BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!

M A I L B A G

Mailbag for Thursday, October 6, 2005
DATE: 10/6/05
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.

1. “…Vince Vaughn would make a phenomenal Harvey Dent/Two-Face - if he took the role seriously.” - Mike L., Loyola Marymount University

JETT SAYS: I hadn’t thought of him before. I’d say he wouldn’t be bad if -as you stated - he took it seriously. I’m still favoring Mr. Schreiber myself.

2. “Personally, I would love to see the Batman franchise last for decades, much like the 007 Bond films. With Batman's rogues gallery, the number of sequels is virtually endless.” - Tom in Pittsburgh

JETT SAYS: I would too. I wrote an entire op-ed on this called “Be like Bond.” Many readers took it the wrong way thinking I wanted the Batman films to literally be Bond in a cape and cowl. My point was that I think the BATMAN series can have the longevity of the Bond series.

3. “Do you think that Schwarzenegger could have ever pulled off a good Mr. Freeze if the character was written well?” - Stephan C.

JETT SAYS: Yes. He came off even better in the B&R: DE-ASSIFIED fan-cut of the film I recently watched. Now, he wouldn’t have been my first choice - that would be Patrick Stewart.

4. “Dear Jett, - do you know if they have any plans on casting someone to play Harley Quinn in the [next] BATMAN movie? - Chris M.

JETT SAYS: I have no idea. I’ll just guess here and say that there will be no Harley in the sequel. Perhaps a Dr. Harleen Quinzel (I hope I spelled that correctly) could make a small cameo at Arkham.

5. “I still check in everyday to the site but I'm wondering will they make the next one in the U.K again with key Chicago locations?” - Name Withheld

JETT SAYS: Michael Caine told us at the press junket that the sets are still up - to use for the sequel. So yeah, I’m sure they will return to the U.K. As far as Chicago, I hope so. Producer Charles Roven says he wants to return.

6. “This is more of a comment than a question. I highly doubt that BATMAN ESCALATION will be used as the title for the sequel. Why? Because the American film audience is too dumb to even know what that means. Now, I'm not cracking on Batman fans, I'm just saying that if they're trying to target a mainstream audience, using a word like that will do no such thing. For example, the '89 James Bond film License to Kill was originally going to be called ‘License Revoked.’ It was changed because, according to the IMDB, fewer than 50% of Americans even knew what ‘revoked’ meant.” - Alex from Baltimore, MD

JETT SAYS: That’s funny as hell. I didn’t know that bit of trivia.

7. “I'm not in the habit of writing sycophantic e-mails to webmasters but in this case I have to make an exception. I'm a huge fan of this site which not only tirelessly unearths news about new batman film projects but turns out thoughtful, intelligent and provocative writing on earlier incarnations (Particularly the works of Wares and Bray). Anyways I'm writing because I think it's time we stopped using BATMAN AND ROBIN as our punching bag. In fact, I for one quite like it!

Blasphemy you say? How can you prefer campy throwaway action to the darker, grittier sensibilities of Nolan's masterpiece? Well actually I'm as big an advocate of dark and serious Batman as anyone but I'm able to enjoy B&R in the same way that I enjoy the 60s series. It's just a take on the character that happens to conflict with my own, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it in its own context.” - Daniel L.

JETT SAYS: You know Daniel, you are right. Look, I love the 60s TV series - I credit it for making me a Bat-fan. I think that many people were disappointed in B&R because they were not expecting it to be THAT campy - you know what I mean? That was the case with me. But it is time to let it go, I agree. We got BATMAN BEGINS, and probably wouldn’t have if B&R hadn’t been “B&R.” As I said before, B&R is BEGINS‘ daddy!

8. “Jett, are you going to cover SUPERMAN RETURNS next summer? I’d like to read your stories and reviews on that project.” - Mark B., Milwaukee, WI

JETT SAYS: I hope to. I’ve requested an invitation to the press junket next summer and hope to go. BOF will cover any DC COMICS-based film that is released. Now, we won’t do the news thing with those projects like we do Batman, but we’ll do press and reviews of each.

9. “Quit with the filler. I don’t care about hurricanes or anyone’s opinion. I love the site, but I just want news.” - Name Withheld

JETT SAYS: Filler? What filler? BOF is 100%, Grade-A beef.

10. “Is it really necessary to introduce a new romantic interest in the sequel?” - Emon, N. Ireland

JETT SAYS: IMO, no. One of the flaws of the previous series was a new “love interest” every damn film. Have Rachel (Katie Holmes) return and leave it at that. With that said, I’m hoping they find a way to introduce Selina Kyle in one of the next two films without crowding the cast. She doesn’t necessarily have to be a “love interest.”

11. “We've waited this long for Batman to come back and Nolan delivered ten fold. It wont kill us to wait a bit longer for the sequel. ‘Boo friggin hoo indeed.’ THE PRESTIGE should be great. - David R.

JETT SAYS: Damn straight. Anyone who thinks otherwise is flat wrong. Anyone offended that Mr. Nolan is doing another film should get what‘s called “A Life.”

12. “Mr. Freeze can happen! [What if was] born with a rare disease in which he suffers from an extreme sensitivity to heat. Victor met the love of his life Nora, who suffers from the same disorder that he does. After many years of research, Victor was on the verge of a cure for himself and his wife. Suddenly his budget was cut off and it was revealed that his wife had contracted [some terminal disease]. Now with the love of his life dying and his budget completely erased, Victor has turned to a life of crime in order to get the funds needed to continue his research and save his wife.” - Corey F.

JETT SAYS: Interesting and that could work. Now, how do we make the “Freeze Gun” realistic? Anyone?

13. “I have enjoyed the site for many years. Now I think this question hasn't been asked. Past theBATMAN BEGINS trilogy ( which will most likely include The Joker an Two-face), what villains and supporting cast characters you like to see? Personally, I would like to see a movie based off the Englehart/ Rogers run from 1977-78 which had Councilman/Boss Rupert Thorne, Professor Hugo Strange, and Silver St. Cloud - maybe give it it's own unique spin on this classic story. To keep in line with more realistic type villians I would like to see Black Mask/ Roman Sionis, Hush/ Dr. Thomas Elliot/The Riddler.” - Bo E., Cullman, Alabama

JETT SAYS: Great suggestions. I too like the Englehart/Rogers stories from the 70s. The Riddler could be done in a “Nolanized” version. Perhaps he’s some cyber-criminal of sorts. I do want to see The Penguin (sans the black goo) show up in the next film or two, as I’ve previously stated.

14. “I've got a few questions for you. First off, are you going to be posting your review of Lachy Hulme in FOUR JACKS? - Sean. Long Beach, California

JETT SAYS: It’s coming. I’ve been busy as hell lately with BOF, my real job, getting ON-FILM.NET going, and the Dallas Cowboys. I plan to have it posted by the end of the year, as well as a review of MASK OF THE PHANTASM.

15. “Will the costume stay the same throughout the films or do you think they might tweak the costume [a bit]?” - DJV from Indiana

JETT SAYS: I loved the costume, but I’m sure they’ll tweak and improve on it a bit. The whole fabric/spandex costume thing just kills me. I hated the DEAD END suit myself and feel there is no damn way that Batman would really wear that - although there is no real Batman anyway. You get my point. But if he was real, do you really think he would say, “I’m going out at night to fight crime. Let me make my suit out of spandex!”

16. “Hey Jett. First, I just want to say that I've been visiting your site since the BATMAN TRIUMPHANT days. You've got a good site here. Anyway, WB has taken your advice many times before, do you think they'll do they same on the Batman Forever ‘Director's Cut?’ I’m a Steelers and Bucs fan by the way.” - R.S. from Florida

JETT SAYS: So you go back that far with me? Thanks. Anyway, I hope Warner Bro. does when it comes to FOREVER. But unless the deleted scenes are on the upcoming SE (released on October 18th), it will probably not happen. I would hope these scenes get out somehow and someone does a fan edit.

17. “I have been a huge Batman fan for years. At first when I saw previews of BATMAN BEGINS, I kind of dismissed it. I was going to stay loyal to Burtons’ movie but I went and saw it anyways. And I loved it. It was the best Batman of all time. I was however disappointed when they did not use the Joker as the man who murdered Bruce Waynes parents, I thought that angle made the story very interesting. I wanted to ask you, since the Joker is the main choice for the villain in ‘Batman 2,’ would you like to see a short origin story of The Joker.” - Justin H.

JETT SAYS: I’m glad you came around. I never understood the “rivalry” between Burton’s Batman and Nolan’s Batman. Probably because there isn’t one. It’s Batman. Anyway, from what I’ve been told, The Joker was made the Wayne killer in BATMAN re-writes to account for the age difference between Nicholson and Keaton. He never was the murderer in the comics.

As far as an origin, perhaps the release of Crane’s fear gas in The Narrows had something to do with it.

18. “I was wondering if Batman's cape in BEGINS actually worked for Bale to use it in any scenes, or was all the cape scenes CGI?” - Lucus T.

JETT SAYS: Both. Of course, he could actually glide with it.

19. “Jett, great site and visit at least once a day. That being said, in the original BATMAN ’89, were there any other serious contenders to play The Batman other than Michael Keaton? Was he the choice from the get-go?” - Jason, Ft. Payne, Alabama

JETT SAYS: Hmm. I’m sure they talked about several actors, but once Burton came on board, Keaton was the man. I think that Bill Murray was considered at one point in the early 80s! I don’t know who else actually tested. If anyone knows, shoot me an email.

20. “You are a first-class asshole! Nobody reads or cares about your stupid website!” - Name withheld

JETT SAYS: You obviously checked out enough of it to determine that I was a “first-class asshole.” So at least you are reading BOF. Thanks by the way!

21. “How off in the head are you? How in the hell do you think you stand a chance at directing the next BATMAN film? I think the little success this site has had has gone to your head.” - Jonathan S., Atlanta, Georgia

JETT SAYS: Come on now! Are you trying to bring me down? Why are you trying to crush my dream?

22. “What do you say to the naysayers who think Bale is too young [to play] Batman? And other than Batman and football, are you a TV fan?” - Amber, Salt Lake City, Utah

JETT SAYS: Bale is the perfect age for Batman. Honestly, I haven’t had much negative feedback in terms of Bale’s age. As far as a TV fan, not too much. There are a few shows I try to catch (24, SMALLVILLE, MEDIUM, et al) and I TiVo a few of them, but I’m not a huge TV fan. I’m usually watching sports for the most part. Now when I was a kid, I loved it - but that’s what you did back in the 70s. You played outside (there were no video games) and watched TV at night.

23. “Liev Schreiber for Harvey Dent and Kate Beckinsale for Selina Kyle! Will we possibly see more of Bruce's mother in the follow up? Thomas Wayne held so much influence in BEGINS it would be nice to see it balance out in the next picture.” - Jason S., Stillwater, Oklahoma

JETT SAYS: Good point. It would be nice, but I have no idea. Maybe your suggestion will be viewed by someone who could do something about it. And as far as Schreiber and Katie B., yep.

24. “I am a long time reader of your site and thought I would drop you a line with a couple of thoughts regarding the possible Batman sequel. The actor I would love to see as the Joker is Rhys Ifans. He is most famous for the British film NOTTING HILL, however after watching him in the Oasis video the importance of being earnest I must say there is The Joker right there. If any WB people keep an eye on your site then they should consider this guy. If the sequel does happen and Nolan doesn't want to direct then they should go big and get Michael Mann.” - Jim H., London, UK

JETT SAYS: I’m not familiar with him, but I did look him up on the Net. Consider your suggestion out there for “the powers that be.” As far as Michael Mann as a director, that wouldn’t be such a bad choice - but I think Nolan is coming back for sure.

25. “What themes would you like to see used with Joker and Two-Face? And is Katie Holmes returning? What’s with the change of attitude [towards Katie]? - Ryan, Atlanta, Georgia

JETT SAYS: From what I’ve been told “revenge” may be the underlying theme of the next film. As far as Warner Bros. “changing their mind” about Ms. Holmes, I don’t think they ever did. Yes, that “Tom-Kat” nonsense was annoying as hell, but I think that the rumor about her not returning was just that, rumor. I’m very much lobbying for her to return.

26. “What would you think of Paul Giamatti as The Penguin?” - Sean, Bellmawr, New Jersey

JETT SAYS: Now that’s a very inspired choice. I think he’s a hell of an actor. I loved SIDEWAYS and he certainly has the acting chops to pull it off. BUT, he’s pretty high-profile. I think The Penguin should be a secondary role, and I don’t know if Giamatti would be interested in a small part.

27. “Warner Bros. should hire you as a consultant for their BATMAN films.” - Jeri, New York City

JETT SAYS: I’d love it - who wouldn’t? But that ain’t ever going to happen. And I’m certainly not qualified. You know, when Rob Shaw of THE GLOBE AND MAIL - Canada’s largest newspaper - interviewed me, he suggested just that. I could save them a lot of trouble, couldn’t I?

WB: “Say, what about putting human nipples on Batman’s suit?!”
JETT: “Uh, no.”
WB: “OK.”

See how that could work?

I’m just joking - it would be great, but I’m not under any allusion that it would ever happen. Plus, don’t we kind of do that here at BOF?

28. “Just wanted to say thank you for setting the record straight in that ‘chill out’ op-ed. Many ungrateful Batfans out there needed to hear that, no doubt, and need to appreciate the fact that Nolan re-invented this character practically flawlessly - more than a typical Batfan could ever ask for. He deserves our utmost respect and these geeks need to realize that for crying out loud! LOL Now I'm getting annoyed so I'll end it on that. Love the site!” - Joel T.

JETT SAYS: I couldn’t agree more.

29. “I couldn't agree more with your most recent op-ed article. Like you, I have a life. I am thankful for what Mr. Nolan did with BATMAN BEGINS, and I'll be grateful if and when he returns for a sequel. But like you, I am also annoyed by so-called ‘fans’ who become obsessive and even possessive about situations like this. It's Chris Nolan's life and career, and he's living it for himself, not for us. And that's exactly what we should all be doing - living our lives for ourselves, not for Batman. Thanks once again for BOF and all that you do.” - Kevin G., Louisville, Kentucky

JETT SAYS: Kevin, I was shocked and quite pissed with the attitude that a small portion of Bat-fans took regarding Mr. Nolan doing THE PRESTIGE as his next film.

Look, I’m a HUGE Batman fan - that’s got to be obvious. But I’ve got a lot more going on besides The Bat. When I announced that I wanted to expand BOF and cover and review other films, I had many fans ask me “Why do you want to do that for?” Here’s a newsflash for some of you: I don’t do Batman 24/7/12. And you shouldn’t either.

30. “Chris Nolan can go straight to hell! He should be working on the sequel right now, instead of doing that other film. If he doesn’t care about Batman like all of us, he can go f*** himself! If I was WB, I would fire his ass right now and go hire another director.” - Name Withheld

JETT SAYS: Here is one of the emails I received. Need I say more?

31. “I am going to go completely left field here to see what you think : If the Joker were to be portrayed as older than The Batman what do you think about Michael Keaton as the Joker? And when you direct the next BATMAN don't forget I have had acting experience and although I am too old to play Batman, I am just right for someone such as Gordon. Keep up the good work.” - Scott C.

JETT SAYS: I definitely think Keaton could be a good Joker. Now, I do think he’s a bit old - he’s in his mid-50s (although he looks pretty good). I still think that whomever they cast for the role should be in his 30s. In fact, I remember way back in ‘88 when I first found out that Keaton had been cast in BATMAN, I thought it was for The Joker. I was a big fan of Keaton’s - I still absolutely love NIGHT SHIFT - if you haven’t seen that film, you need to do so.

And Scott, I’ll put you on my short list of Gordon candidates so when I get that directing gig, I’ll be ready if Mr. Oldman declines to return to the role.

32.” I remember speaking to someone back in '89 who had the chance at seeing a ‘test’ sneak of BATMAN prior to the 6/89 release. He said the ending was different. He told me after the Joker fell from the church and Gordon approached, he was a robot, and it later showed the Joker alive. Of course it was later changed. Does anyone recall that deleted scene and will that footage (If really shot) be on the new DVD release of B89? And how about Christian Slater for The Joker?” - Mike Morelli, Glastonbury, Connecticut

JETT SAYS: Per your questions regarding a different Joker ending, I’ll send this one out to the readers - anyone? As far as Slater as The Joker, I don’t know about that one. I think he’s a big Bat-fan and he’d probably want the role. I just don’t see it myself - but that’s just my opinion.

33. “I was wondering which BATMAN Special Edition DVD's you'll be buying. Will you buy B89 & BATMAN FOREVER, or the whole lot. - Chris, Glasgow, Scotland.

JETT SAYS: Chris, I’m not buying any - I’m getting ‘em comp to review. ;) BUT, if I were to buy them, I’d get the whole set. I think they are a must-have for all Bat-fans.

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