do you think would Bruce choose? Also…
How do you think Nolan would play it, and how would YOU play it. Two totally different questions, I know. AND…
It seems like the last two films Bruce had one weak love interest and now he has two strong ones. What are your thoughts on that?”
- Wanyi from NYC
JETT SAYS: HA! I’ll take ‘em one at a time Wanyi…
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this “Miranda Tate” is really Talia, OK? I think she’ll have infiltrated both Wayne Enterprises and Bruce Wayne himself. And if -- IF -- she’s really Talia, I believe that she’ll be her father’s daughter and a TOTAL villain. I’m getting a “Jezebel Jet” vibe here personally -- you know what I mean?
When it comes to Selina Kyle/Catwoman, I’m guessing she will appear to be a villain at first, but will ultimately prove to be an ally to The Batman. I don’t know if there will be a *ahem* catfight, if you will, but I suspect that Catwoman and Talia -- err, “Miranda Tate” -- will square off. The winner of such match-up? Catwoman, of course!
So if Bruce digs Talia -- sorry, “Miranda Tate” -- and The Batman’s sweet on Catwoman, which one would he ultimately choose..?
He’s Batman dammit! Bruce Wayne can get ass anytime he wants, so I don’t figure The Dark Knight would compromise “The Mission” for a chick, no offense intended. *wink*
I hope that answers your questions about Talia -- my bad, “Miranda Tate” -- and Catwoman in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I’ve based my answers on how I think “Team Nolan” might go with the two greatest female antagonists in Batman history, as well as how I’d play it. Oh yeah…
I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that “Rachel Dawes” was a weak character -- especially how she was portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in THE DARK KNIGHT. Rachel had a fairly powerful impact on both Bruce and Batman, don’t you think? He was willing -- actually hoping -- to give up Batman to be with Rachel.
That makes her sort of strong, right?
Cheers my friend!
(5.11.11) "I don’t get why you don’t run what you call 'spoilers.' What are you, just a mouthpiece for Warner Bros.? I’ll get my [Batman on film] news somewhere else from someone who will give us fans what we want. Goodbye!" - "The Malcontent" from ?
JETT SAYS: “The Malcontent” eh? Really? Hahahahaha! Anyway…
No, I’m not a “mouthpiece” for Warner Bros., but I certainly respect them and they respect me. Why? Because we both EARNED it from one another. I’m very appreciative of the studio for hiring Chris Nolan and letting him do his thing with Batman on film, and they apparently dig the way I run BOF.
Here’s the bottom line dude: As archaic, cheesy, and sycophantic as it may sound, it’s not my place to disclose ANYTHING about a Batman film that the filmmakers don’t want revealed.
I couldn’t care less how much hate email I get or the loss of “hits” BOF receives because of this policy, OK?
I. AM. NOT. CHANGING.
Listen, BOF is NOT a “scoop site.” It’s a “Hey Warner Bros., Let’s Make GOOD Batman Films Forever!” site. Yes, I’ve F’ed up at times in the past. But I certainly owned up to my mistakes and learned from ‘em as well.
I don't need to release a "spy pic" from the set of TDKR simply for 15 seconds of internet fame. Doing that sort of thing -- especially in this day and age -- is F'n easy. What's hard is having both the balls and integrity NOT to do it.
Quite frankly, I’m simply a Batman on film cheerleader right now. In fact, that’s pretty much all I’ve been since I saw BATMAN BEGINS back in May of 2005. I knew that all that lobbying I had done since June of '98 was well worth it and the Batman film franchise was now in good hands.
Sorry, I simply don’t understand why anyone would want to know everything about everything about a movie before they even see it...I just don't. If that’s you’re deal, GOOD FOR YOU! Visit every single site that posts every single detail about TDKR and knock yourself out with spoilers!
Y’all want to know how I got my info on BATMAN ‘89 back in the day? A telegraph -- but I enjoyed the hell out of it nonetheless. *wink*
So get over yourselves you “I want to know everything and know it NOW!” A-Holes. You DON’T deserve anything other than a film worth the money that you plucked down to see it.
By the way, I’m very “content” with Batman on film. Both literally AND the way I have -- and will continue to -- run my site.
(4.22.11) "You’ve been adamant that Talia’s in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and Marion Cotillard was going to play her in the film. Now that she’s been confirmed to be in the cast and playing ‘Miranda Tate,’ do you feel stupid for thinking she was Talia? In turn, if she does turn out to be Talia in disguise, then didn’t you post a spoiler?" - Darren S. and others
JETT SAYS: Nope and nope.
Do I -- despite the news that Marion Cotillard’s playing this “Miranda Tate” -- still believe that Talia’s in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Yes. Take that for what you will.
Now, let me be clear: If I were privy to the fact that Miranda Tate was actually Talia, I wouldn’t say a word. But that’s not the case here at all and I’m merely hypothesizing like the rest of you. On that note, here’s my take on the situation…
There’s been whispers for months via the trades that one of the female leads was believed to be Talia. Again, this info was coming via the TRADES -- not fansites or gossip rags. Then we learned that Josh Pence had been cast as a young Ra’s Al Ghul -- whom we’ll most likely see via flashbacks. Plus, Gary Oldman himself said that TDKR brings this Batman story full circle back to BATMAN BEGINS. And who was the main villain of BEGINS? Talia’s father, Ra’s Al Ghul.
And really y’all. Do you think an actress of Marion Cotillard’s caliber would take a supporting role in a Batman film simply to play a Bruce Wayne love interest? Exactly.
I figure that Talia and the League of Shadows uses “Miranda Tate” as a means to get to Bruce Wayne. Is there a better way to attack Batman than to get close to Bruce and distract him?
Look, Chris Nolan is no dummy. I’m quite sure he knows that we all know that Miranda Tate is really Talia. So what if we KNOW, you know? “We” -- Batman fans -- are a drop in the ocean when it comes to TDKR’s audience. The vast majority of people who will see this film in theaters won’t have a clue and probably don’t know who Talia is anyway! Consequently, I don’t think Chris and co. are concerned about us figuring out this particular plot twist. That tells me that he has much bigger and better twists and turns in store for us…
Even if Talia isn’t in the film after all. But she is...I THINK.
(4.8.11) "Why reboot?!" - Lance from Austin, TX
JETT SAYS: My thoughts exactly.
Since first saw BATMAN BEGINS back in ‘05, I hoped that it would be the foundation for a long string of Batman films. Admittedly, Chris Nolan’s Batman is “My Batman.” I prefer the realistic take on the character and hope that future cinematic Bat-endeavors keep him as grounded and, well, “real,” as possible.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case as Warner Bros.’ Jeff Robinov announced that Batman on film will be rebooted -- ahem, “re-imagined” -- after the Nolan Bat-Trilogy.
Upon first hearing this news, I thrust my fist into the air and screamed a visceral scream of…dissatisfaction?
Yes that’s it, a visceral scream of dissatisfaction.
Back to the question. I don’t know 100% for sure why there's a reboot for Batman on film in store post-THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, but I’ll take a very educated guess: Chris Nolan.
I don’t think Chris wants anyone to change anything ex post facto when it comes to his trilogy. Quite frankly, I don’t know if I can blame him. I’m not sure I want to see …
Nolan’s version of Two Face show up in a future film with some BS explanation of how he didn’t die in THE DARK KNIGHT…
Nolan’s Joker suddenly become permawhite….
And I certainly don’t want to see Nolan’s Batman mixing it up with super-powered beings, joining the Justice League, or heading off into space.
Nolan created this unique, “realistic” world of cinematic Batman with a beginning (BATMAN BEGINS), middle (THE DARK KNIGHT), and end (the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). And when he says it’s the end of his trilogy, he means it. I’m not suggesting he’s going to kill Batman off or anything, but clearly, TDKR will conclude the story of Nolan’s Batman. What that conclusion is, I have no idea. Maybe he retires. Maybe he does die. Or perhaps Chris wants future adventures of this Batman to take place in our heads as opposed to the movie theater.
Hell, maybe Nolan and Warner Bros. struck a deal. The Nolan Bat-Trilogy will end with TDKR and in return, Chris and Emma Thomas will stay on as producers and “Godfather/mother” future solo films.
Regardless, it’s pretty obvious to me that Chris doesn’t want to see this Batman -- his Batman -- on the big screen again.
And that makes me a little sad. Anyway...
I'll address how I think this reboot should be done in a future mailbag or op-ed.
(3.22.11) "Hi Bill, love the site! I’ve been reading BOF since the early 2000s -- thanks for all you do for Batman fans of our ilk. My question has nothing to do with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES if that’s OK? What’s your biggest mistake, your biggest disappointment, the coolest thing BOF has allowed you to do, and the one thing you are most proud of in your days of running the site?" - Darren from Philadelphia, PA
JETT SAYS: Damn great question bro! Wow, this one really makes me think and get retrospective -- especially since we don’t know where Batman on film is going after Nolan and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Here goes…
BIGGEST MISTAKE: That one’s easy. I revealed that The Batmobile was destroyed in THE DARK KNIGHT. I KNEW it was wrong as was writing and posting the story, but things were so crazy and happening so fast back then in ‘07 that I didn’t stop for a moment and think to myself, “Dude, don’t be posting this s**t! It’s wrong!” Regardless of the fact that I quickly pulled the story, I shouldn’t have ever done it in the first place and regret it to this day. If I ruined that moment in the film for anyone, I offer you my humble apology.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT:BATMAN RETURNS by far.
Oh, sorry…my bad. My biggest disappointment while running BATMAN ON FILM, not with Batman on film in general.
This will sound weird if you are familiar with my Batman sensibilities, but I’d say the biggest disappointment was when I found out that the BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN film had been killed. At the time, I thought it was the only way to see Batman on film again. Little did I know that BvS going into turnaround was a great decision as it ultimately lead to the hiring of Chris Nolan to reboot the Batman film series.
COOLEST THING: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’ve got to do A LOT of cool things because of BOF. Quite frankly, the ones that initially come to mind are private and I’ll keep them that way. But if I had to pick one that I can reveal, it’s visiting the set of THE DARK KNIGHT in Chicago back in June of ‘07.
THAT. WAS. DAMN. COOL.
THE ONE THING I’M MOST PROUD OF: That’s easy. It’s the RESPECT that BOF has earned from those that really matter.
If I had to be specific -- and it totally relates to this respect thing -- is something that David Goyer said in an interview back during the days when BATMAN BEGINS was still in the conception days…
“They [Warner Bros.] were paying attention to a site called BATMAN ON FILM and they were paying attention to it quite A LOT.”
It can’t be bought, it only can be earned.
(3.14.11) "In light of Aaron Eckhart’s recent comments about whether or not Two Face will be in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, do you think that he’s going to be in the film?" - Nick from Florida
JETT SAYS: Nick, I assume your talking about THIS INTERVIEW, right? Anyway…
No, I do not think that Two Face will be in TDKR. So what do I make of Aaron’s “coyness?” I believe he’s simply having some fun with the interviewer and nothing more.
1) Harvey Dent -- and Two Face for that matter -- died in THE DARK KNIGHT. That’s an un-debatable fact and I'm not going to re-hash that whole thing again.
2) Could he return via flashbacks? Sure, that’s totally possible. There’s just one problem with that: Eckart’s on record saying that Chris Nolan told him that he’s not in the film.
I know what you’re saying, “Well, maybe Nolan changed his mind!” OK, I’ll play with that line of thinking for a second. Let’s assume that while polishing the script, Chris decided to bring Harvey Dent/Two Face back via flashbacks (because he's sure as hell not going to bring him back alive since he's DEAD). And let’s assume that he’s talked Aaron about this and Eckhart is all for it. I figure that Nolan and co. would want to keep it a secret, right? He’d probably tell Aaron, “Look bro, I know you’re going to be doing press for that BATTLE: LOS ANGELES and you're GOING to be asked about Two Face. Just keep answering that question exactly as you have been: ‘I’m not in the film.’”
And that's not how he played it in that interview, is it?
Look, I was a BIG advocate of Two Face returning via flashbacks. But obviously, it’s just not going to happen. Whatever story Team Nolan cooked up for TDKR, doesn’t need Two Face. And they’re certainly not going to stick him in just for the sake of sticking Two Face in it.
Bottom line: No Two Face in TDKR.
(3.9.11) "Bill, I’ve got two questions for you and I hope you’ll answer at least one of them please. One, what do you make of Gary Oldman’s recent comments about the villain being an ‘old’ one from back in the day? Also, it’s quite clear that this is [Chris] Nolan’s last Batman film and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES brings a story to an end. You don’t think that he would kill off Batman do you? LOVE the site -- I’m another one who has been with you since the ‘inception’ of BOF!" - Rob M. from Seattle, WA
JETT SAYS: First of all Rob, let me thank you for being with me since the “JettD60” days! Much appreciated. Now on with your questions…
As far as Gary’s comments, I think that many are reading WAY too much into them. For instance, what period of Batman comics does Mr. Oldman consider “old?” If it’s the early 70s -- which is now 40 years ago mind you -- he could be alluding to Talia. If he’s talking about the real “olden days” -- like 1939, 1940 -- then he might simply be referring to Catwoman. Selina Kyle -- well, “The Cat,” -- was in BATMAN #1.
However, I’m hoping that Gary’s alluding to another character that was also in BATMAN #1...
DR. HUGO STRANGE.
I’ve long lobbied for the inclusion of this character (and to be portrayed by Robin Williams) on BOF. With Batman on the run, Bane (Tom Hardy) in the film, the rumors of Talia (Marion Cotillard?) and the return of the League of Shadows, I just think Dr. Strange would fit into the story very, VERY nicely.
Now, how much does Mr. Oldman really know? Sure, he’s privy to more info than you or me -- well, maybe YOU *wink*. But this is CHRIS NOLAN we’re talking about here! Look up “anal retentive” in the dictionary and Chris’ picture is now used as an example. Hell, this is Chris’ Bat-World and we’re all living in it, OK? You never know, maybe Gary’s and the rest of the cast are part of Chris’ entire ruse?
As far as the possibility of Batman being killed off in TDKR, I just don’t see such a thing happening. Frankly, I can’t fathom Warner Bros. signing off on it.
I love and respect all that Chris and co. has done for Batman on film the last decade, and I’m hoping that the Nolan Batman-on-film Trilogy will be the foundation for future Batman-on-film. There’s no need to do another reboot, right? Wasn’t that the whole point of BATMAN BEGINS?
Just in case there’s any such shenanigans, BOF will be here lobbying for the long-term continuation of Batman on film. If anyone wants to “F” with the cinematic Dark Knight, I’ll be on ‘em like green grass through a goose.
It was my mission when I started this site back in 1998, and it WILL be my mission post July 20, 2012.
(2.28.11) "After watching the Oscars last night, I can’t believe that Chris Noland picked that Ann Hatheway to play Catwoman! What a f***ing injustice this guy is doing to this classic Batman character! Screw this ‘Trust Nolan’ crap you say. The Warner Brothers prolly made Noland pick her for Catwoman and she’s not even hot or anything!" - Ethan from Minnesota
JETT SAYS: Look, I’ll give you the Oscar host criticism, OK? “The Academy” and ABC made a poor decision on that one. Get a damn good COMEDIAN and let them do their thing! Anyway…
*snicker* Are you for REAL bro?! Before I begrudgingly answer this, let’s clarify a few things. It’s…
Mr. Nolan knows better than anyone -- especially you -- who best fits his vision of Selina Kyle/Catwoman in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I trust “Team Nolan” 100% when it comes to casting.
“Heath Ledger as The Joker” anyone? That's what I thought.
As far as Ms. Hathaway not being *ahem* “hot?” That’s F’n laughable! Really y’all? Do I need to go THERE with all of you who make this claim?
If you ARE one of THOSE, your chick better be "Farah Fawcett Hot," that’s all I got to say.
Can't we find something else to “freak out” over other than this?
(2.25.11) "What’s the deal Jett?! You haven’t updated the mailbag in about a week! And you sure as hell haven’t been answering a question ‘daily’ as you promised. All I want to know is WHY? Regardless, I still love the site -- I’ve been with you since the ‘JettD60’s BATMAN 5 PAGE’ days!" - William from Connecticut
JETT SAYS: Fair question.
Here’s the deal William. We’re at the point where, quite frankly, I know TOO much about this film. While I haven’t been “spoiled” per se, I know things that I would NEVER divulge on BOF. So when I’m asked the following…
“Is Marion Cotillard in TDKR and whom is she playing?”
“What is JGL’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) role in TDKR?”
…I don’t feel comfortable answering those questions any longer. Make whatever you want out of that.
We are now at the point where it’s all about the experience of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -- the guessing and anticipation that makes ultimately going to see the film so much fun.
I have never understood why anyone would want to know every single detail and plot point/twist before walking into a theater to see a film. One can bitch all one wants about how “secretive” Chris Nolan is when it comes to his films. But you know what, he’s saving these *ahem* “individuals” from themselves.
So memo to all readers of BOF: There will be no more information coming from me that “Team Nolan” and Warner Bros. doesn’t want you to know about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. From now on, it’s going to be nothing but a celebration of the final chapter of Chris Nolan’s definitive Batman on film trilogy.
Hey, if you don’t like that, fine. You are free to go to the plethora of sites that WILL post spoilers and WILL -- in the grand scheme of things -- ruin the film for you.
I couldn’t care less if this policy leaves me with only one F’n reader a day, REALLY. Why? Because…
I’m much more satisfied with what BOF has accomplished in its 13+ year history and the RESPECT from the people that really matter have for me and this website.
The following will sound arrogant as hell and it’s because, well, it IS.
I don’t NEED to post pictures of The Joker as a nurse or dressed as a GPD cop -- which nearly RUINED the THE DARK KNIGHT for many (including ME) -- to get my 15 minutes of internet fame, OK? I also don't need to copy anyone or any other website. BOF is the original and the BEST.
Forever and ever AMEN, all hail the great state of Texas, Team Nolan's fantastic, and The Batman is the greatest fictional character in the history of literature!
(2.15.11) "Jett, why do you hate Robin so much? I loved both [BATMAN BEGINS] and [THE DARK KNIGHT], but I won’t consider Nolan’s trilogy 'definitive' if Robin isn’t in the [TDKR]." - Michael from Kansas City, MO
JETT SAYS: Well for one thing Michael, I don’t “hate” Robin. I simply prefer Batman stories that feature Batman working solo. However, I will admit that I am certainly not a Robin fan. If I have my way, Chris Nolan and co. will finish their trilogy without the inclusion of Robin. BUT…
I will concede that Robin is a classic Batman character and could make Nolan's Bat-Trilogy "Definitive” in terms of historical significance. In addition, it DID cross my mind after seeing THE DARK KNIGHT back in ‘08 that Robin just might fit into film #3 based on the way the film ended. Bruce Wayne is certainly going to be in a bad place, right? Perhaps becoming a father figure for a kid that also lost his parents to murder would help pull him out of his funk. Heck, it doesn’t have to be “Robin” per se, but simply “Richard Grayson.”
While I’d prefer Batman on film -- the Nolan Bat-Trilogy specifically -- to be Boy Wonderless, I totally trust Chris Nolan, David Goyer, and Jonah Nolan. If THEY need Robin to properly finish out their cinematic Bat-run -- hypothetically speaking of course -- then I am certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
For the record all you “Jett HATES Robin Haters!” check out the pic below. That’s me in my homemade (by my Grandmother) Robin costume c. 1971!
Take THAT all you “Jett HATES Robin Haters!” ;)
(2.15.11) "Who is Marion Cotillard playing?" - Amber from Santa Fe, NM
JETT SAYS: See, chicks dig BOF too! On with the answer to the question...
Amber, Isn’t it obvious? Aunt Harriet!
Honestly, I have no idea (and if I did, I wouldn’t be answering this question). However, my money’s on Talia Al Ghul. I think Bane (Tom Hardy) will have something to do with the League of Shadows, thus, the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul.
And she’s perfect for the part too! Anyway…
I see her as coming to Gotham incognito ("Jane" Ducard?) and becoming the “love interest” of the distraught Bruce Wayne. At the same time, Catwoman (Selina Kyle as portrayed by Anne Hathaway) has caught The Dark Knight’s fancy.
Love triangle anyone? OK, maybe a “love hexagon” is more appropriate?
Whatever. I’m just glad she’s going to be part of the cast -- even if it were Aunt Harriet!
(2.7.11) "What makes you so sure that Robin isn’t in this film? [THEFILMBUNGHOLE.COM] says that they’ve got sources backing up [Robin] being in the movie. You’re just mad ‘cause you hate Robin! " - *ahem* "Name" withheld due to it being a ridiculous self-given fanboy moniker
JETT SAYS: Well, here are my main reasons…
“Dick Grayson’s still in a crib somewhere. I seriously doubt I will even be involved when Robin’s in the franchise. - Christopher Nolan
“[Including Robin in Nolan’s Batman film] would be tricky.” - David Goyer
“If Robin crops up in one of the new Batman films, I’ll be chaining myself up somewhere and refusing to go to work. - Christian Bale
And as far as this story that has a location scout for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES letting it slip that Robin’s in the film to some Michigan bigwigs? Total BS -- at least the way it’s been written by many outlets. This “Robin’s Cave” business is either the codename for the film or the particular location that’s being inspected.
If this dude -- who is working for Team Nolan and Warner Bros. -- actually did reveal an important plot point or character in the film, he’s probably out of a job today. This cat would know that, thus it didn’t happen -- at least not the way it’s being erroneously reported.
I was told over a weekend that security is tight on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES -- and I mean TIGHT in all caps. Our insider said that some new security measures were put into place for INCEPTION and are being implemented for TDKR as well.
I know what you’re saying, “Then how did you know Tom Hardy was Bane?” Fair question. Well, I pretty well connected quite frankly and lots of folks trust me. The person who told me knew that I wouldn’t report it on BOF, so there you go. Don't believe me? I couldn't care less.
Trust me, even if Robin’s in TDKR, this story has nothing to do with it.
(2.5.11) "What’s with giving this ‘Ra’s Al Cool’ run on BOF? This guy’s an IDIOT! Not only that, he [supports] everything that you’ve always been against on BOF. Nolan knows what he’s doing, but ‘Ra’s Al Tool’ certainly doesn’t! Please Jett, do not post anymore of his stupid opinion videos on the site!" - Craig from Charlotte, N.C.
JETT SAYS: I’m sorry Craig, I LOVE “Ra’s Al Cool” and plan on posting his video “op-eds” whenever he makes a new one. They are simply brilliant! Not only that, but I 100% agree with the message that he’s sending on each and every one of them. He is damn spot on!
BOF'ers: If you haven't seen Ra's Al Cool's video "op-eds" yet, you can check out the first two HERE and HERE.
Hell, I don’t know what’s more entertaining, the videos themselves or the response they elicit!
(2.3.11) "Any chance that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing Robin? "
JETT SAYS: *rolls eyes*
JGL is about to be 30 years old! He’s not coming right off the set of THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN for crissakes!
Really people, this has to be one of the most idiotic -- yet hilarious -- hypothesis’s I’ve ever heard in all my days of running BOF.
And he’s not Nightwing either dangit!
Plus, I've heard that FJD has dibs on the part whenever Dick Grayson makes his way back to Batman on film.
(2.3.11) "Jett, do you think there’s any chance that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to play The Joker? Maybe it’s just a cameo in Arkham or something? I don’t think that the possibility should be dismissed because JGL looks just like Heath Ledger."
JETT SAYS: No. Chance. At. All.
There's no way in HELL that Chris Nolan hires another actor to play the "Heath Joker" in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Furthermore, there's no way in HELL that any actor worth his salt would sign up to do a "Heath Joker" impersonation in TDKR.
Clear enough? Anyone still thinking that it’s a possibility is, quite frankly, a delusional fanboy.
(2.2.11) "Jett, who do you think Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?" - Gary from New Jersey
JETT SAYS: Man, I have no idea, really...but I love the casting! Anyway...
I’ll toss out some possibilities in a moment, but I can tell you who he isn’t playing: The Joker, Robin/Nightwing, The Riddler, or Azrael. I’ve heard all those mentioned and it just ain’t going to happen.
The Joker? Nolan said he wasn’t recasting and/or bringing the character back. We all know why, so just move on.
Robin? Really people (*rolls eyes*). Joe Levitt’s almost 30 years old!
Nightwing? Good gosh! Robin doesn’t even exist in Nolan’s Bat-World much less the adult incarnation of the character!
Azrael? Nope. Just because Chris and co. are using Bane as the main villain DOES NOT mean that they’re planning a straight-up adaptation of KNIGHTFALL (*shakes head*).
The Riddler? Chris said that The Riddler wasn’t in the film -- information that he didn’t have to offer up at the time. Therefore, I’m going to take the man at his word. So no, I don’t buy any “The Riddler may not be in the film, but Edward Nashton/Nigma will be!” conspiracy theories. If that was the case, I reckon that Chris wouldn’t have said a word about “The Riddler” at all. It’s just not his M.O.
OK, who do I think he might play? Well…
Though I’m sure it’s a significant role, I’m not feeling a “villain vibe” with JGL. Now, that doesn’t mean he wont’ be an adversary of The Dark Knight. I’m also of the belief that he’ll play an original character -- one created by “Team Nolan.”
Pure guess, I’m going to say that he’s going to be 1) The head of the GPD task force that’s been created to find and take down The Batman -- the “anti-Gordon,” if you will. Or, 2) Gotham’s new, young D.A. who is also out to “get” The Caped Crusader.
Regardless, I’m glad this dude is on board. He’s a hell of an actor and I’ve hoped that he’d be in the TDKR cast since I saw INCEPTION out in L.A. back in June of last year. BUT…
If Chris has cast this cat as Crazy Quilt, it’s ON!
(1.30.11) "Jett, what’s the deal with that Tweet?! You’re killing me!" - Thomas from London
What, this one?
“RW as Strange? Hmm….”
Absolutely nothing. All I was doing was thinking out loud after a chat I had with an industry friend of mine. I’ve made no secret that 1) I’d LOVE it if Robin Williams finally got his wish and was cast in a Batman film, and, 2) I’d also love to see the character of Hugo Strange included in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Put those 2 together things together and, “RW as Strange? Hmm…..”
I’m flattered that all these outlets think that one of my Tweets is a story, but really, they’re all making a mountain out of very small anthill. If I knew that Hugo Strange was in the film for a fact -- as well as Robin Williams portraying the character -- I wouldn’t say anything about it anywhere.
And if turns out that Hugo Strange is in TDKR and he's portrayed by Robin Williams, just chalk it up as "a lucky guess." ;)
(1.26.11) "Jett, any chance we’ll get some Batman ‘Easter Eggs’ in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? With this being Nolan’s last one and all, I figure he might do more of these than he has in the past [with BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT." - Sean from Seattle, WA
JETT SAYS: I certainly hope so.
Actually, BOF’s Sean Gerber and I discussed this very topic off mic while we were recording our podcast this past weekend. If I had to guess, I’d say yes, Chris and co. might include more “Easter Eggs” this time since it’s their last Batman film.
For me, I hope he finds a way to work in The Riddler and The Penguin into the film -- albeit in very small, cameo-type roles. They don’t even have to be “The Riddler” or “The Penguin” per se -- simply Edward Nashton and Oswald Cobblepott. Hell, both of them were found in THE GOTHAM GLOBE newspapers that were released during THE DARK KNIGHT’s viral campaign. So you got to think that they do “exist” in the Nolan Bat-verse. Of the two, I think The Penguin has a better chance of showing up in such a role than The Riddler. Perhaps Batman crashes into The Iceberg Lounge and shakes down its owner -- and Gotham mobster -- Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepott for information?
Yes, Nolan’s on record saying “Well, it’s not The Riddler” when discussing who would be the villain of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, as well as describing the possible use of The Penguin as “tricky.” But he’s never 100% ruled either out in terms of appearing in a cameo -- or “Easter Egg” if you will.
I just think it would be sort of cool to be able to say that Nolan used The Joker, Catwoman, Two Face, Ra’s Al Ghul, The Scarecrow, Bane AND The Penguin and The Riddler in his definitive Batman on film trilogy when all’s said and done. Outside of Bane (who’s a C-list character in my opinion), those are pretty much the A/B+ list of Batman rogues.
(1.21.11) "Jett, how do you think Selina Kyle will be portrayed in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?" - Gary from Florida
JETT SAYS: Isn't it obvious? She'll portray the love interest of my character, Crazy Quilt.
Cat-Suit? Yes, this'll work...
Joking aside, I’m quite sure that Team Nolan will create a Selina Kyle/Catwoman that fits in the world of Batman they created, but is also loyal to the character’s comic book history.
I’d say she’ll be adapted much like The Joker was in THE DARK KNIGHT. They put their own spin on the character (cut smile, make-up, anarchist), but that was truly “The Joker” up there on the big screen -- brilliantly portrayed by the late Heath Ledger, I might add.
I do not believe she’s going to be a “villain” in the film. Perhaps she’s a sort of anti-hero -- someone filling the void left by The Batman who has seemingly disappeared. Just a thought.
The Cat-Suit? Well, we know it's going to be something that's "realistic," but still evokes the look of the comics. Heck, the even current suit that Selina wears in the comics would work in the Nolanverse, don't you think?
I can not wait to see Team Nolan’s take on the character. You know it's going to be nothing like we guess, yet be "Catwoman" through-and-through.
And yes, I do 100% believe that both Selina Kyle and Catwoman will be in TDKR. Don't read anything into the fact that Catwoman was not mentioned in name in the press release.
(1.17.11) The latest edition of this mailbag had WAY TOO MANY questions for me to answer here in this space. So...
CLICK HERE for the “Big TDKR Announcement Edition” of the BOF MAILBAG!
(1.16.11) "When it comes to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES news, I'm pretty much just a BOF man. I don't really know [what’s being said] when it comes to TDKR rumors -- which means I don't understand where all of them are coming from. For example, I don't understand why Talia seems the be a sure thing now. It seems to me that you believed pretty strongly that Catwoman would be in the film, but sometime this week there seemed to be a change of heart or a doubt that Catwoman would be in the film. I was hoping you could shed some light on the subject. Basically, why do you now believe Talia is in TDKR? Does Catwoman still have a chance? If not, why?" - Matt
JETT SAYS: Good question Matt.
Let start by saying that I did strongly believe that Catwoman would be in this film. I have long heard from many industry FOBOF (“Friends of Batman On Film”) -- even before THE DARK KNIGHT hit theaters in 2008 -- that Selina Kyle/Catwoman would probably be in a possible third Chris Nolan Batman film. And this info was coming from folks who would definitely know.
So why do I now think Talia is one of the female leads in TDKR over Catwoman? Well, the scuttlebutt I’m hearing says that this is the case. Look, I talk to A LOT of “movie folk” on a pretty consistent basis, OK? And truth be told, most of these conversations are off the record and lots that I know never makes it on BOF. (I don’t do spoilers and I do withhold information that I’m told. Why? Because BOF is NOT and NEVER has been a “scoop site.” If that’s what all you’re looking for dear readers, go somewhere else.) Anyway, that’s the buzz I’m currently hearing: Talia is in TDKR and Selina is not.
Though I can’t offer up any off the record information here, I can give you something that was public that sort of cements this for me: Talia was mentioned to be in TDKR in a report in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. This is a trade and lots -- if not most -- of what they report comes straight from the studios. That tells me that this info is something that the studio and the filmmakers don’t mind being known by the public.
I’ll also note that when I visited with David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan back in June of 2008, they were asked if “classic” Batman villains -- like The Penguin, The Riddler, and Catwoman -- were a “given” for a possible third Batman. Check out these two quotes…
“Batman’s rogues gallery -- most of them are very realistic. It’s BIG and it’s DEEP -- that bench has a lot of depth. And uh, a lot of those characters feel as if they could fit into our ‘realistic’ world.” - Jonathan Nolan
“You know the thing is with [BATMAN BEGINS], people would say ‘Who are you going to use? The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler, etc.’ These are the well known characters -- known principally from the TV show -- and guess what, we used Ra’s Al Ghul and The Scarecrow. Now they weren’t characters from the other films or the TV show but these were big characters from the comics. And there are a lot of big characters in the comics that haven’t been used -- comic book readers know who they are though.” - David Goyer
Do you sorta get the vibe that neither of these fine gentlemen feel that they "HAVE TO" include particular characters into these films?
Do I want to see Catwman in TDKR? Yes. Have I lobbied for the inclusion of the character in TDKR? Yep, I did. Do I think that Catwoman has to be included in the final installment of Chris Nolan Bat-Trilogy to be considered “definitive?” Nope, not at all.
Remember, Chris, David, and Jonathan come up with a story and then fit the characters to it, not the other way around. Perhaps it’s as simple as they wanted to use Catwoman, but she just didn’t fit in the story that they wanted to tell. Frankly, I’d rather that happen than Nolan and co. trying to force square pegs into round holes -- you know what I mean?
Now, should we simply give up all hope for Selina Kyle being in TDKR? I say no. There has been no “official” announcement yet telling us which characters are in the film. Maybe all of these rumors of late are simply red herrings? (I dont' buy the recent "plot synopsis" or "script leak" at all.)
Regardless, we going to find out soon enough because I’ve been told an announcement is “imminent.” Until then, hold out hope fellow Catwoman fans because it ain’t over ‘til it’s over!
(1.17.11) "Jett, how come you have not acknowledged how horrible the GREEN LANTERN trailer looks and that Martin Campbell was probably not a very good choice for a director? It isn’t just the CGI -- it just doesn’t look filmed very well and his mask looks very tenable. Anyway, you have not mention at all that most people’s reaction of the trailer has been negative. Every site I go to, the reaction to GREEN LANTERN is negative and you have not even mention that. Why?" - Name not included in email
JETT SAYS: I haven’t “acknowledged” it because I don’t believe any of what you’re claiming. Everything I’ve seen about this film looks fantastic. I got to chat with director Martin Campbell at Comic Con last July and this man is passionate about the film, respectful of the source material, and has a clear vision of both this movie and future sequels.
Look dude, I couldn’t care less about a bunch of nitpicky, immature fanboys bitching and moaning on message boards about every little detail of a film. A film, by the way, that NONE OF THEM HAVE YET SEEN! We've only seen a trailer...A TRAILER! This is what these fools do for a living! I’m certainly not going to pay them any attention and no one with a clue shouldn't either. I’m sure as hell will not waste my time “acknowledging” such ridiculous BS.
GREEN LANTERN is going to kick ass come this June and go on to spawn several sequels. I can’t wait to see it! In fact, I’m going to watch the trailer again right now…
(1.12.11) "OK Jett, time to come clean! What’s your take on these new reports about the casting of the female leads? Do you think Talia’s in it? If so, is Selina totally out? What’s your take on the new Bane rumors? Do you still think Hugo Strange is in the film? Thanks Bill...I’ve been with you since ‘04!" - Steven F. from San Antonio, TX.
JETT SAYS: I’m not one to make predictions, but here’s what I think of all this…
For one, I don’t think that the COLLIDER.COM story was BS. I think they got some info from a source that they trust and went with it. We’ve already heard that Naomi Watts was on Team Nolan’s radar and I have no doubt that Eva Green was -- or still is -- being considered for a part in the film. So don’t call BS on this story y’all. However…
I think that the THR story is probably more up to date. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the info they included in their story was supplied to them by Warner Bros., Team Nolan, or both.
What did both these reports have in common? That would be Talia. Do I personally think she’s in the film?
Now, does that rule out Selina Kyle? No, not at all. Like I’ve said many times, I’ve long heard that Catwoman was going to be in BATMAN 3. Hell, I first heard it back in ‘07 from someone who worked on (and had a fairly important position) THE DARK KNIGHT. What they said was that “They” would like to use the character if there was a way to fit her in to whatever story would ultimately be told in B3. Personally, I really hope that Catwoman is in TDKR. But I trust Team Nolan unequivocally, so if she’s not, there’s a reason and I’ll just accept it.
As far as Dr. Hugo Strange is concerned, I’m convinced those rumors originated simply from fan speculation. Personally, I hope he’s in it because I he’s a fave of mine and I think that he would fit nicely into the story based on how THE DARK KNIGHT ended. The Gotham Police Department will certainly be looking for Batman and will want to know who he really is, right? Therefore, HS makes sense. But…
Dr. Strange isn’t the only Batman villain that has discovered Bruce Wayne is Batman. Maybe the GPD turns to someone else to take down The Batman? Someone who's The Batman's equal? Someone who -- just maybe -- was also once trained by The League of Shadows?
(1.7.11) "Jett, Batman is present in comics, film, audio books, prose, television animation, and even an upcoming live theatrical show. But not in live action television. What do you think the odds are that Warner Bros. rethinks that with something Batman related after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? I'm not thinking a Batman show exactly, but something like Gotham Central or even a Catwoman show seem like possibilities." - Robert from Wisconsin.
JETT SAYS: Robert, I know in the past that Warner Bros. has been very *ahem* anal about Batman on TV and Batman on film. Based on their actions over the last 20 some-odd years, they prefer to keep The Caped Crusader’s live-action exploits on the big screen and animate him when it comes to TV -- the short-lived BIRDS OF PREY TV series excluded. However…
I think Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment will have some important decisions to make when it comes to the non-comic book and non-animated Batman once THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is said and done. I laid out the choices I believe the choices that WB/DCE has when it comes to the future endeavors of the cinematic Batman in the last installment of this column. I’ll add to that by saying that I don’t think we’ll ever see live-action Batman on film and on TV at the same time. It’s going to be one or the other, in my humble opinion.
What I think could work on TV is a police drama that’s set in Gotham City -- “Gotham Central” as you suggested. I’d LOVE to see that done NYPD BLUE-style. You can make it “Batman” without actually having The Dark Knight being a character in the cast. In fact, I’m fixin’ to start lobbying the hell out of that concept! Anyway…
To be honest, I think that the live-action Batman should always be on film. As much as I’d love to see him on TV every week from September to May, I still think that the greatest comic book superhero of all time’s exploits should be realized on the BIG screen and in a BIG way.
(1.5.11) "Jett, I was reading the BOF Fan Page on Facebook today and saw the discussion about the future of the Batman film franchise after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES since this is going to be Chris Nolan’s last one. You mentioned that you were a bit afraid of the future of the series and suggested that it could be a decade or more before we see another Batman film. What’s your best guess of what will unfold after TDKR with Batman on film. I’ve been following you since 2000...thank you for running BOF with such integrity." - Brett from Los Angeles.
JETT SAYS: Brett, thanks for your patronage for the last decade -- much appreciated!
Quite frankly, I think Warner Bros. is going to come to a crossroads with the Batman film series after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and will have to make some tough decisions. With the establishment of DC Entertainment and the rise of new, DC Comics-based film franchises, WB and DCE may decide to put Batman on film on the backburner for a while. I do think that Batman on film should be given a bit of a rest for at least 5 years, but no more than 10 -- give or take.
If they do decide that the Batman franchise should continue, they’re also going to have to decide which direction they want to go. In my opinion, here are the options:
1) Continue the series with the continuity established in the Nolan Batman Trilogy.
2) Reboot (again) and make a film (and subsequent sequels) that ignores all previous Batman on film continuities.
3) Make a series of Batman on film one-offs that have a self-contained continuity. The best example I can give is, say, Zack Snyder doing THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Or WB goes to “Big Time Director X” and says “Make us a great Batman film and don’t worry about what’s come before or setting up any sequels.” Maybe only having to worry about one film and not a trilogy or series would entice some tremendous filmmakers to do a Bat-Film…I’m just saying’.
The cinematic Batman stays in mothballs until they decide to bring it all together with a big ‘ol Justice League film. Sorry, but Pfffftttt! on that one.
I don’t know if this is what will ultimately happen, but it’s what I think is the best option…
After THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, let Batman on film chill for a few years (see above). Then go out and hire a talented filmmaker who knows and respects the character of Batman to make a new trilogy of films. I’d tell him to do what you want, but there’s one stipulation: The Nolan Trilogy is the foundation of the movie Dark Knight and its continuity must be respected. Other than that, the canvas is blank (sorta).
So what do y'all want to see? Cinematic Batman one-offs? Decade-long trilogies with their own continuity? Future films based within the Nolan continuity? LET ME KNOW!
(1.4.11) "Jett, do you really think that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will not film at in in Chicago? With the two previous films having shot there, I think it would be a shame if Nolan didn’t return for at least a small part of the filming." - Vincet C. from Chicago.
JETT SAYS: Well, let me start off by saying there have no reports confirming that TDKR will not shoot at all in Chicago. In fact, it’s been long believed that the production would return to The Windy City for some location shooting. However, from what I’ve been hearing of late, they might not film in Chicago at all.
We know that they are filming in Los Angeles, the U.K., and some other yet to be announced locale/city. We know director Chris Nolan was scouting locations in Asia, and I’ve heard whispers that it might have been Tokyo that he was checking out. Also, BOF reported back on December 16th of this past year that filming would take place in the U.K. (confirmed), Los Angeles (confirmed), Detroit, another country (Tokyo?), and “maybe something in New York. Could The Big Apple be that that unannounced locale/city?
One thing’s for sure, we’re fixin’ for find out...sooner rather than later. And for the record, I hope they go back to Chicago -- if only if it's for a week or two.
(12.31.10) "Jett, are you as baffled by the fan support Talia al Ghul is getting [to be included in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES] as I am? I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many fans want her in #3 -- especially since she is so dependent on the Ra's and League of Shadows storyline being resuscitated in order to make her work. I cannot for the life of me understand why people want to see such a restrictive character over someone like Catwoman who is far more flexible and adaptable and has far richer material to draw story and inspiration from. Your thoughts?" - Josh MC.
JETT SAYS: Josh, I’d say that I’m not as “baffled” as you are when it comes to fans wanting to see Talia in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I may be the wrong person to ask this question because I actually quite like the character and wouldn’t have a problem seeing her included in the film. However, I don’t know if Chris Nolan and co. want to go full circle and revisit the League of Shadows storyline again -- especially if it involves the group again attempting to destroy Gotham.
Talia seeking revenge on Bruce Wayne for the “death” of her father (in BATMAN BEGINS)? Maybe. But sort of predictable and clichéd in my opinion.
However, I’m quite positive that if Chris, David Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan have decided to use Talia in TDKR, there’s a reason and the storyline will be good.
When it comes to Selina Kyle/Catwoman, longtime readers know that I’ve long lobbied for the inclusion of the character in BATMAN 3. I’m of the belief that if Catwoman isn’t included in Nolan’s Bat-Trilogy, it’s going to be hard to consider it 100% “definitive.” Next to The Joker, I think that the character is probably the most iconic Batman villains that exist. Sure, some will say Harvey Dent/Two Face is #2 (and I wouldn’t disagree), but SK’s at least in the “Top 3.”
With Rachel Dawes now dead, there’s going to be a new female lead character -- so why not Catwoman?
And if the reports are true that they’ll actually be two female leads, perhaps it’s both Selina and Talia! If so, let's hope Bruce's stamina is at its peak.
(12.30.10) "I've been reading your site since I was 12-years-old and discovered how to search "Batman movies" on the internet. Thanks for what you do.
It seems that with every new Batman film, Robin Williams makes some public comment indicating his desire to join the cast, and it's my understanding that he's been trying to get involved since Tim Burton's first movie. My question is whether you think Williams is well-suited for a role in Chris Nolan's Bat-world, and if so, who would he play?"
- Austin R.
JETT SAYS: Who would he play? Well, Mork from Ork for sure! We could have a DCU/HAPPY DAYS Universe crossover!
Yes, I'm kidding.
First of all, thanks for being with BOF for that long Austin. I’ve got readers who were “kids” back in ‘98 and now have grown up, been through college, and now have families! It’s just awesome to think about that. Anyway…
Based on my knowledge of Batman on film history -- and I’m not guru -- Robin Williams was used as “bait” to get Jack Nicholson to play The Joker in BATMAN ‘89. He then was supposed to portray The Riddler in BATMAN FOREVER, but Michael Keaton’s departure caused the studio to re-shuffle the casting deck for that one. Apparently, that’s what “got” Williams (who was never cast) and Rene Russo as she was originally cast as Dr. Chase Meridian.
Now, I don’t recall Robin Williams lobbying for a part in either BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, or the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES for that matter. On the other hand, I do know that he’d love to be in a Batman film and has said as much publicly many times.
Hey, the guy’s a Batman fan and knows and has worked with director Chris Nolan before (INSOMNIA). I’d be pulling a few strings and doing some backdoor lobbying if I were him as well. (In fact I’m doing some myself! I’d love extra in TDKR and I’ll be pulling the few strings that I HAVE (actually, all I got are threads) to *hopefully* make it happen!)
I’d love for Chris to cast Robin Williams in TDKR and I’m sure there are a number of roles the guy could play -- good or bad. Hey, he’s a hell of an actor, bottom line. But if I were in charge of casting I know exactly the part I’d offer him: Dr. Hugo Strange.
That wouldn’t be inspired casting, it’d be perfect casting.
But there’s one problem here: Hugo Strange might not even be in the film! I’ve long hoped the character would be included in BATMAN 3 as I thought his inclusion would make perfect sense. But I’m not Chris Nolan, David Goyer, or Jonathan Nolan, and they know way better than me what’s going to make TDKR a GREAT movie.
We’ll know soon enough when it comes to characters and casting, trust me…
(12.29.10) "Do you think Chris Nolan will have any influence over Warner Bros.’ selection of the next Batman director and how many years will it be before one is chosen? Moreover, who's going to want to step into his shoes? It's like following Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman when playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys!" - Lewis C.
JETT SAYS: Love the Cowboys’ quarterback analogy there Lewis! Danny White was a hell of a QB, but he had the misfortune of following a legend (“Roger The Dodger”). As far as following Icy Aikman, we went through a turnstile of crap (Quincy Carter?!) ’til we found Romo, so the jury’s still out on him. But I shall digress. I see a couple of possible scenarios when it comes to the new director for BATMAN 4…
1) Chris Nolan completely walks away from the franchise and it’ll be up to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to find and then hire the next director.
2) Nolan stays on as a producer and “Godfathers” BATMAN 4 -- much like he did for Warner Bros. when it came to the Superman reboot and the hiring of Zack Snyder as that film’s director.
If I had to guess, I’d go with scenario #1. My gut just tells me that once Chris is finished with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, he’ll be done with Batman on film for good.
Think about it. Once TDKR is all said and done -- press, the theatrical release, and then the DVD/Blu-ray release -- Chris and co. will have devoted a little over a decade to the cinematic Batman. I’m quite sure there’s A LOT of other things that he wants to do that don’t involved Gotham City -- and quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame or hold it against him in the least. Anyway…
As far as how long it'll be until we get a new director? My guess is that’s it’s a minimum of 5 years before we get another Batman film after THE DARK KNIGHT RISES…if not a bit longer.
And honestly, that sort of fires me up and will bring me and BOF full circle. Hell, I’ve damn near been on cruise control ever since BATMAN BEGINS/THE DARK KNIGHT! There wasn't really a need for me to lobby Warner Bros./whomever for quality Batman films because Chris was F’n DELIVERING! BUT…
His probable departure after TDKR has, quite frankly, got my ‘ol BOF juices flowing again. Specifically, I'm talking being able to do what I set out to do when I started the site in ‘98, which is...
Banging the ‘ol BOF drum (louder that ever) post-TDKR for the continued betterment of Batman on film.
In other words…
I ain’t going NOWHERE!
(12.28.10) "Hello Jett! I have been with you since the inception of the site years ago.
My question has to do with your ardent disdain for the Batman in a Justice League movie. I would be the first to turn away from some campy representation, but I have to believe there is a good script out there which puts key players like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman in an ‘Earth Crisis’ situation that would be worth telling. There is such a thing as good science fiction and I believe there is a place for The Dark Knight in that realm. While I know I am not going to change your mind on this one, I am suggesting that your over the top bashing of a JL movie with Batman every time you get the chance does not necessarily represent the view of every fan -- especially this 50 plus years fan. Happy New Year!"
- Jim F.
JETT SAYS: Hi Jim, thanks for the email -- and for following BOF since the days of “JettD60’s BATMAN 5 Page” -- very much appreciated.
Let me say that the overt disdain for a Justice League move -- one that includes Batman in particular -- is not meant to be disrespectful to the Bat-Fans who would like to see such a movie. I do understand that there are many folks who would absolutely love to see an epic JL film that includes all of the group’s classic members.
I’m just not one of them, obviously.
I’m of the belief that Batman on film should be restricted to the Batman film franchise. I want to see as many good Batman films as possible as long as I’m around and I hope the series continues on long after I’m gone as well. That has always been and will continue to be the #1 goal of this website.
Consequently, I have no interest the cinematic Batman taking a sabbatical from his own film franchise to moonlight in a ensemble movie with super-powered characters. I’d also say that same thing for Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, etc., when it comes to those character’s own film franchises. Give me as much DC on film as possible, but let’s not mix ‘em all together just for the sake of mixing ‘em all together.
Here’s the key aspect for me in this debate: Once you put Batman into a world that includes super-powered beings, he becomes insignificant. Yes, I know this sort of stuff works in comic book or in animation, but I just don’t think it would in a live-action film. Why? Because 90% of the audience that will see such a film doesn’t read comic books, relates to the “real world” Batman, AND…
Once you put Batman into a world that includes super-powered beings, he becomes insignificant.
With all that said, I think some day there will be a Justice League movie. If it were up to me, I’d go the mo-cap/CGI route ala AVATAR. That way, the live-action solo films can be unaffected and continue doing their own thing without have to conform to a cinematic DC Universe continuity, and JL fans can get the film that they’ve always wanted to see.
It’s a win-win/have your cake and eat it too compromise in my opinion.
(12.27.10) "Hi Jett! First off, long time reader, always check the site daily to see if there's anymore news. Onto the question…
I have just finished watching BATMAN RETURNS and it got me thinking. I feel what Nolan has done -- remove all kind of fantasy -- has kind of ruined Batman on film, at least for me. I rather the first four Batman films and would watch them over Nolan's any day -- especially RETURNS. These are comic book films after all and they need fantasy. Without it, we won't get any of the really interesting characters like Clayface, Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, etc. What's your take? Do you feel Batman films work best with fantasy or without it?"
- Name not revealed in email
JETT SAYS: To cut to the chase, I think Batman -- especially on film -- works best when presented as “real” as possible. Why? Because he’s the most “realistic” comic book superhero and one that people can actually relate to and identify with. How many of you said to yourself when you were you were a kid, “You know, if I worked-out really hard and had ‘Bruce Wayne money,’ I could probably be Batman!” I know I sure as hell did.
To me, that’s been the genius aspect of Chris Nolan and his Bat-Flicks. Clearly he got that aspect of Batman and brought it to the cinematic world of the character. I believe that Nolan’s two films blow the previous four from the “Burton/Schumacher Era” out of the water. Give me the realistic word as seen in BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT over matchbox-sized bizarre netherworlds and silly neon-drenched cities any day.
Now, just because the source material for the Batman films are comic books, that doesn’t mean they have to be exactly like them. It’s a totally different medium and there’s got to be some changes made in translation. Keep in mind that by far, the majority of the audience for a Batman film probably has never picked up and read a Batman comic book. Do you really think a walking blog of shape-shifting mud or a man who literally turns into a bat are going to go over well with a mainstream audience?
Here’s the deal: Most of Batman’s villains CAN be presented realistically -- including those you mentioned in your question. Did The Joker have to fall into a vat of chemicals and turn “permawhite” to be “The Joker?” And what’s fantastical about The Penguin anyway? The way he was portrayed in BATMAN RETURNS (*shudder*) isn't what the character was or is today in the comic books.
Look, I’m not trying to take a shot at the folks that prefer the fantastical aspects of Batman. If you like that take on The Dark Knight, cool -- I respect that and to each his own. I just firmly believe that Batman works best -- particularly in live-action movies -- when the filmmakers “keep it real.”
(12.27.10) "Are you 100% against Robin ever appearing in a live action Batman film again with or without Nolan? I've read your opinions throughout the years and do not disagree with your logic, but when I watch the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES episode “Robin's Reckoning,” along with DARK VICTORY, A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, and even the BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD animated movie, I can't help but think how cool any of these would be to see up on the big screen. These stories are very emotional and dark and if THE DARK KNIGHT RISES keeps loosely following the YEAR ONE/THE LONG HALLOWEEN mob family timeline, then Tony Zucco would be next. I just want to note that I do not expect him to appear in TDKR. I'm really thankful that BOF exists -- I've been visiting since 2003." - Todd Z.
JETT SAYS: Am I 100% against Robin ever appearing in a Batman film again? Hmm...
I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% against it, but you won’t see me lobbying to have Robin included in a Bat-Flick either. Let me be clear here, I’m not a “Robin Hater.” I simply prefer Batman stories in which The Dark Knight is working alone. Keep in mind that what works in animation and comic books doesn’t always work on film. For instance, we know that Chris Nolan’s Batman movies take place in a world that is as close to the one we live in as it can possibly be. Therefore, it wouldn’t make much sense for Batman to take on a 12 or 13 year old partner and subject a kid to the sort of danger that he has to deal with nightly.
With that said, we’ve tossed around the idea on BOF of Nolan bringing in a young Richard Grayson -- not Robin -- into BATMAN 3 to help pull Bruce out of the abyss that he’s obviously in due to the ending of THE DARK KNIGHT. I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to that particular scenario. (Check out Paul Wares' 2008 op-ed on the possibility of including Robin in BATMAN 3HERE.)
Nevertheless, we know that Nolan never intends to use the character in one of his films, consequently, we won’t be seeing Robin in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. However, this is Chris’ last go with Batman on film; perhaps a future director might have another idea when it comes to the inclusion of The Boy Wonder.
And quite frankly, I'd rather see Robin in a Batman film than Batman in a Justice League movie!
(12.24.10) "Jett, thanks for all you do for the crazed Batman fans out there. Being one of them, I find myself seeing Batman every where these days. When I was a kid I used to watch BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES after school, every day. Your website does a lot in terms of covering Batman in all sorts of mediums, i.e. comics, TV, film. What is your personal favorite incarnation of Batman in either film, comic, TV, etc.?" - Andy B.
JETT SAYS: Let’s see…
My favorite Batman comic book stories are from the 70s -- the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams and Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers stuff in particular. Those comics from the 70s are the ones I cut my teeth on as a very young Batman fan.
I’m quite fond of the 60s BATMAN TV show since it’s what made me a Batman fan via reruns in the late 60s and early 70s.
When it comes to graphic novels/collected stories, my faves are: YEAR ONE, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PREY, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, DARK VICTORY, BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN, BATMAN AND THE MAD MONK, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT.
Animated Batman? BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES of course. But BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD is giving it a run for its money.
Batman on film? Well obviously, it’s BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT -- the latter of which I believe to be not only the greatest Batman film of all time, but the greatest comic book movie to date. Plus, I’ve got quite the emotional attachment to those two for obvious reasons. I’ll also toss BATMAN ‘89, BATMAN ‘66, BATMAN FOREVER, MASK OF THE PHANTASM, and UNDER THE RED HOOD into the DVD or Blu-ray player from time to time.
(12.24.10) "If Heath Ledger had lived, would he have headlined THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as The Joker again?" - Robert A.
JETT SAYS: Man, that’s a good question and one we discussed on BOF many times.
My initial response is “Yes, The Joker would’ve returned in BATMAN 3.” The reasoning behind that take is something David Goyer said after BATMAN BEGINS and before THE DARK KNIGHT. To paraphrase, he said that Batman and Harvey Dent would take down The Joker in BATMAN 2. In BATMAN 3, The Joker would go on trial and Dent would be scarred -- presumably becoming Two Face and the main villain of B3. The Joker would "help" The Batman catch Dent "Hannibal Lecter style" while still behind bars. However, we know that scenario didn’t come to pass since Dent became Two Face in TDK. I would assume that while writing TDK, Chris, David, and Jonathan Nolan decided that Harvey should die at the end of the film, thus, we saw Two Face in TDK (albeit briefly) and not in B3.
Like I said, Chris focuses on one film at a time and decided that TDK would be better if Harvey Dent died at the end and didn’t worry about needing a villain for a potential third Bat-Film.
Back to The Joker and the question at hand…
Aaron Eckhart has said many times that he believed that The Joker was going to return in B3 if Heath Ledger had not passed away. And I’m sure that while making TDK, Chris Nolan had to think to himself, “Man, this guy [Ledger] is fantastic! I wonder what I could do with him and the character in another film?”
So yeah, I think we would be seeing The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES if Heath were still here.
With that said, don’t assume that TDKR will not be as good as it could have been with The Joker. I KNOW that Chris Nolan wouldn’t have returned if he truly didn’t believe he had a story worth of telling and one that could potentially top TDK.
(12.22.10) "If I were to say that BATMAN ’89 was the most entertaining Batman film and that THE DARK KNIGHT was the best would you agree? I also believe that BATMAN BEGINS was the most important -- because of how BATMAN AND ROBIN ruined Batman on film." - Thomas J.
JETT SAYS: Well, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that, but here’s my take on it…
I think that BATMAN ‘89 is not only the most important Batman film to date, but arguably the most influential comic book movie of all time. There’s certainly an argument to be made for SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, but B89 set the standard for the “Comic Book Movie Summer Blockbuster.”
THE DARK KNIGHT? Hands down the best Batman AND comic book movie of all time.
I could also make a crazy argument that BATMAN AND ROBIN shouldn’t be dismissed in importance to the genre AND Batman on film. If we hadn’t got B&R, then the idea that superhero films have to be cheesy and popcorn fluff perhaps might not have been snuffed out.
(12.21.10) "Hey Jett, love the site. Thank you for all the hard work you put into it to keep us informed about all things Batman. I have a question regarding Christian Bale's weight in the Batman films. I heard the story about how Bale bulked up much more than the producers had anticipated and they had to trim him down some for BATMAN BEGINS. I thought the look was spot on. Then THE DARK KNIGHT came along and it was jarring to see how much slimmer he was. It sort of took me out of the illusion of the muscle-bound superhero. Yet the more I thought about it, the more I came to appreciate the drastic change. In my mind, he looked just like anybody who slept little and was exerting himself night after night fighting crime. It was as if we could see physically the toll that being Batman had taken on Bruce by seeing his muscles waste away. What was your reaction to this change and how bulky do you Bale will be in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?" - John C. from Augusta, GA
JETT SAYS: For BEGINS, Christian was coming off THE MACHINIST and was told too bulk up significantly. Apparently, he was bigger than they wanted and had to drop about 10 lbs before shooting began back in February of 2004.
While I like your premise that he was “smaller” in TDK due to the toll the nightly crime fighting was taking on his body, that was not the intent. When I interviewed Bale on the set of TDK back in June of 2007, he told me that Nolan and co. wanted him “sleeker” because of the new “sleeker” Bat-suit. Make no mistake about it, Bale was in damn good shape for that film. However, if anyone wants to interpret Batman being thinner in TDK than he was in BEGINS due to the reason you suggested, that certainly would be valid.
As far as the way Bale will look in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, I suspect he’ll be in about the same shape he was in TDK. Remember, Batman’s the greatest ninja of them all, not a bodybuilder.
(12.20.10) "Do you think we’ll see Wayne Manor, an upgraded Batcave, and a new Batmobile in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?" - Stefan V.
JETT SAYS: Yes, yes, and yes.
I think that the rebuilding of mansion will have been completed and Bruce and Alfred will have left the penthouse and returned to stately Wayne Manor by the time of the events of TDKR takes place.
With the Tumbler destroyed, I’m quite sure that we’ll see a couple of new modes of transportation for Batman in the film. I figure we’ll get something that’s more in line with a true Batmobile -- “Nolanized,” of course. When I interviewed f/x guru Chris Corbould a couple of years ago, he told me that he had an idea for a new Bat-vehicle, but he didn’t tell me what it was. I’m hoping for some sort of helicopter -- much like ones that are used by police. I’m definitely not interested in a jet -- why in the hell does Batman need a jet to fight crime in a city anyway?
A fully-realized Batcave is a must in my opinion, and I’m sure that Nolan and co. will give us one.
(12.18.10) "I’m thinking Tom Hardy is going to play The Joker. What do you think?" - Zack W.
JETT SAYS: Dude, come on now. Tom Hardy is not playing The Joker…PERIOD.
Chris Nolan has said that the role of The Joker will not be recast and the character will not be in the film. That includes that nonsense about The Joker being a combination of CGI and unused footage of Heath Ledger from THE DARK KNIGHT.
Will The Joker be mentioned in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? With as much damage he caused in Gotham City, I’m sure his name will come up at some time during the film.
Really bro, I can’t fathom why you’d even think that’s a possibility.
(12.17.10) "You’ve been telling us repeatedly that only a very few people know the details of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and shouldn’t believe any casting or plot ‘news’ we hear online. Now you tell us that Tom Hardy is not Hugo Strange. Why should we believe you?" - Grant F. from Elk River, MN
JETT SAYS: Fair question.
When the Tom Hardy is Hugo Strange rumor got loose, Chris Nolan had yet to turn in the script for TDKR to Warner Bros. At that time, only a very, VERY few had actually seen the script and/or knew details about the film. There was simply no way in hell that that sort of information was going to be leaked to anyone.
So why believe or trust me? This going to sound arrogant, but what the hell. I’ve done this for over 12 years now, I'm well connected, and BOF is very well respected. I didn’t make BOF what it is by being a jackhole. That’s not gloating, it’s just the fact of the matter. Anyway…
I never said that this information came via illicit shenanigans -- like a script leak -- did I? Perhaps I was asked by “someone” to dispel those “Hardy is Hugo Strange” rumors?
Bottom line: When I report something on BOF, I guarantee you it comes from someone else who is well connected and well respected. And in some cases, it comes straight from the horse's mouth. Take that for what you will. Frankly, you’d be quite surprised if you knew the true ID of some of my “sources.”
(12.16.10) "What were your expectations when you created this website? Also do you think there’s any chance Chris Nolan or his brother stay involved with the Batman film franchise post THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?" - Thomas J.
JETT SAYS: When I started this site back in 1998, I had no expectations quite frankly. I never in a million years thought that BOF would become what it became. While I didn’t have any expectations, I did have a goal: Lobbying for another Batman film. And not simply another Batman film, I wanted to see the definitive Batman film.
Right now, I think THE DARK KNIGHT is the definitive cinematic presentation of Batman AND the greatest comic book movie to date -- but this Batman on film story isn't over yet. Presently, Chris Nolan and co. are prepping their third Batman film, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Hopefully when it’s all said and done, the three Nolan Bat-Films will be the greatest comic book movie trilogy of all time, AND the definitive Batman story on film.
As far as Chris staying involved, I’m pretty sure that he’ll never direct another Batman film again. However, if he wants to stay involved as a producer -- much like he’s doing with THE MAN OF STEEL, that would be fantastic. However, something tells me that TDKR will be it for him and Batman on film. When I get the chance -- and I’m pretty sure I will a couple of times over the next 2 years -- I’ll ask him about his Bat-future.
(12.15.10) "Jett, let me say first that I’m a big fan of BOF and have a lot of respect for the way you operate the site. But it seems to me that you hate fanboys. You and others from the site often make snide comments about fans as well as post op-eds blasting them. What’s the deal with that? Aren't these people your readers?” - Omar V. from San Francisco, CA
JETT SAYS: Good question.
I guess it depends on what you consider a “fanboy.” If a fanboy is some vile, obnoxious, immature, socially-inept cretin, who spends his time anonymously posting hateful, profanity-laden diatribes on internet message boards, then yeah, I don’t think too much of those sort of folks.
However, if a “fanboy” is someone who has a passion for comic books, superhero movies, videogames, TV shows, etc., can engage in thoughtful and mature discourse about their object of fandom, and actually has, you know, a LIFE, then no, I certainly don’t hate those people. In fact, I respect them.
Honestly, I find some of the behavior online -- message boards specifically -- absolutely appalling. And what I find even more inexcusable is that there are some websites that allow -- and seem to promote -- such despicable conduct. You’ve got these online A-holes who behave and say things they’d never say to anyone face to face, man to man. Why? Because you can’t get your ass kicked online.
In my opinion, this type of fan -- the stereotypical “fanboy” -- actually is actually a minority when it comes to all of fandom. Unfortunately, this small, but very vocal, group of fans are embarrassing as hell and give all of us a bad name. Consequently, these idiots need to be called out and I have absolutely no problem doing so on this website -- and will continue to do so for as long as I run BOF.
So no, I don’t hate fanboys, I just can’t stand A-Holes in general.
And since you alluded to the op-eds by my BOF colleagues, here’s a couple that I consider must-reads by the community of fandom…
(12.14.10) "I just read the news on BOF about Nolan scouting locations in Asia for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. What do you think that means, plot-wise, for the film?” - Ryan O. from New York City
JETT SAYS: My immediate reaction is -- and I’m sure many of y’all will think the same thing -- maybe we’ll see the return of The League of Shadows and perhaps Talia is one of the female lead characters. Other than that, I have NO idea what Chris has in store for TDKR. What do you all think? LET ME KNOW!
(12.13.10) "Are you following the development of the game BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY? If so, do you think it will have some kind of connection with the THE DARK KNIGHT RISES or each one of them will use ideas on their own? After all, many people are talking about Hugo Strange being in the film and we now know he will be a major character in the game." - Daniel R.
I’ve gotten TONS of email on this very topic and here’s what I think…
I know firsthand how *ahem* anal Chris Nolan is about his films, so I don’t think there’s anyway possible that he would reveal to Rocksteady which characters he planned to use in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES so they could include them in the ARKHAM CITY videogame. IF Hugo Strange is in TDKR, it’s simply pure coincidence. We’re talking about the guy who made Warner Bros. execs come to his house to read scripts and isn’t telling potential members of the TDKR cast which role they’re being considered for!
And speaking of those Hugo Strange rumors, I can 100% assure you that no one who would know the details of TDKR -- and that was very few people at the time that rumor first made the rounds -- revealed details of the film to any website. Period. Anyway…
Many have suggested in their emails that introducing the character of Hugo Strange in the game -- which is due out approximately a half a year before TDKR’s July 2012 release -- is a way for people to “get to know the character.” Sorry, I don’t buy that hypothesis. Do you really think that the follow-up to THE DARK KNIGHT is going to need any advertising help from a videogame? Please! This is Batman on film and the director is Chris Nolan -- enough said.
Personally, I hope that Hugo Strange is in TDKR. With the way that THE DARK KNIGHT ended, I think Strange portrayed as a Gotham City Police psychiatrist searching for The Batman’s true identify would fit nicely.
If you haven't seen the new trailer for BATMAN: GOTHAM CITY featuring Hugo Strange, you can check it out HERE.
(12.12.10) "Hi Jett, love your site and Batman just a bit more. Here's my question: Bale's voice as Batman, regardless of the logic, is jarring, to say the least. Do you think they might/should try changing it for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Please don't avoid this question by calling it fanboy/girl crying. I can't enjoy THE DARK KNIGHT as much as, say, MASK OF THE PHANTASM, because of this, and I know I'm not the only one. Keep up the great work!" - Jenn M.
JETT SAYS: Personally, I didn’t mind Bale’s “Batman voice” in either BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT; in fact, I like it. I would say that Batman’s voice is supposed to be “jarring.” However, I get the criticisms, though I don’t necessarily agree with them. Though it’s never been explained in the previous two films, his voice is altered and amplified by some sort of contraption in the cowl. Perhaps if that had been detailed in BATMAN BEGINS as he was putting the suit together, it wouldn’t have been such an irritation as it is amongst some fans.
Do I think they might/should try changing if for TDKR? No, I don’t. When it comes to Bale’s Batman voice, the buck stops with Chris Nolan. He directs Christian to speak like that as Batman and he alters the voice a bit in post-production, so apparently, that’s how he wants Batman to sound.
Like I said, the voice doesn’t bother me, but I do get why some are annoyed by it. Think about it this way, in the grand scheme of things, is it really that big of a deal?
(12.11.10) "After Chris Nolan is finished with his great Batman saga, do you think Warner Bros. will reboot the Batman franchise again? I hope not, but what do you think?" - Daniel F. from New Jersey
It’s my hope that the Batman film franchise continues on without a reboot. I’d like them to hire a quality director and let him do his thing. The only mandates I’d place on the new creative team is that they should use the BATMAN BEGINS/THE DARK KNIGHT/THE DARK KNIGHT RISES trilogy as a foundation and keep continuity intact.
BOF’s #1 goal has always been to lobby for the long-term continuation of the Batman film franchise with the production of quality films. I don’t think that just because Chris Nolan’s going to be done after TDKR that the series should be rebooted (again) or come to an end.
Of course, a reboot could happen (It certainly WILL at some point) and it's just one of several options. As I already discussed, they could continue on with what Nolan and co. started, reboot, or produce a series of one-offs or independent trilogies.
Only time will tell, but I plan on being around to beat the drum for Batman on film just as I’ve done since 1998.
(12.10.10) "With all the rumors out there, which characters do you want to see in the film and which ones do you think will actually be in BATMAN 3?" - Jed D. from Arizona
JETT SAYS: I’ll start with which character I would like to see in the film, and that’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman. It’s no secret that I’ve lobbied for the inclusion of Catwoman in this film for a while now. I think she’s fit very easily and nicely in Chris Nolan’s Batman universe. Plus, with Rachel Dawes dead, there’s going to be a female lead, so why not Selina Kyle? Catwoman is certainly one of the most recognizable and iconic Batman villains -- right up there with The Joker and Two Face. I’d love to see Chris’ take on the character.
Speaking of female leads, apparently there will be two of them. If that is indeed the case, I’m thinking that it could be a combination of Catwoman/Talia Al Ghul and a Julie Madison/Silver St. Cloud/Vicki Vale-type character. Remember, one is allegedly a villain and the other a love interest for Bruce Wayne.
Back to Catwoman, I’ve heard for a while now from several good sources that the character may be in the film (You can listen to that podcast HERE), but that means nothing quite frankly. As I’ve said many times on BOF, only a very, VERY few know the details of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. If one of those individuals were to leak such important information to a website, they’d be identified and dealt with rather quickly.
To be blunt, anyone who says that they were told by “inside sources” that such-and-such character is in the film and the plot will revolved around this-and-that are 100% full of crap.
As far as who I think might be in the film, well, you’ve got to start with how THE DARK KNIGHT ended. Batman’s on the run and is accused of crimes that he didn’t commit -- which was actually his choice. I’m sure that the hunt for Batman will play a large role in the film. I can see the mayor or Gotham’s new D.A. (Janice Porter?) setting up a GPD task force to discover the true identify of The Batman and bring him down.
If that scenario is the case, then potential characters are going to have to fit the plot; Nolan’s not going to try to fit square pegs into round holes. Therefore, I’d say the possibilities include Dr. Hugo Strange, Deadshot, Harvey Bullock, Sarah Essen, Max Cort, and perhaps an original character created by Chris Nolan, David Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan.
Since this is Nolan’s last Batman film, I’m hoping that several Batman characters show up in small cameos in TDKR. For example, why couldn’t The Iceberg Lounge owner (and mob boss ) Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepott make a small appearance? Anyway…
Other than Catwoman, there’s really no character that I’m really banging the drum to see included. Regardless, I’m sure that Chris Nolan and co. have something special in store for us all -- he wouldn’t have returned otherwise.