It’s already happening.
And what exactly is “It?” Shouts of “The marketing for THE DARK KNIGHT sucks” is what “It” is. All this worry over a movie that will not be released until July 18, 2008 -- a little over a year from now.
So what’s the deal here? Why are some Batman fans up in arms over the promotion of TDK? Well, there are two reasons. One, there is a misconception that BATMAN BEGINS was not marketed properly. Sans the major misstep of not having a big presence at the San Diego Comic Con in 2004, BEGINS‘ marketing was superb. And if I get one more email saying telling me that BEGINS should have been promoted like FANTASTIC 4, I’m going to loose it!
However, there is a even bigger reason that a few Bat-fans are tripping out right now: IRON MAN.
IRON MAN is yet another Marvel-based film and one that is set to hit theaters next summer -- which just so happens to be when TDK will be released. Already, there is an IRON MAN website up and running, director Jon Favreau blabs his ass off over on his MYSPACE.COM page, and -- undoubtedly the most important reason among panicked Bat-fan boys -- is the fact that Paramount has already released official pictures from the film. One of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, and another of Iron Man himself.
Consequently, knee-jerking screams of “Show us a picture of the damn Joker” can be heard throughout message boards around the globe.
Look here people, Batman is much, MUCH bigger than Iron Man. Just about everyone knows who Batman is, but the same cannot be said for Marvel’s Iron Man. Marvel and Paramount have to sell this film to the mainstream movie audience -- much more than DC/Warner Bros. have to for THE DARK KNIGHT. Thus, the IRON MAN website, MYSPACE blogs, pictures, etc.
Plus, be honest here. A lot of it has to do with YOU simply wanting to see pictures, not how TDK is marketed.
So, my fellow Bataholics, relax.
Now with that said, let me do a little public lobbying on your behalf.
To my friends at Warner Bros., let me remind y’all that Comic Con International 2007 in San Diego is only a little over 2 months away. With all due respect, it was a major screw up not doing more with BEGINS there three years ago. I’m sure you all remember all the hoopala that SPIDER-MAN 3 stirred up last year, right? I believe TDK will be shooting in Chicago this summer, so there shouldn’t be a problem in having a large contingent of the cast and crew there, correct?
Bottom line, TDK absolutely must be there and be BIG there as well.
Secondly, get that website up and running, OK? Even if it’s just a logo for the film, at least it’s something. Perhaps even throw up a MYSPACE page as well -- you do it for all your other films. Make no mistake, people -- and I mean A LOT of people -- will check it out.
Finally, let me address a picture of The Joker as that is what everyone wants to see.
I know, I know, I wrote a whole op-ed banging the drum NOT to reveal him so soon, and I still believe that. However, that doesn’t mean that a picture of The Joker -- one in which really doesn’t show The Joker -- can’t be released, you know what I’m sayin’?
Now, would I make public a full-on pic of Heath Ledger in his Joker gear? No, wait on that as long as possible. But I’d certainly toss something out there for us fans -- it’ll only work us up even more! Like I said, show us The Joker without showing us “The Joker.”
So Batfans, chill, OK? It will all be good in due time. And Warner Bros., please make sure that “due time” comes a tad sooner than later.
"Jett" is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.