The BOF Mailbag - July 13, 2014
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
July 13, 2014

Hello again from the great state of TEXAS!

I'm back in the Motherland from my second home in Minnesota - the land of hotdishes, meat raffles, mosquitoes, lutefisk, and 10,000 lakes.

I promised to answer a few of the questions that host Sean Gerber, BOF contributor Mark Hughes, and I didn't get to during out latest BOF PODCAST.

I appreciate you all sending them in via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER and keep 'em coming. And, as always, THANKS for reading BOF...you betcha y'all!

Jett, are you sure your source “Shoeless” is right about the Batsuit? Kevin Smith says it’s cloth and he hugged Ben Affleck while in the suit.

JETT SAYS: You're talking about THIS, right? Nothing about the suit that “Shoeless” told me contradicts anything Kevin Smith has said about it. Batfleck’s Batsuit is NOT made out of cloth; but it’s intended to look like some sort of cloth-like material. And Kevin Smith didn’t hug Affleck while the latter was sporting the suit. He hugged Zack Snyder when the director showed him a picture of Ben sporting his Bat-threads.

If you could choose the next villain for a solo Batman film – excluding The Joker – who would it be?

JETT SAYS: I’ve got a few: Hugo Strange, The Riddler, Black Mask, The Penguin, and Mr. Freeze all come to mind. Now, I don’t know how you’d do Mr. Freeze and not come off a bit silly in a live-action film, but I’m sure a talented filmmaker could figure that out. Mr. Freeze excluded, I think you need to stay away from the more fantastical villains like Clayface, Man-Bat, etc.

It looks like Batman is going to appear in team-up films only when it comes to the DC Cinematic Universe. Do you think this is true and if so, are you on board/not on board with a team-up only Batman on film?

JETT SAYS: I don’t think that is true and if it were, I would not be on board with it. I believe that Ben Affleck will star in at least one solo Batman film…and probably direct it as well. For the record – and I think anyone who reads BOF knows this already – I am not a fan of “Team-up Batman on film.”

Would you ever want to be in an active production role when it comes to Batman on film…like Michael Uslan?

JETT SAYS: Well for one thing, Mr. Uslan – along with his partner Mr. Benjamin Melniker – bought the movie rights to Batman back in 1979. I don’t think I’ll ever have enough scratch to do that nor do I think Warner Bros. – who now owns them – would sell ‘em anyway. Other than that, no, I wouldn’t want to work on a Batman film as a producer or in any other capacity to be honest. I think I’ve got a good and fairly influential gig right here on BOF. Plus, I like just being a Batman fan.

What’s the story behind Chris Nolan and Christian Bale almost coming back?

JETT SAYS: Well, I wouldn’t say they “almost” came back despite all the rumors and even what I reported previously here on BOF. Here’s the deal: Nolan was asked to “Godfather” the DCU on film and for him to give his OK to continue the “Nolanverse of Batman on film.” If he had said yes, then I believe Christian would’ve returned to play Batman. But honestly, it never got past Chris being asked and him declining the offer. Any outlet that reported it going further than that - including BOF - was wrong, and I'm more than happy to own up to it.

That’s it, period.

Would you like to see the DC Television Universe incorporated into the DC Cinematic Universe?

JETT SAYS: No and I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Do you think GOTHAM will serve as the origin story for the Ben Affleck Batman on the big screen?

JETT SAYS: No, I do not. They are totally separate things/universes.

Do you think we’ll see Jason Todd’s Robin suit incased in glass in the Batcave in BATMAN v SUPERMAN?

JETT SAYS: Since Batman is older in BvS – in his mid-40s – I’ll say it’s certainly a possibility.

Though it’s hard to imagine, what would happen to DC on film and Batman on film if BATMAN v SUPERMAN were to bomb?

JETT SAYS: Yeah, I don’t see that happening either, but let’s say it did. I think it would have more of a negative affect on future non-Batman DC film projects. Batman on film is a survivor and that franchise has a future no matter how BvS performs at the box office.

Have you let go of Christian Bale’s Batman and accepted Ben Affleck stepping into the role? Part of me wishes we would have got to see Bale’s Batman on screen with Henry Cavill’s Superman. Do you feel that way at all?

JETT SAYS: I accepted Bale being done as Batman two years ago when I saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES because I took Chris Nolan at his word that that was it for them…and it was. I would’ve been tremendously disappointed – and said as much on BOF – if Chris had returned and/or allowed his Batman on film to be incorporated into the DC Cinematic Universe. For me, I’m glad that never happened. So no, there not one bit of me that wanted or hoped to see Bale as Batman alongside Cavill as Superman. With all that said, I’m more than happy with Ben Affleck being cast as Batman and I look forward to seeing this new take on the character – especially in a solo film that I hope Mr. Affleck will direct.

There’s rumor that Doomsday is in BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Care to comment?

JETT SAYS: That’s been going around for a while now; in fact, I first heard that months ago. Honestly, I don’t believe anything that has leaked so far – especially after the fake script fiasco. Now, there are some things that I heard that have panned out – Batman to be older, Josh Brolin considered for Batman, the color of the Batsuit, a basketball court at LexCorp, etc. – that I have reported on BOF that proved to be true. Hell, even though I know when I’m 100% right about something, I still will recommend you all take it with a grain of salt.

What I heard - and let's chalk it up as nothing more than rumor - was that Doomsday (which is a stupid name) would be a Luthor created/funded answer to Superman created from Zod's Kryptonian DNA - kinda a "Bizzaro Zod," if you will. Yeah, it makes sense and would work in my opinion, but who the hell really knows? I guess we will eventually.

Be honest Bill, even if you don’t personally care for the idea of Batman and Superman in a live-action film together, are you going to be rooting for Bruce to get over Clark if they fight?

JETT SAYS: Well, it’s not that I don’t necessarily like the idea, I’m of the belief that these characters work best on film when they are their own thing – especially when it comes to Batman. However, I must admit as a lifelong fan of DC Comics – and with Superman being my second favorite comic book character – the kid in my is indeed interested in seeing them up on the big screen together. And I’m torn about them fighting because I do like Superman and I live how he was portrayed by Henry Cavill in MAN OF STEEL. I don’t see this Superman needing an ass-kicking/being put in his place like the THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS one did.

Bill, I've read you since Day One and I'm a huge fan. Question: You used to lobby on BOF for a cameo in one of Nolan’s films; or to at least be an extra. Did that ever happen and if not, why?

JETT SAYS: No, I never got to be an extra nor did a get a small, nonspeaking role in any of Chris’ three Batman films.

And I’m more than OK with that.

Why? Probably because it would have put me in an awkward position to be perfectly frank. All the actors and extras sign NDA’s and I couldn’t have run BOF properly if I was under a NDA. Chris, Emma and Warner Bros. knew that, thus, I’ve still yet to appear in a Batman film.

Trust me; I sure as hell am not bitter or disappointed because I’ve got to do A LOT of cool stuff over the years thanks to BOF. I’ve been invited to the set of all three of the “Trilogy” movies and saw some rather important stuff being filmed. I earned the respect of Michael Uslan (whom I still call and keep in contact with to this day) Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas, Jonathan Nolan and others and was able to call them all friends. I got to go to the premiere and after party for THE DARK KNIGHT, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and even MAN OF STEEL thanks to those folks. Honestly y’all, I’ve lived a Batman fan’s dream – I am very thankful, appreciative, and humbled. And hell, not many folks can say that they got a thank you letter from one of the top directors working in film today. :)

Do you think that a Ben Affleck-directed solo Batman film would be too similar to Chris Nolan’s Batman films? Do you think that there’s a chance that another director could direct Ben as Batman in a solo Batman movie?

JETT SAYS: Good question Adam.

Ben Affleck has ALWAYS been my #1 choice to sit in the director’s chair when Chris was finished with Batman on film. I thought that Ben’s work in THE TOWN and ARGO jibed very well with the cinematic Batman. Of course, my original thought was that Ben would simply take over an on-going series of films and use the same foundation and continuity of the previous director, i.e. Chris Nolan.

But that ain’t happening – at least grabbing Nolan’s Bat-baton, continuity-wise.

I’m assuming here, but what I think you’re really asking me is if Ben could direct a Batman film that’s less “realistic” than the films he’s known for as a director and do something a little more “fantastical” Well, Warner Bros. wanted him to direct a Justice League film when they were still going to use the Will Beal script (which has since been shelved). And, Chris Nolan offered Ben the job of helming MAN OF STEEL before the gig ultimately went to Zack Snyder.

What does THAT tell you? It tells us this: Good directors can DIRECT, period.

Nonetheless, the answer to your second question is yes, it is possible that someone else besides BA will direct the next solo Batman film…but I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that Ben’s the man.

You’ve said before that you’d love to see Hugo Strange as a villain in a Batman film. I’ve read his most famous appearances in the comics and played ARKHAM CITY, but I’m afraid that I struggle with the appeal of the character. What am I missing?

JETT SAYS: I love the character and think that Dr. Hugo Strange would make for a fine bad guy in a Batman film. Of course, the character has had several different interpretations in the comics, animation, and in video games. He’s been a mad scientist, a psychiatrist, and a behavior specialist/profiler working with Gotham’s police to ID and apprehend Batman. Plus, he’s one of the few members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery who has indeed deduced the true identity of The Dark Knight.

I think he could be used in a film a few different ways. You could make him a “mad scientist” – which of course goes back to his original incarnation – and do a loose adaptation of “The Giants of Hugo Strange” from BATMAN #1 (which Matt Wagner’s BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN miniseries was based upon). Or, you could have him working with Gotham’s Finest in order to help track down and capture the vigilante known as “The Batman.”

Now, would he work as the film’s “main villain?” I’m not sure. Regardless, I’d love to see the character who was originally intended to be The Batman’s “Moriarty” in a live-action Batman film. As Bruce Wayne himself once said, “Hugo Strange. The most dangerous man in the world! Scientist, philosopher and a criminal genius. Little is known of him, yet this man is undoubtedly the greatest organizer of crime in the world!”

I’m sure you’ll take Mr. Wayne’s recommendation over mine any day, right?

A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
THE BATMAN!
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.


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