The BOF Mailbag for 8/1/14
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
August 1, 2014

Oh, what a day..err WEEK...what a week, what a week...hehehehe!

By popular demand, below you'll find another installment of the world famoud "BOF MAILBAG." Enjoy!

And PLEASE keep those cards and letters coming! Or better yet, contact BOF via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER.

JETT SAYS: If there is a solo Batfleck Batflick, I think that odds are quite good that Mr. Terrio might be involved. I also suspect that if such a film ever goes down, Ben Affleck will be involved in the story as well.

What are the chances of Ben Affleck playing Batman for the next 15 to 20 years – with Warner Bros. eventually spinning off into BATMAN BEYOND when Affleck reaches his late 50's/early 60's? (via email)

JETT SAYS: I think the odds of that happening are very, Very, VERY slim. I’m on record saying that I think Ben will play Batman in three films: BATMAN v SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and a solo Batman film. It has nothing to do with Ben’s age – that’s a non-factor. It’s all about his schedule and the fact that he likes to direct films as well act in different projects. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays Batman for maybe five films – five tops in my opinion – and into his early 50s. But I don’t think he’s going to play Batman for the next two decades in several DCU films. Three minimum, five tops.

JETT SAYS: No. There’s no doubt in my mind that BvS is going to be a HUGE hit. I don’t think the “DC vs. Marvel” stuff will have any effect on the film at all. The “rivalry” is more amongst fans, not the studios. In fact, I’m sure both companies root for the other’s comic book films to do well because it’s good for the genre as a whole.

Do you think there will ever be a worse Batman movie made than BATMAN RETURNS?

JETT SAYS: Kyle, I don’t see how that is possible. ;)

What real life billionaire could be Batman?

JETT SAYS: Wow, I don’t know. Richard Branson? Maybe John F. Kennedy, Jr., back in the day before he died, was pretty similar to Bruce Wayne.

What’s your favorite Elvis song?

JETT SAYS: Well Ben, my favorite era of Elvis was his Sun Record years from 1954 to 1955. As far as my favorite single song, it’s his first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” 1956. His best album work was the stuff he recorded at Memphis’ American Sound studio in January to February of 1969, produced by Chips Moman, and resulted in the album, FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS .

With all the buzz surrounding the 1960s BATMAN TV series right now, what was your favorite quirky moment from the series? One that just left you amazed and scraping your head at the same time?

JETT SAYS: Well Stacy, that would be the “Batusi” scene in “Hi Diddle Riddle” from 1966.

What do you think of the BATMAN ‘66/GREEN HORNET miniseries Kevin Smith is doing? A fan? Not a fan?

JETT SAYS: J. William, I haven’t read it yet, but I’ll be it when it’s collected into one TPB and definitely read it.

When will THE DARK KNIGHT RISES hit regular TV?

JETT SAYS: I’m not sure, but soon I think. I believe there’s a deal with TNT to air it.

JETT SAYS: I believe that BvS will have A LOT more studio filming than on location stuff. Also, I’m pretty sure that 100% of the teaser from SDCC ’14 was done in the studio and via CGI.

JETT SAYS: Well, I’ll put it this way: I’m quite sure that Batman’s popularity – and he IS the single most FAVORITE comic book superhero overall – isn’t lost on director Zack Snyder or Warner Bros.

With such a great track record, Marvel has definitely earned the good-will of both fans and audiences. I've thoroughly enjoyed many of their films and am appreciative of the significant contributions they've made to the comic book film genre. With the slow start of the DCCU, fans such as myself wonder if WB/DC can reap the same rewards and if so, what strategy can WB/DC take to stand apart from its rival company while still being seen as equally relevant. Being so many years behind Marvel has only increased the weight of the challenges that WB/DC faces, but I try to remain optimistic. What are your thoughts on this topic? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Hi Jermaine and thanks for emailing in the question. Here’s the deal…

Warner Bros. will never crank out comic book/superhero films like Marvel Films does. I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again: Marvel Films is in the business of making comic book films; Warner Bros. is in the business of making films period. Without comic book films, WB would survive, Marvel Films would not. And it’s not like Warner Bros. hasn’t done anything. They started making comic book films in 1978 when SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was released. There have been seven live-action Batman films since 1989 and all have made money. “The Dark Knight Trilogy” is the most critically acclaimed and financially successful single series of comic book films ever. SUPERMAN RETURNS got good reviews and, contrary to what many fans think, was a hit. And MAN OF STEEL did tremendous business. So I think that fans simply need to temper their expectations when it comes to DC-based films from Warner Bros. and realize that comparing what they do to Marvel is apples and oranges.

Jett, which current Batman comics are you reading and which one is your favorite?

JETT SAYS: Ryan, I read BATMAN, DETECTIVE, and BATMAN AND… regularly with BATMAN from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo my favorite by far. I’ll read a few others from time to time, but those are the three in my pull box. I’m also into classic comics, so I collect THE BATMAN CHRONICLES and read all the stories in them for both fun and their historical significance.

Who did the music in the BvS clip that was shown at SDCC ’14?

JETT SAYS: Alex, I do not know. Anyone here know? If so, answer in the comments section below.

Do you think if Affleck is the director of a solo Batman film, WB will give him complete creative freedom? Or will he have limited freedom in order to fit the film in the established DC film universe?

JETT SAYS: Ah Vito, great question. I think that Warner Bros. will give him as much freedom that making a film in an established film series – not the Batman film series, I’m talking about the DC Cinematic Universe on film – allows. This is why I’m not a big fan of a shared universe when it comes to making these films and I believe that Chris Nolan was spot on when he said that the individual films are better when they are allowed to be their own thing and exist in their own world. I’ve suggested having the first solo Batman film after BvS and JL take place before those two movies to avoid continuity and shared storylines. This will be interesting when it ultimately goes down.

Why do you spend so much time railing against fanboys? You admitted in a comment on one editorial that you were weren't writing to "99%" of the fanbase. Why devote so much energy to -- to borrow a term-- the 1%? Every pop culture icon has a crazy segment to its fanbase -- and there's no way to change that. In attempt to change the unchangeable, you just seem to be muddling your own message. I understand wanting to distance yourself from a small, but vocal group, and at this point I think you've accomplished that.

JETT SAYS: Aaron, I don’t disagree with anything you said. I guess it’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It bothers me to no end that most folks outside of fandom think we all act like that “screaming loudest” minority. I don’t know man, I think there’s something just not right about simply sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem. But I do agree that I’m trying to put out a five alarm building fire by spitting on it. Stay tuned for an important video message at the end of this mailbag...or RIGHT HERE.

Jett, can you make a short list listing everything we know so far about BvS?

JETT SAYS: Jorge, I will do that as a separate article, how about that?

Jett, what is your favorite Batman related food item? I remember when BATMAN FOREVER came out, McDonald's had a “Superhero Burger” that had 3 patties and was on a longer bun. Anything like that?

JETT SAYS: Hahaha! Good out of the box question. Well, I don’t eat fast food – never really have – so it’s not a food item. I didn’t like the toys and collectable cups and stuff that were tied into the films of the “Burton/Schumacher Anthology” – even the BATMAN AND ROBIN cups from Taco Bell which I still have!

JETT SAYS: I think Batman will be in it A LOT, but I still believe that this is a Superman film first and foremost.

Marvel's universe expanding efforts have been successful because their stranger movies (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers) don't take themselves too seriously and are sometimes more comedic than they are epic. If Warner Bros. is trying to jump into the universe expanding business, do you think they can still do it well with this whole "gritty; vaguely grounded in realism" tone they've been setting? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Chris, why not? I don’t think that just because THE AVENGERS was “light and fun” means that BvS or JUSTICE LEAGUE has to be like that too. I will say – as I have many times – there’s room for all kinds of different comic book-based superhero films. Heck, I’ve long wanted to see a Shazam/Captain Marvel film which definitely won’t be “dark and gritty” and it looks like that’s going to happen. I think a light and humorous Metal Men film would be cool too.

Warner Bros. and DC seem to be creating a “multiverse” with their TV and film properties. Is that by design?

JETT SAYS: Jack, I’d say that’s a great way to look at it – though I’m not sure it’s by design. I simply think they’ve decided to keep the TV and film stuff separate.

Who was the best Riddler?

JETT SAYS: JP, that would be John Astin.

Do you really think Batman and Superman will actually fight in BvS? Zod and the other Kryptonians were in armor and had superpowers and got beat by Supes. They're hyping up this as “Batman vs. Superman,” but I wonder if their quarrel won't be as big as they're hyping.

JETT SAYS: Mike, I think it’s going to be something very similar to what we saw in Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Zack Snyder loves him some TDKR and has always wanted to make a film out of it - he told me this during a one-on-one conversation at a SDCC party a few years ago - and this is as close as he’s ever going to get to do it.

Hey Jett. BvS seems to moving along at such a pace that the release date change doesn't appear to have been absolutely necessary. Do you think the push back was simply so they could make a better movie? Any insight on the actual reason?

JETT SAYS: Alex, you answered your own question for the most part. It was indeed pushed back 10 months so the film could be the best that it could be. And that process started when Chris Terrio was hired to re-write the screenplay. They’ll now have plenty of time for post-production – nearly a year and a half – once filming ends later this year. I don’t think they could’ve got this thing done properly with a July 2015 release date.

I've always thought the naming of “The Dark Knight Trilogy” was a little off. Even though it will never happen, what do you think about an alternate title for the films? Example: “The Dark Knight Begins,” “The Dark Knight Falls,” “The Dark Knight Rises?”

JETT SAYS: I think Nolan and co. titled the films properly – especially the second and third installments. They all were titled to jibe with the theme of the film. With BEGINS and it being a reboot and all, I think you had to have “Batman” in the title. “The Dark Knight Falls” too much suggests a cliffhanger or an incomplete film in my opinion. And as for RISES, well, after seeing the film, I don’t think it could’ve been called anything else, right?

Who is your favorite non-Joker Batman villain? Mine is Ra's Al Ghul.

JETT SAYS: Gabe, for me, that would be Harvey Dent/Two Face.

Here's a couple: Would you be opposed to Tim Burton doing another Batman (one shot) a few years down the road? Who would you like to see play the Joker next (it'll happen eventually)? I like Joaquin Phoenix or Jeremy Davies.

JETT SAYS: Ryan, 1) No – because I know it’ll never happen LOL! 2) Phoenix would be a really good choice.

Are there and scenes or dialogue from “The Dark Knight Trilogy” scripts that weren't filmed? Anything that was written on paper by Goyer and the Nolan brothers that didn't end up in the three films?

JETT SAYS: Apostolis, no – nothing of substance. When Chris said what was in the script was in the film, he was totally telling the truth. Now, there might be a few minor things that were cut, but like I said, nothing of substance.

Here's something I've always wondered: Why are you such a big Cowboys fan when you're from H-Town? Did you like the Oilers back in the day?

JETT SAYS: Well Alex, I am not originally from the Houston area of Texas. I grew up about an hour and a half east of H-Town and moved here 17 years ago for work purposes. Dude, you’re from Texas and you know how it is: Outside of Houston, Texas is a Cowboys state! And I never was an Oilers fan; I’ve been a Cowboys fan my whole life – Roger Staubach was my childhood hero!

How do you view the ARKHAM videogame series? Story-wise, character portrayal, design, etc. Do you think it stands up, or maybe even surpasses, some of the movies and or TV stuff?

JETT SAYS: Well Trey, let me say that I’m a HUGE fan of all three ARKHAM games. Even though it’s a video game series and each installment was written to be a videogame, I think they’ve been better than most of the “Burton/Schumacher Anthology” Batman films. This is good Batman stuff and I hope it continues on after ARKHAM KNIGHT with a direct sequel to ARKHAM ORIGINS.

JETT SAYS: Do I have concerns? Yes. I have issues with how Batman will look in a live-action film alongside superpowered beings, aliens, magic, and monsters. However, I trust the talent involved -- Chris Terrio, Zack Snder, and Ben Affleck specifically. I hope these next two films are awesome and they have my 100% support.

Ex-Superman actor Brandon Routh (SUPERMAN RETURNS) was recently cast as Ray Palmer/The Atom in CW's forthcoming THE FLASH television series. If you had to cast each of the six live-action Batman actors, West through Affleck (either at the age they were when they played Batman or at their current age) as a different character in the DCU who would you have them play?

JETT SAYS: Ah Matthew D., you’re trying to get me to think a bit on a Friday afternoon when beer and a happy hour are calling my name! But I’ll play…

West/The Gentleman Ghost. Keaton/Ambush Bug. Kilmer/Booster Gold. Clooney/The Spectre. Bale/Paul Dekker. Affleck/Ralph Dibny.

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...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.

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