BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!

BOF MAILBAG #31
DATE: 4/8/07
Author: Jett

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DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise stated, answers to questions asked are based on the opinions of the editor and should be considered as such.

Welcome back to BOF for MAILBAG #31! Lots of email about my "No Batman in a JL Film" take. Let's get to your questions and comments.

1. “Love the site and all you do man ! Thanks for keeping Batman fans informed. Not a day went by that we didn't check BOF and get psyched for TDK while deployed in Iraq. I was curious if you had heard anything about TDK's 1st Trailer? On your OP-ED, you suggested it should run on SPIDER-MAN 3. Have you heard any scuttlebutt? I think it would be AWESOME ! I think you are right - it would get everyone psyched for 2008. Keep up the GREAT work ! Love BOF! - SSG Bruce Premo, US Army, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

JETT SAYS: First of all, thank you for your service! SPIDER-MAN 3 hits theaters in about a month, so I don’t know if they would have time to cut a trailer -- one with any footage that is. But they certainly could come up with some sort of teaser and that would be a perfect film to pair it with. However, attaching to PIRATES 3 and/or the new HARRY POTTER film is more likely.

2. “I heard about a week ago that TDK will now be released in mid-June of 2008, just like the other bat-flicks. Is this true? - Pat G.

JETT SAYS: Nope. That was one of those online April Fool’s Day “news reports.”

3. “I was wondering how many films going to be made after THE DARK KNIGHT? - Shae R.

JETT SAYS: I think if successful -- and done correctly -- the BATMAN series could last for decades. With that said, you don’t want to overdo it -- space ‘em out so that people are craving to see Batman, um, on film.

4. “Jett, do you think WB will wait to show Ledger's Joker late in production, like [Sony] did with Venom in S-M3, or do you think his image will be one of the 1st teasers out there to pump up interest early for TDK? - Christopher E. from Houston

JETT SAYS: You got two ways to got with this. One, you release a publicity shot of Ledger as The Joker at the start of production -- like NOW. Or you keep his look as The Joker as secret as long as you can -- ala Venom in SPIDER-MAN 3. If it were up to me, I do the former so I could control the situation -- and toss the fans a little bone as well. I think it’s inevitable that someone snaps a spy-pic of Heath in makeup and it finds its way to the Net.

5. “Do you think we’ll ever see a BATMAN FOREVER extended cut? - Matt

JETT SAYS: My initial reaction is no. However, with the success that Warner had with the Donner SUPERMAN II cut, they may consider it -- especially since Bat-fans have been lobbying for it for years. I’ll certainly be banging the drum for it.

6. “I was wondering if there has been any news about merchandise for the next film? - Meg M.

JETT SAYS: Not yet, but I’m sure that we’ll see merchandising for TDK along the same lines as BATMAN BEGINS.

7. “I decided to watch the Burton/Schumacher Bat-films this week. I was watching the Special Editions that came out about a year ago features included. When the cast and crew were talking about BATMAN RETURNS and when it was released, I was unsure if they were saying whether or not it was a success. I was four when RETURNS came out a little younger than it was targeted at and don’t have a clue about it. Was it considered a commercial failure? One of the writers who came across real aragont to me seemed some what sour about the experience. I was just wondering because I know its a 50/50 fan favourite.” - Paul from Ireland

JETT SAYS: Paul, are you trying to stir things up around here?! Just joking. Here’s the deal with RETURNS -- and let me add this disclaimer: I HATE RETURNS -- but I’ll still answer your question honestly.

RETURNS made money -- just not nearly as much as Warner Bros. expected. That, combined with the overall weirdness of the film, the studio decided to change directors and go a different route with the next film. So yes, they did consider BR a failure in that regard. They thought they were getting a film along the lines of BATMAN and they -- and we -- got something else entirely. Enter Joel Schumacher and the rest is history.

I don’t know if there is a more divisive Bat-film than BATMAN RETURNS. Among fans, there seems to be no middle ground -- they either love it or hate it.

That writer you are referring to is Daniel Waters. No doubt, he got some sort of perverse satisfaction with how many fans reacted to BATMAN RETURNS. I believe he said something along the lines of “Tim and I didn’t concern ourselves with the comic books or what the fans thought. It was all about the ‘art.’”

8. “Hey, how come you believe you have a snowball’s chance in hell at a Keaton interview? What’s his deal?” - Thomas from Australia

JETT SAYS: There’s just no way he’d do it. Hey, I’d love to interview MK, but I’m not holding my breath. He didn’t do one for those Special Editions of BATMAN and RETURNS -- why do you think he’d agree to one with a little Batman website?

9. “What is the possibility that Liam Neeson could return as Ra's Al Ghul? We know about Ra's Lazarus Pits. Is Liam contracted for sequels? Maybe a return in the third film?” - Warren C.

JETT SAYS: Don’t count on it. I don’t know if the movie version of Ra’s has any Lazarus Pits. I think he pretty much died when that train crashed.

10. “Will there be a video game adaptation of TDK? What did you think of the BATMAN BEGINS game? - Danny

JETT SAYS: I’m sure there will be a game for TDK. I liked the BEGINS game -- my son still plays it all the time.

11. “Ben here. I've never really sent you and email until now. I was thinking -- and I'm sure I'm not the only one to think of this -- what about if Batman and Superman being played by other actors in a JLA film?” - Ben from Omaha, Nebraska

JETT SAYS: Here’s the deal with that Ben: it would make for some continuity issues. Ultimately, that may end up happening -- especially with Batman if he’s included. I think Brandon Routh will be Superman if and when a JLA film ever makes it to the big screen. I don’t think the same thing about Christian Bale as Batman.

I’ve got no problem with a JLA film -- I just don’t want to see Batman in it.

12. “I'm not opposed to having Bats in a JLA flick; however, wouldn’t he have to be older? I mean, in since this REVAMP, he’s only been around for a few weeks, you know?” - Nate

JETT SAYS: Yes, exactly.

13. “Thanks for your fabulous site. I visit every day. I totally agree with you on leaving Batman out of a JL movie. I really don't want to see the current movie Batman screwed up. I also can't see Bale doing it or ‘The Powers That be’ getting actors and a story that’s quality enough to match the current BATMAN films. I would be so disappointed if they mess up a good thing.” - Gillian

JETT SAYS: Ah, you get it, don’t you? I think that a JL film is an excellent way of getting some of the second tier DC characters on film. For example, The Flash. I don’t think the character can support his own film, but he’d be nice fit in an ensemble flick. Same for Green Lantern, Aquaman, Green Arrow, etc.

14. “Do you think that WB really is considering putting another SUPERMAN on hold and doing a JL film first?” - Joe from Minneapolis, Minnesota

JETT SAYS: Yes, I think that it was considered -- despite what you heard online. Let’s be frank here -- SUPERMAN RETURNS disappointed. So it is obvious to me that such a thing was discussed in Burbank. I read an Op-Ed over at CHUD.COM about just such a thing and I totally agree -- DC has a lot of characters that can not carry a solo film, but could work in a JL film with Superman.

15. “Jett, do you think we’ll ever see a WONDER WOMAN live-action movie?” - Chris from San Diego, California

JETT SAYS: Honestly, no. IMO, a live-action WW film would be a hard sell. I know she’s one of DC’s “Big 3,” but I don’t see average Joe’s out there flocking to theaters to see her on film. Now, I did like idea to set the story during World War II and kinda sorta make Steve Trevor the main character.

16. “Jett, I love the site and I love to read what the other Bat-fans of the world are saying. I live in a dorm and my buddies mock me because BOF is my home page!” - Mike

JETT SAYS: Your buddies are probably Marvel fans. They probably have “Electra-On-Film” set as their homepage.

17. “Just wondering what the deal was with the Eastern European mobster with the Asian accountant. Is that Roman Sionis? - Cam C.

JETT SAYS: One of the rumors that has been floating around for a while is that Roman Sionis would be in TDK. I’ve also heard otherwise. I guess we’ll find out soon enough -- maybe.

18. “How is Maggie Gyllenhaal to be incorporated to the Rachel Dawes character?” - Andrew N.

JETT SAYS: It’s pretty simple, Maggie will be Rachel. It’s not like Bruce will be saying, “Rachel, you look a bit different after your plastic surgery.” Katie got canned and Nolan believes that the Rachel character is important enough to include in TDK -- so they just recast the role.

19. “Fergie = Catwoman?” - Steve S.

JETT SAYS: Fergie = Catwoman = Jett throwing up.

20. “Tony Soprano doesn't play second fiddle to Batman or James Gordon. I wouldn't like Gandofini as Bullock, but just as long as Jack Black never has anything to do with the series, I can live with it.” - Name Withheld

JETT SAYS: I hate to tell you this, but Jack Black has been signed as “The New Robin.”

21. “Gandolfini -- I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm a fan of The Sopranos, but even I'm getting tired of him always being a corrupt bad-guy. Honestly It's a bit concerning, because I have a hard time seeing him as anything else. However one suggestion I've read that I LOVE and can totally see him pulling off is Detective Bullock. I think it would not only be great for him as an actor, but I think it would really contribute something to TDK. - Jonathan C.

JETT SAYS: I got lots of email suggesting JG as Bullock and I agree that he would be great. I don’t know if he’d accept a role that would probably be a smaller one -- if he’s even in the film.

22. “If there's going to be a Montoya in TDK, wouldn't it make sense that there was a Harvey Bullock, as well? Wouldn't James Gandolfini make an AWESOME Harvey Bullock?” - Jesse G.

JETT SAYS: See, I told y’all -- everyone sees JG as Bullock.

23. “Hey, I was just wondering how you would rank the actors that have played Batman?” - Doug S.

JETT SAYS: Bale, Keaton, Kilmer, West, Clooney.

24. “Hi, I was reading about the new Batsuit and was under the impression that there was a picture or pictures of it online.” - John

JETT SAYS: Yes, here it is:

25. “How is Paul Wares’ movie, Batman: Prologue, coming along?” - Derek Shuda from Mosinee, Wisconsin

JETT SAYS: Paul tells me that’s work on B:P is coming along slowly but surely. It’s going to be a real quality film, I do know that.

26. “Hey Jett, now that Aaron Eckhart has been cast as Dent, what do you think the whole "unconventional" thing was about when it was referring to who was up for the role. Was that about Eckhart or somebody else that turned it down.” - Thomas H.

JETT SAYS: Eckhart is pretty conventional. I was told that all actors were considered and race didn’t matter.

27. “Yes, we all love the lone wolf Bats -- prowling the rooftops of Gotham City, all dark and brooding. But properly done, that tone would lend gravitas to a JLA film. Think about it. Sorry - I love BOF, but you're way off on this one. Way off.” - Bill N. from Lawrence, Massachusetts

JETT SAYS: Bill, I get what you are saying, but it’s the fanboy in you talking. What works in the comics and in animation, does not mean that it will work on screen. For the life of me I can’t see the live-action movie Batman tooling around with a bunch of super powered beings. Or in space at the JL headquarters.

Look, I love the DC Universe and I’m a card carrying member of the “DC Nation,” but that doesn’t mean I want a JL film with Batman because it would be “cool.” By all means do a JL film, but leave Batman in his own movie series.

28. “Jett, I just wanted to drop you a line and say that I agree with you 100% on the whole ‘Batman in a JLA movie’ thing You could make a good JLA movie with Martian Manhunter, The Flash, Black Canary, Aqua Man, and most definitely Green Lantern.” - Trey S.

JETT SAYS: And I agree with you. DC has many characters to use in a JL film.

29. “About the ‘Justice League Movie;’ I agree with you one hundred [BLEEP]ing percent! I know your going to get crap mail from people who say ‘Batman has to be on the Justice League!‘ What they don't understand that Nolan's Batman will die the instant they try that lame ass stunt. So it's either Batman in a JL film, or a sequel to TDK.” - Dan

JETT SAYS: I don’t know that a JL film with Batman would mean the end of a sequel to TDK, but I do know it’s a bad idea. I do think that it would mark the end of a solo Batman movie series. If a JL film flops, it hurts all future DC-based movies. If it’s a hit, then WB may want to put all their eggs in one basket.

30. “It’s obvious to me from reading your site that you are NOT a true Batman fan. Please do us all a favor and shut your damn site down you phony.” - Mike from Seattle, Washington

JETT SAYS: Dude, you figured me out. I’m not really a Batman fan. I just spend hours upon hours each week working on a website honoring a character that I hate and know nothing about.

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