BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!


Dear Warner Bros.
Monday, September 5, 2005

Hurricane_Katrina 120x60

To my dear friends at Warner Bros.,

Eight years ago, there is no way that I would have opened a letter to you with “dear.” It would have been something along the lines of “To you imbeciles at Warner Bros.” But after BATMAN BEGINS, all is forgiven. And I trust you all didn't take that "imbecile" stuff personally.

I want to thank y’all for this great film. I know with BATMAN ON FILM, I claim that I “speak for the Bat-fans.” Well I do - sort of. But it is more along the lines of “I speak for the Bat-Fans in making sure that we don’t get crap like BATMAN AND ROBIN ever again.” We Bat-fans all have our own tastes and ideas of what “The Batman” is. Really, there is no definitive Caped Crusader except for the one that exists in each fan‘s head. Readers get on me constantly for hammering Mr. Burton’s 1992 follow-up to BATMAN, so I do have a perspective of the venom that Bat-fans can sling. My point is that I’m well aware my opinions certainly do not speak for the millions of Batman fans out there. I just sort of fell into this gig that is BOF, respectfully asking: “Please don’t make a bad BATMAN film.”

And you didn’t.

You have won back the Batman fans - I’m pretty confident saying that. From all the email I receive and checking out various message boards all over the Net, I think that is the case. Even if people have problems with certain aspects of BATMAN BEGINS, one thing is for sure - they are FIRED UP for the sequel. Speaking of “The Sequel,” I’ll get back to it in a minute.

I don’t know what made y’all realize how to do a Bat-film right, but someone “got it.” Obviously, Chris Nolan knows what the hell is going on and David Goyer does as well - of course he’s a geek just like the rest of us. But someone with power allowed them to do their thing. So it is clear that that dude “got it” as well. Make no mistake, you got it right.

You didn’t rush things either. You passed on projects that just weren’t right, such as Mr. Aronofsky’s take on YEAR ONE and that BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN project. Thank goodness you held out until Mr. Nolan came onboard. Props for hiring him and letting him and Mr. Goyer do their thing. And no doubt, BATMAN BEGINS was the right project,

You got the marketing right. Props to whoever said, “I think we need to go low-key promoting this film.” I know that the fanboys out there screamed bloody murder, but guess what - you were right and they were friggin’ wrong. I totally supported the way you marketed this film and I myself took heat for supporting that line of promotion. I’m pretty sure that all those people who wanted this thing shoved down people’s throats - like a certain MARVEL film this summer - realize now that they were wrong.

No doubt, it was a gamble to let the film promote itself. You all knew damn well that the Batman fans out there were going to show up. However, there had to be concerns whether or not the “Average Joe” would go to the theater for this film. Hell, it had only been eight years since B&R sucked it up at theaters and it had to linger in many people’s minds. But someone had the foresight to say “Let’s allow BATMAN BEGINS promote itself” - and that is what great films do. And in turn, that is exactly what happened this past season as BATMAN BEGINS had arguably the most steady and impressive run in theaters this past summer. Word of mouth does work!

Now my friends, let me turn my attention to the sequel.

I hope you have learned from mistakes made in the past, as it sure seems that you have. In the previous series, sequels have not fared well. Case in point, BATMAN was very good, but Burton dropped the ball with RETURNS. Mr. Schumacher sort of got things back on track with BATMAN FOREVER, and then totally screwed things up in his second Bat-outing two years later. See what I mean here?

I implore you: DON’T CHANGE A THING! Nothing needs to be altered or tweaked with the sequel - at least nothing major. No need to lighten things up or make it more “kid-friendly.” Batman is for adults and it should stay that way. You have plenty of DC properties that can be directed at a younger audience, such as next summer’s movie about that guy from Krypton.

Just do what it takes to bring Mr. Nolan back! I know that you have been burned in the past by giving directors more leeway with their Bat-sequels. But something tells me that you don’t have to worry about that with Nolan. You allowed him to do what he wanted for the most part with BEGINS, and looked at what he delivered! Let him cast whomever he sees fit for The Joker. There is absolutely no need to cast a “big name” or “movie star” for the role ala Jack Nicholson. You need an actor who totally loses himself in the role so that the audience sees “The Joker” on screen - not “Famous Actor X” acting crazy.

Trust me, the sequel is going to be HUGE, no doubt about it. BATMAN BEGINS has everyone fired up for another film - especially since we were all teased so to speak at the end of BEGINS. I saw that film thirteen times this past summer and there was applause every time when Gordon pulled out that card. People are simply pumped-up at the thought of seeing this new Batman battle the greatest comic book villain in history!

And I’m only counting the people who have already seen BATMAN BEGINS. The word is out there that this film is damn good. Do you realize how many people are going to see it for the first time on DVD and/or pay-per-view? Tons! That certainly is going to bring scores of people to the theater for the sequel. But who am I to tell you all, I’m sure you already know this - right?

So again, thank you for BATMAN BEGINS - you have certainly won back my trust. I’m going to assume that you all now “get it” as well. You don’t need Bat-Happy Meals to have a successful BATMAN film. You don’t have to dumb it down or make is silly or campy. Simply make it “Batman” and it’ll be good, trust me. You did that with BATMAN BEGINS and look at what happened.

Of course, I’ll be here to make sure (~wink~).

Respectfully yours,

P.S. I really wanted to see a "Director's Cut" of BATMAN FOREVER.

"Jett" is the creator and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM and ON-FILM.NET.

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