BOF Mailbag For Saturday, 8/9/14
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
August 9, 2014

Here's the latest BOF Mailbag. This week, we talk about Batman, WB's announced DC film schedule, Elvis' obsession with Captain Marvel, Jr. and much, much more!

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: Better – but how much better, I’m not sure. Allegedly, BATMAN TRIUMPANT was going to be more like BATMAN FOREVER and even BATMAN ’89. I think, however, that Warner Bros. did the right thing by canceling that project and taking their time developing the right project for the Batman film franchise.

Just think what would have happened IF there had been a BATMAN TRIUMPHANT. There never would have been a BATMAN BEGINS or ultimately, a “Dark Knight Trilogy.” I think that if they had kept that series of Batman films going, they Batman movie series would have been run into the ground and the entire comic book/superhero movie genre would have been negatively affected.

Hey Jett! Been a reader since 1998! Here's my question: WB said in their press release that BvS would be an IMAX 3D release. MAN OF STEEL was also in IMAX 3D, but at least one IMAX showing a day was in 2D (I'm assuming that was Chris Nolan's doing). Do you think the same thing will happen with BATMAN v SUPERMAN and fans of IMAX who don't like 3D (like me) will get to see the flick in 2D on the giant screen? I've heard conflicting reports regarding Chris Nolan staying on as a producer. I'm assuming if he's still part of the movie he'll see to it that there are 2D IMAX screenings. I hope that's the case! (via email)

JETT SAYS: So Sam, you’ve been with me from the very beginning eh? Well as Elvis would say, “Thank you, thank you very much!” Now on to your question…

Honestly, I’m not sure how the whole IMAX 3D/2D thing works, so I’d be talking out of my rear end if I tried to answer that question. I’m going to guess that if MAN OF STEEL had some 2D screenings on IMAX screens, then BATMAN v SUPERMAN will as well since both have the same director in Zack Snyder. When it comes to Chris Nolan and SYNCOPY’s involvement with BvS, all I’ll say that Chris has no creative input and I’m not sure that he and his lovely wife, my friend Emma Thomas, are still serving as Executive Producers. When I noticed that they were no longer listed as EP’s on the film, I did ask Warner Bros. and their comment at that time was “nothing has changed.” Regardless, SYNCOPY’s involvement was, is, and will be minimal – thus, I don’t think Chris will have any say in the IMAX 3D/2D anyway.

JETT SAYS: I think it’s certainly a possibility, but not likely.

Since that script was fake, is Aquaman in BvS?

JETT SAYS: Yes – though I don’t know if the character is going to be called “Aquaman.”

What’s your favorite non-Batman DC villain you’d like to see Batman go up against in a film?

JETT SAYS: Lex Luthor – no doubt about it. Purple suit and all!

If GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was a DC film, how would it have been received? Likewise, if GREEN LANTERN was a Marvel film, how would it have been received?

JETT SAYS: Interesting question Trey. Let me say these two things first: 1) GOTG is a much better film than GREEN LANTERN. 2) Props to Marvel Films for building such a huge brand that has a positive vibe amongst the mainstream. But to answer your question, I totally believe that GOTG wouldn’t be fawned upon like it has been if it had been a DC film – and that of course speaks volumes about that positive and popular “Marvel Brand.” Personally, I liked GOTG a lot – but not as much as a lot of other people. Frankly, I thought it was OK/average up until the third act which was awesome. I didn’t review it for BOF because the press screening in my city took place when I was in San Diego for Comic Con. If I did review it, I would have given it a straight-up B; that wonderful finale kinda saved it in my opinion.

When it comes to GREEN LANTERN, I’ve got to think that if it was a Marvel Films film, it might have been a little more successful. But probably not that much because, well, it’s just not a very good film.

What’s your favorite fan-made Batman film?

JETT SAYS: Travis, it’s certainly not DEAD END! Actually, I don’t have one because I’m just not a fan of that stuff and haven’t watched all that many. And the ones I have seen are usually – and I’m going to be nice here – um, certainly “fan made.” I will say that the stuff that Bat in the Sun does is pretty good.

How do you think Ben Affleck’s mannerisms as Batman?

JETT SAYS: Well Jeremy, I think they’ll be very “Batmanish.” Just based on what I know about how Batman is being portrayed – old and crusty – I think we’ll see our first version of the “Get off my lawn!” Batman ever on the big screen. And that’s fine with me since I’m getting awfully old and crusty myself.

Was there ever anything to the rumor that Jamie Fox was up for the role of Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT?

JETT SAYS: Matthew, I remember that rumor that that’s exactly what it was: a rumor. Was Fox ever considered? Maybe – he did win an Best Actor Oscar for RAY and Chris Nolan likes working with good actors. However, I don’t think it ever got past the “considered” stage. Matt Damon was offered the part originally, turned it down, and Nolan and co. then turned to Aaron Eckhart who was ultimately cast.

Do you have faith that the inevitable scene where Batman goes toe to toe with Superman will not look ridiculous on screen? I'm assuming they'll introduce Kryptonite to help even the odds.

JETT SAYS: Mike, I think it’s going to come off very badass personally. I believe that it’ll be very THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS-ish and that scene in the comics – and in the animated film as well. And Kryptonite will certainly be involved, right?!

How much of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS will be used when it comes to the story of BATMAN v SUPERMAN?

JETT SAYS: Aaron, I don’t think we’ll see the Mutants, The Joker, or the Harvey Dent stuff in the film. In fact, I think we’ll see very little TDKR – story-wise – in BvS. I think its influence is more on how both Batman and Bruce Wayne are going to be portrayed.

What’s your favorite Batman comic book story that you know will never make it to the big screen?

JETT SAYS: Jason, I’m not a big fan of straight-up adaptations – I prefer my favorite Batman stories from the comics be used as inspiration and influence in the Batman films. Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever see a film version of “The Superman of Planet X!” or “The Rainbow Batman!” on the big screen!

Why did Katie Holmes refuse to reprise the role of Rachel Dawes in THE DARK KNIGHT?

JETT SAYS: I’ll put it this way: She didn’t refuse to reprise her role.

Who killed Tupac and Biggie and why isn’t Batman on the case?

JETT SAYS: I don’t know who pulled the trigger in either case David, but since neither shootings took place in Gotham, it’s out of Batman’s jurisdiction. Plus, Bruce Wayne is a classic rock guy. He especially likes Led Zeppelin.

Do you find that these Batman movies are ruined for you by spy pics, videos and insider info? I appreciate all the heads up you give to all your followers, but does that not ruin the experience for you a bit?

JETT SAYS: Thinker, the only Batman film that has been spoiled for me since I started Batman on Film was BATMAN BEGINS – and that was all on me because I read the leaked script. Neither THE DARK KNIGHT or RISES was spoiled for me at all. When it comes to “insider info,” most of my “insider” friends are, well, let me say they’re not some obscure PA or a cook in craft services, OK? And to be honest, the “scoopers” with illicit set pics and major spoilers aren’t going to come to me with that garbage because they know I’m not going to post it on BOF. Thus, they go to the sites that will.

Did Chris Terrio rewrite the entire BATMAN v SUPERMAN script or simply polish it?

JETT SAYS: From what I’ve been told, Terrio’s work on the script was “extensive.” Take that for what you will.

JETT SAYS: Even though I’m glad it never came to be, I would have liked to see how BATMAN TRIUMPHANT turned out. As I said earlier in this mailbag, it was going to be darker – sort of a cross between B89 and FOREVER -- so I think it would’ve been better than BATMAN AND ROBIN. However, if that film had been made and was somewhat of a success, then we probably would’ve gotten a sixth and maybe even a seventh installment of the Burton/Schumacher/Whomever Batman film series and never “The Dark Knight Trilogy.”

Jett, do you think a March release for BvS will hurt it at the box office? Don’t “Summer Blockbusters” benefit from kids being out of school and families being off on vacation during the Summer?

JETT SAYS: Matt, I think that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDER proved that these sort of films can open in April – and basically, BvS’s release is closer to April 1 than March 1 – and do really, Really, REALLY well at the box office. So my answer then is no, I don’t think we have anything to worry about when it comes to the box office…as long as the film is good, that is.

It's exciting to see release dates for more DC films from Warner Bros., but we've seen how often these kinds of plans can change. In your gut, how many DC films do you think we'll actually get between BATMAN v SUPERMAN and 2020? (via email)

JETT SAYS: OK, Geoff, let’s take a look at it…

Warner Bros. claimed 11 dates with two of them being titled “Untitled WB Event Film.” So let’s assume that those will not be DC films, so that give us 9 scheduled DC projects on the calendar after BvS ‘til June 19, 2020. Here are the DC films I think FOR SURE will come to fruition: JUSTICE LEAGUE, WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN, SANDMAN, MAN OF STEEL 2, SHAZAM!, a Ben Affleck solo Batman film, and JUSTICE LEAGUE 2. That’s eight of the nine we know are coming over the next six years. What will be that ninth DC flick? METAL MEN (I’d LOVE that!)? JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK? SUICIDE SQUAD? I’m not sure, so your guess is as good as mine. So to finally answer your question, I think we’ll get at least 8 films of the 9 Warner Bros. has currently scheduled.

JETT SAYS: Nope. Batman is the most popular comic book superhero amongst the mainstream – especially here in the U.S. where Batman is an American icon. And again, props to Marvel Films for creating, well, what they created when it comes to their films and their brand.

Jett, I don't know about Shazam and Black Adam beyond the DTV, but why would both characters be played by the same actor? What are your thoughts on if the filmmakers made a subtle nod to Elvis in some way? If I recall, you aren't a big fan of Easter eggs. I ask because apparently, Elvis's jumpsuit was an homage to Captain Marvel. (via email)

JETT SAYS: Rob, I wouldn’t say that I’m the biggest Shazam/Captain Marvel fan in the world, but when I was a young kid in the mid-70s, there was a period when I kinda was. CBS had a Saturday morning live-action TV series titled SHAZAM! which, of course, featured Billy Batson and Captain Marvel. Man, did I love that show! That’s how I discovered Captain Marvel and then turned to the comics as DC had acquired the character and begin publishing a monthly SHAZAM! title.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Captain Marvel/Shazam and long wanted to see the in-development-hell film come to fruition – which now looks like it’s going to happen as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson project for Warner Bros. I simply think it would be cool for The Rock to play both the Captain and his arch enemy, Black Adam, as both are pretty much the same being with the same powers. Plus, I simply think it’ll be a unique twist and something we haven’t seen in a comic book/superhero film. Heck, let The Rock play Mr. Tawky Tawny too!

As far as your Elvis suggestion, as HUGE Elvis Presley fan, I’d totally be down with some sort of nod to The King. Maybe Billy Batson’s an Elvis fan or something like that. Though actually, it was Captain Marvel, Jr. who Elvis really loved as a kid. And it’s a fact that his 70s stage costumes were inspired by CMJ’s threads.

Before I get to my question, I just wanted to say thank you for all the awesome work you've done on keeping Batman fans across the world well-informed. And thank you for setting a good example on how Batman fans should present themselves. You're very good at what you do because you understand that while Batman is an idea, he is also a character at the mercy of real people. Most of those real people understand his idea and his legacy, even though it doesn't seem that way to fans all the time. Batman fans have a tendency to forget that when they hear questionable things like odd casting or bad design, but you manage to keep your head on straight through all of it. Thank you for that. Now, on to my question: Let's assume for a minute that DC's "plan" for an expanded universe we've heard about is true. Since we'll eventually be getting a REAL MAN OF STEEL 2, do you think there's a possibility BvS will focus more on Batman? Or do you think they'll try to balance it between the two of them? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Christopher V., thanks for the nice comment about BOF and for your question. I do think that there will be a proper, if you will, MAN OF STEEL 2 at some point down the line. What I mean by that – and I’m sure you do as well – is that we’ll get another straight-up Superman film with Henry Cavill. As far as BvS is concerned, it is titled “Batman v Superman” after all; so I think we should expect a 50/50 split between the two.

Hey Bill! I love your site – been following you since BATMAN BEGINS. I was wondering if I could get your take on something I have been struggling with recently. Is the Batman we know and love a hero or an antihero? In the past, I would have assumed hero without question, but some internet research suggests it’s not so cut and dry. What say you? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Brian, to me, Batman is, has been, and will always be a hero. As someone who was raised in a single parent household by my Mom, Batman was not only a role model for me, but somewhat of a big brother/father figure as well. He taught me that when you’re knocked to the ground, you get up and keep on keeping on. However, according to the Urban Dictionary, an antihero is “…a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.” Based on that definition, there are some incarnations of Batman in the comic books that could be considered to be an antihero. For example, wouldn’t Frank Miller’s Batman in both THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN be considered an antihero? What about “A-Hole Batman” in the comics of the 2000s? But overall throughout Batman’s 75 year history, he’s clearly been depicted as a hero. What do you all think? Comment below!

Hi Jett! Thanks so much for this excellent site; keep up the good work! Here's my question: I'm a huge Batman fan, but not really into comics and graphic novels. I know that might sound like a contradiction in terms, but I'm just not really into the medium; I much prefer Batman in a live-action or animated setting (BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES was actually what first made me fall in love with the character and his world), or even in video games (the fantastic ARKHAM games being a great example of top-notch storytelling in this medium). Do you have any recommendations for any good Batman comics or graphic novels? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Hi Adam. Hey, no shame in not finding Batman via the comics. In today’s day and age – especially for the last 25 years or so – Batman can be found in all sorts of different mediums: comics, film, animation, and video games as you mentioned.

So you want some Batman comic book/graphic novel recommendations eh? Here’s a few in no particular order: YEAR ONE, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, DARK VICTORY, BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN, BATMAN AND THE MAD MONK, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, STRANGE APPARITIONS and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. All of those are classics and I’d start there. Though it’s doesn’t particularly jibe with my personal Batman tastes, Grant Morrison’s pre-New 52 run on BATMAN is really good. Also, I’d get the GN’s/collected volumes of the New 52’s BATMAN by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. There are several classic individual Batman stories – like “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” from BATMAN #251 – that I’d highly recommend. Anyone else have any suggestions for Adam? If so, post yours in the comments section down below.

You've mentioned how you’re a little against/worried about seeing Bats next to superhumans, aliens, etc. on film. And after watching MAN OF STEEL again last week, my original thoughts came back: How does ANYBODY stand a chance against that! I love the movie because the Supes story has been retold/modernized for the next generation, and I like the gritty, realistic, nasty aspect because I think humans in general find that relatable. But yeah, where to go now? Reading the books is one thing. But now we've seen what Superman can do on film. In “real life,” How do you put Batman against that? So, my question is: After seeing the Comic Con footage, as short as what it was, has it given you any confidence in the idea of bringing the two together on film? Are you warming to the idea or still waiting to see the finished product? Oh, one more thing! You’re a rock-n-roll and Elvis nut. Just wondering if you play any instruments? If not, why? And if you don't, what would you want to play? (via email)

JETT SAYS: Thanks Grant for the question the length of a novel. I’m kidding! Here’s my answers…

I’m kinda OK with Batman on screen with Superman – especially the Superman from MAN OF STEEL who was depicted as “realistic” as possible. To be honest, these were (and still are) my two favorite comic book characters as a child, so the kid in me is kinda excited to see them together in a movie. It’s Batman with Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and magic, monsters, aliens (yes, I know Superman is an alien), and all that sort of stuff that really concerns me. But from what I’ve heard, BvS and JUSTICE LEAGUE will continue with the “realistic” theme that started in MOS. In other words, don’t expect Wonder Woman actually be a decedent of gods (unless these “gods” are actually ancient Kryptonian astronauts), to see Aquaman riding on the back of a whale and telepathically commanding squid, or Batman riding through space within a Green Lantern construct. I believe, ultimately, we’re going to get something that all fans can accept and enjoy.

Oh yeah, do I play an instrument? Yes, I do. I’ve been playing the guitar badly since I was 10 years old.

One more thing: Batman can not only kick Superman’s ass, but the ass of ANY superhero no matter the publisher! And I'll leave you all this week with a little Elvis as Captain Marvel, Junior...

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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