The "Ice Bucket Challenge" BOF Mailbag! Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
August 17, 2014
Here's the latest BOF Mailbag. This week, lots of out-of-the-box questions and a bit more focus on BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Oh yeah, I took the "Ice Bucket Challenge" and donated money to both ALC.ORG and CANCER.ORG. I also challenged the following folks: Sean Gerber, Mark Hughes, F.J. DeSanto, and the director of BvS, Zack Snyder.
You know what? I'm going to challenge ALL of you reading this right now! Take the challenge, video it, and post it on Twitter! And don't forget folks, while the IBC is fun, it's also for a good cause: the ALS ASSOCIATION. I also donated money to my charity of choice, CANCER.ORG.
I ask this in the most respectable way possible and I hope you don't get upset, but do you think you're taking the whole Batman will look foolish with other superpower heroes thing a bit too seriously? At their core, comic book movies are supposed to be fun and don't you think Batman teaming up with all these other cool heroes can at the very least provide that fun? Again, please don't get upset and I realize that you're WAY more knowledgeable about Batman than I am. (via email)
JETT SAYS: Hamad, thanks for the email and don’t worry, you’re question does not upset or offend me bro. Now to answer your question…
Comics aren’t movies and movies aren’t comics – they are two totally different mediums when it comes to storytelling. While the folks who read comics also go to theaters to see films, most of the people who go to see movies do not read comic books. The deal with Batman is that the character is arguably (and it really isn’t arguable) the most popular comic book character amongst the mainstream – the same mainstream that make up, by far, the audience of a Batman movie. And why is Batman such a popular character amongst non-comic book readers? It’s because he doesn’t have any superpowers, he’s realistic, and the story of Bruce Wayne is definitely relatable. Historically, Batman on film has been presented in a “realistic” setting – especially in Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy.”
So taking that all into account, one must be concerned how the mainstream -- those who are not familiar with the fantastical world of comic books – will react to a Batman who exists alongside superpowered beings, aliens, monsters, and magic. While that may be exciting and “fun” to those of us who’ve read comics our entire lives, it could also induce eye-rolling and snickering from those who have not. And I’m not going to rehash the “Hawkeye and Black Widow worked in THE AVENGERS” and “If it works in the comics, it’ll work in a film” fan arguments as I’ve discussed those and others ad nauseam for years here on BOF. The bottom line is that it’s going to be hard for Batman alongside a guy who talks to sea creatures or Batman blasting off into space to fight an alien god not to look goofy.
With all that said, I do trust Zack Snyder because I know how much he loves the character of Batman. I do not believe that Zack will do anything with Batman in BATMAN v SUPERMAN or JUSTICE LEAGUE that will make Batman look silly and cause the audience to laugh at him. I also believe Zack knows that there are ways that Batman cannot be portrayed in a live-action film despite the fact that those portrayals “work” in comics or in animation. Thus, I’m pretty sure Zack and co. are going to give us a Batman on film that everyone be able to enjoy no matter what their personal Batman sensibilities may be.
Hamad, the thing here with this topic is context. Meaning, what’s the context of Batman alongside Aquaman? Or Green Lantern? Or even Superman? Batman in Bat-scuba gear swimming down to Atlantis to fight with Aquaman against Ocean Master and his army under the sea will look ridiculous in a “serious” film. As will Green Lantern carrying Batman into space to fight an alien army via a protective bubble construct. And really y'all, does anyone want to see Superman piggy-back fly Batman around? Hey, all of that's been done in the comics, right? Anyone think that'll work in a live-action film? Exactly.
So as you see, it’s all about the context. I’m sure that Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio are well aware of this and won’t put anything into BvS that’ll come off – as Aquaman would say – outrageous!
do you like the idea (rumor) that the Justice League movie will come out the same year of BvS Dawn of justice? #BOFmailbag#PeaceAndLove
JETT SAYS: Fernando, I can’t say whether I like it are not because I don’t believe that is going to happen.
If Ben Affleck does indeed have some say when it comes to his Batman on this film, do you think he has a say in casting Batman characters such as Jeremy Irons as Alfred and so on as well? Thanks! (via email)
JETT SAYS: Mark, while I believe that Affleck’s influence BvS’s script and portrayal of Batman is significant, I also know that it is Zack Snyder’s film. Ben might have been asked what he thought about Jeremy Irons as Alfred, but I think that the movie’s casting has been Zack Snyder’s call.
Did you ever draw your own Batman comic art as a kid Jett?
JETT SAYS: OMG yes Josh! My Mom was good at drawing, so I must have inherited some of that from her. While I was never anything other than OK at it, I loved to draw Batman as a kid – and truth be told, I’ll crank one out from time to time to this day.
Who do you think will be in the Justice League movie, and who would your ideal characters be?
JETT SAYS: Ryan, I think the JL lineup will consist of: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg. I may ultimately be wrong, but I don’t think we’ll see The Flash, Green Lantern, or Martian Manhunter in JL. As far as who I’d ideally like to see in a JL film if I had my druthers, it would simply consist of the Big Three: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
I assume Mr. and Mrs. Jett wake up to "Kiss from a Rose" every morning on your alarm. If not, what is your favorite pop song from the first 4 movies soundtracks?
JETT SAYS: Ha! That would be cool, but that just doesn’t happen at our casa! Favorite pop songs from the “Burton/Schumacher Anthology?” I guess that would be Prince’s “Party Man” from BATMAN, “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal from BATMAN FOREVER, U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” from BATMAN FOREVER, and “The End is the Beginning is the End” by Smashing Pumpkins from BATMAN AND ROBIN.
If the next standalone Batman film is before the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN, do you think we'll get a Robin? If so, who would you like to see play him?
JETT SAYS: Eric, in that scenario, yes, I do think we’ll see Robin. As far as who I’d like to see play him, I have no idea. I’d like it if they got someone about 17 years old to play someone who’s about, well, 17 years old, you know what I’m sayin’? Oh yeah, while I don’t have a casting choice for Robin, I do have a story I’d like to see. If Ben Affleck’s 45ish year old Batman has been MIA for several years and returns to “duty” once Superman arrives on the scene, something had to make him retire, right? Perhaps the death of a Robin was the reason? If so, I’d LOVE to see a Batman film with that as its core storyline.
Here is a two parter for you Jett! There was a story on Newsarama today about the how in 1974 they published a book as what if scenarios if Batman hadn't encountered chance meeting with a Bat but something else becoming The Scorpion, The Stingray, The Shooting Star, The Owl, and The Iron Knight, etc. If Batman had become any of these would the character still be as popular and which is your favorite? If you had a choice for Batman to become anything other than a Bat what would it be?
JETT SAYS: Wow JPH, that’s a good question. Man, I don’t know if Batman would have been as popular if he had been “(insert noun) man” as the bat motif with all the vampiric, mysterious, and dark aspects in entails is so important to the character. I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, “(insert noun) man” wouldn’t have been a hit and never became the American icon we know today. As far as the second part of your question, all I can say is that I can’t think of anything I’d rather Batman be than “The Bat-Man.”
Jett, I know parts of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES were inspired by the KNIGHTFALL story from the comics. Do you think that entire storyline would've worked as a full length film? If so, who would you have picked to play Jean Paul Valley? PS: Love the site, been a fan since I was 12 and outraged by BATMAN AND ROBIN!
JETT SAYS: Cameron, thanks for being with me for all these years. Man, 1997, 1998 was a lifetime ago, right? Anyway, I don’t think you could do a “Knightfall” movie – there was just too much involved with that comic book “stunt story” from the early 1990s for one film. As I’ve said many times here on BOF, I’m not a fan of straight-up adaptations – I much prefer when Batman movies are inspired by various Batman comic book stories from different eras of the character’s history.
Hi Jett. What do you think of Ben Affleck's “Bruce Wayne Look?”
JETT SAYS: Sean, I think Ben Affleck is the most physically appropriate actor to play Bruce Wayne to date. I mean, he looks like Bruce Wayne, right? And I’ve got to say that as a member of the gray hair club myself (well, actually mine’s silver), I do dig seeing a distinguished-looking BW.
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in BATMAN v SUPERMAN
Over the last few years I feel DC is trying to increase the awareness and popularity of Deadshot (maybe it's just me). Do you see him possibly becoming a primary or secondary villain in a future Batman film?
JETT SAYS: Dusty, I don’t get that vibe from DC regarding Deadshot, but I don’t read but just a couple of DC titles each month and they’re all Batman books, so I can’t really say they are or aren’t trying to hype up Deadshot. As far as a villain in a Batman film, sure, I could see it – though as a secondary character and not the main villain. I’d love to see him in a Suicide Squad live-action film myself and I think that a very likely future DC on film project.
I'm getting married this Saturday and my fiance won't let me dress as Batman for the ceremony. Is that a deal breaker?
JETT SAYS: Ricky, how much money do you have invested in this wedding dude? I’m kidding! It’s not a deal breaker, but tell her I said to let you at least wear the cape. Congrats bro!
In the “Dark Knight Trilogy” universe, who do u think would win a fight between Ra’s Al Ghul and Bane?
JETT SAYS: The winner of the fight Jared would be Ra’s Al Ghul. Bruce Wayne > Ra’s Al Ghul > Bane.
Love the site – been a reader since ’98! In terms of Batman on film in general, shouldn't The Joker always be the first big challenge of Batman's career? And, assuming that, can we assume that the first solo Bat-film post BvS and JL will feature the Clown Prince of Crime?
JETT SAYS: Josh, I’m sure you saw one of the other Q&A’s from above regarding a solo Batflick with Batfleck. Since this question is kinda related, let’s expand upon what I said in the other one. Maybe we’ll see a story about why Batman retired – ala THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – and it was caused due to The Joker murdering Robin. Of course this sort of story would be set before the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN. On the other hand, maybe it will be set post-BvS and JUSTICE LEAGUE and focus on the return of The Joker due to the return of The Batman.
How do you pronounce the “Ra’s” in Ra's Al Ghul? Do you pronounce it like in the animated series (“Raysh”) or like in the Nolan movies (“Rahz”)? Have you always pronounced it that way?
JETT SAYS: Rob, I’ve always personally pronounced it “Rahz” – just like it is in BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. That’s how I said it in my head from the very first time I read a Ra’s Al Ghul story back in the early 70s (BATMAN #232 to be precise). Honestly, I didn’t know it was correctly pronounced “Raysh” until the 90s and I heard it that way in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. And truth be told, I sill pronounce it “Rahz” even though I know it’s probably incorrect. Old habits are hard to break. And I willing to bet that most people – especially of my vintage and older – thought it was “Rahz” too.
BATMAN #232 (June 1971)
I'm curious as a fellow married Batman fan…is your wife into Batman as much as you, or does she simply support the love? Hope this isn't too personal; I'm just wanting to compare notes!
JETT SAYS: Deric, my lovely wife Rachel is definitely not into Batman as much as me Hahaha! In fact, she’s not into Batman at all. However, she is totally into supporting my Batman fandom/obsession which is pretty cool. She’s been to four comic cons with me (three in San Diego and one in New York) and is OK with me spending money on Batman and Batman on film. I mean, how many women would let their dude have a man cave that’s filled with Batman-related stuff? Plus, it doesn’t hurt when my love for Batman via BOF allows her to do stuff like meet Christian Bale in an elevator and go to bigtime Hollywood movie premieres/parties so she can take a picture with Kevin Costner! Yes, Deric, I’ve got a cool and hot wife and I know I’m a lucky SOB!
I've wanted to ask this one a long time! In BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, The Joker has two hyenas. At the end of THE DARK KNIGHT, The Joker has "inherited" two dogs from the Chechen. Do you see that as a subtle nod to BTAS by Chris Nolan or just coincidence?
JETT SAYS: Adam, in my opinion it’s purely a coincidence. However, that’s just my own guess. I never thought of the connection to be honest and if I had, I probably would’ve asked Chris. If I get the chance to talk to him again in person – and I’m sure I probably will here soon – I’ll definitely ask him. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was a kinda-sorta nod to BTAS, but I suspect that if so, it was Jonathan Nolan’s doing.
Do you think Jonathan Nolan would ever consider working on a Batman movie again; either in a writing or directing capacity? After watching PERSON OF INTEREST, I think the case can be made he was an unsung hero of the “Trilogy.” Thoughts?
JETT SAYS: Trey, I know that Jonathan is a HUGE Batman fan; based on that, I’d never say “never.” However, I will say that it’s VERY unlikely that J-Nol will be involved with Batman on film again. Like his brother, I think he also feels he’s told the Batman story he wanted to tell with those three films. I do know that as a big Batman fan, he’s really looking forward to future cinematic incarnations of Batman. That’s not a guess – he told me that personally when we were chatting before Chris Nolan’s “Cementing Ceremony” at Mann’s Chinese Theater back in July of 2012. Cool dude that J-Nol.
Did Chris Nolan had any plans to use Heath Ledger's Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?
JETT SAYS: Apostolis, well, we’ll never know for sure, will we? But I will tell you what I think…
While Chris Nolan did indeed hope his Batman on film story would be told over the course of three films in the form of a trilogy, the man meant it when he said that he only made one Batman film at a time. His directive to his writers – David Goyer and his brother Jonathan (who is getting some run here in this mailbag and that’s a good thing) – was to put EVERYTHING into each film and hold NOTHING back. Subsequently, both THE DARK KNIGHT and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES were films that had to be written without any preconceived idea of what they would be based on the previous film – especially RISES.
Knowing Chris a little bit – mostly in terms of how he went about creating these Batman films – I’m not sure that Heath Ledger would’ve returned for a sequel to TDK and a second turn as The Joker – at least not as the main villain. THE DARK KNIGHT was, IS, a classic; it’s the best and most decorated film of the genre to date. Hell, from my time on the set back in June of 2007, it was pretty clear that all involved knew that they were creating something pretty damn special.
So Apostolis, I’m of the belief that even if Heath Ledger hadn’t passed, The Joker would’ve been a character in the last film of the trilogy. I’m pretty sure that Chris would not want to simply crank out “Batman vs. The Joker, Part 2.” He’s a better filmmaker than that, don’t you think?
Why do you think the fanboys criticize the destruction of metropolis in MAN OF STEEL and say it’s one of the biggest faults of the film, while not doing the same about the destruction of New York City in THE AVENGERS?
JETT SAYS: Mike, fanboys criticize EVERTHING bro – don’t you know that by now?
Personally, I had no problem with the “Destruction of Metropolis” finale in MAN OF STEEL; my issue is that it went on TOO LONG. Zack and co. could’ve totally cut a few minutes off and got the same affect. What they wanted, it seems, was for Zack to simply repeat the ending from SUPERMAN II and have Superman fly off to the Fortress of Solitude “tricking” General Zod into following him. The only issue with that is that Zod was going to destroy Metropolis whether Superman stayed or left. Can you imagine what would have become of the city if Superman hadn’t stayed?
When it comes to comparing the end of MOS to the end of THE AVENGERS, remember Mike, Marvel Films can do NO DAMN WRONG in the eyes of fanboys. You know, Marvel films are “popcorn fun” like ALL films of this genre should be, right? Man, I wish we could go back to good ‘ol days of DC on film with “popcorn fun” movies like BATMAN AND ROBIN!
Hi Jett! I really like your “ancient alien astronaut” theory you had regarding Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Now we know Aquaman is in BvS too, do you think they could link the whole thing to a Kryptonian origin? I know a lot of fanboys would hate that and I totally understand if it’s messing with their heroes and the mythology. But for me, it’s always been Batman first with a secondary love for Superman. Personally, I hope they take this rout – I would buy into it more! Tone down the superhero angle and play up a more scifi aspects and it could be really intelligent and damn cool! What are your thoughts?
JETT SAYS: Aaron, thanks for the question and the op-ed LOL! Do I think it’s possible that these meta-humans on Earth could have evolved from ancient Kryptonian astronauts who visited earth hundreds of thousands of years ago? Sure, absolutely. Hell, many people who believe in UFO’s and the “Ancient Alien Astronaut Theory” have hypothesized that Atlantis, if real, could have some sort of extraterrestrial origin. Now, will that be the route that Zack Snyder and co. go with Aquaman and Wonder Woman, I have no idea and I’d say probably no.
I think were fanboys got butt’s hurt over my AKAH (“Ancient Kryptonian Astronaut Hypothesis”) was that they incorrectly assumed that Wonder Woman would be Kryptonian. All I said was that I thought it would be cool – and kinda clever – for the Amazon race to be DESENDENTS of these prehistoric explorers from Krypton who we KNOW once visited the DC Cinematic Universe Earth. They wouldn’t be “Kryptonians,” they’d be Amazons from Earth. I’m not going to lay down my entire theory again (if you want to read it, CLICK HERE), but I will say that I thought it made sense to the “DC World” established in MAN OF STEEL and would still allow for Wonder Woman’s comic book mythology to remain intact. Same goes for Aquaman too Aaron.
I wonder though y’all…if my AKAH theory turns out to be true in the DCCU, remember who thought of it FIRST! ;)
JETT SAYS: Rob, I will not. I’ll get one for free!
I'm wanting BATMAN v SUPERMAN to succeed, I do. I want it to rock my face off. But for some reason I just can't shake this doubt that I have. I take pride in the fact that I was (seemingly) in the minority that looked forward to Heath Ledger as The Joker when it was announced. I'm not throwing a strop over Ben Affleck as Batman, but I just can't see it. I'm more than happy to be proven wrong – though I do like the released pics so far. My only concern with BvS is that IF (and I realize that's a big IF) it under performs. I just don't want this being this generation's BATMAN AND ROBIN and cause us not to see Batman on the big screen for a while. Do you think I'm overthinking it? Worst case scenario? Do you see that happening again?
JETT SAYS: Steve, you’ve came to the right place. ‘Ol Jett will talk you off that ledge brother…
Don’t worry about Ben Affleck as Batman because he’s going to be awesome. If I’m wrong, I’ll give you a free year of BOF.
I do think your concern about a BvS flop having a BATMAN AND ROBIN-like affect on the Batman film series is indeed legitimate. If this makes you feel better bro – and keep in mind that it’s coming from a “Batman only” guy – I truly believe that BvS is going to be really, Really, REALLY good. Why? I totally trust Zack Snyder; thus, all the good will from BOF. Now, if it sucks, ALL HELL’S GOING TO BREAK LOOSE outta BOF!
Scoot McNairy...hero or villain for BATMAN v SUPERMAN? Make Texas proud Scoot!
JETT SAYS: Scoot McNairy’s a hero simply being from Texas. But as far as his role in BATMAN v SUPERMAN, I’ve been told from a very reliable source that his character doesn’t care too much for The Man of Steel. So take that for what you will.
Is the Martian Manhunter in WB’s DC on film plans? Aquaman/Ocean Master for JL villain?
JETT SAYS: 1) Martian Manhunter: I don’t think so – but I do wish the character would be developed for a TV show by Warner Bros. Television. 2) No.
Jett, thanks for answering my question a few mailbags ago! Since you said last week, I believe, that this is still a Superman film, wouldn't it be more accurate to call it a hybrid film? Part Superman, part Justice League setup, and part Batman film. If rumors are true this will set up a solo Batman film, will characters like Catwoman, Nightwing and Jim Gordon be in the movie?!
JETT SAYS: Glenn, I think BvS will be set in the MAN OF STEEL universe and that it is, for the most part, a Superman film. However, Ben Affleck’s Batman is a major character in the movie and Batman’s world will be a part of it. With that said Glenn, I don’t think we’re going to see any other Batman characters in BvS other than Alfred, despite the fact that all of them already exist.
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.