Brett Ratner vs. Comic Book Fans (A Friendly Response)

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

Have you ever wanted to look deep into the dark recesses of a comic book movie director’s mind – nay – heart? You don’t have to look much further than the interview recently held with director Brett Ratner. The Q&A session was mostly a junket to build hype for Ratner’s upcoming film The Shooter Series, but also touched on Beverly Hills Cop 4 and his thoughts on comic book fans, and it’s that last part I want to focus on.

There are sites out there (that we are most certainly friends with and fans of) that regularly rip Ratner and his films a new one. So I’m going to preface this article by saying that if you search Screen Rant you’ll find that while we may not be his biggest fans, we haven’t jumped on the “‘Brett Ratner sucks’ bandwagon” in our coverage of him or his films.

The interview is standard fare for the first part – with Ratner praising himself and all he has done. But soon enough the focus turns toward his work on X-Men 3: The Last Stand and all the flak he took from comic book fanboys for helming what many consider to be the worst installment of the trilogy. It is at this point Ratner’s true feelings towards his highly critical audience come out and the confession isn’t pretty. In fact, it should make every person that ever had a critical comment to make towards any of his movies stand up and thrust forth the proverbial finger and say “Spin on this Captain Franchise Killer!”

I’ll start with the question asks Ratner, give a bit of his answer and then I’ll respond to his remarks. You can head over to for the entire lengthy interview. : You mentioned X-Men. Is the comic book fan the hardest demographic to please? If you look at the numbers: Bryan Singer‘s X-Men made $157 Million, X-Men United made $214 million and your X-Men: The Last Stand made $234 million. Yet that group wasn’t particularly happy.”

Ratner: “Absolutely. Bryan Singer gave me the best advice when I was doing “X-Men 3,” Bryan is a really good friend of mine. Bryan said, “Whatever you do, do not read the Internet.” I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “First of all, they hated on me the whole time I was making ‘X-Men’ and ‘X-Men 2.’ They said, ‘Gambit should have been the star of the movie'” They’re such rabid fans, they’re so passionate about their comic book characters that they think that their favorite character should be the star of the movie. Someone might be passionate about Iceman being the star. So, you can’t win. Everyone’s going to have their own so just stay away from their opinion and do what you feel’s best.”

Me: First off, I’m glad that Ratner clarifies that he and Bryan Singer are good friends, nothing like a good name drop and “nudge-wink-nudge” to validate the comments you are about to say. Yes we did “hate” on Singer the entire time he was making the first X-Men film but not so much with the second one. Singer needed to prove he could pull off a multiple character comic movie film that didn’t look and feel like Batman & Robin. If Singer had failed (which he didn’t), then all of the other comic book movies that came after might never would have materialized. Before X-Men, the only examples “rabid” fanboys had to look to in the comic book movie world were a handful of bad Batman movies (Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman excluded), a very bad Punisher movie and a made-for-TV Spider-Man flick – so excuse us for being overly concerned about X-Men’s transition from page to screen.

Ratner: I kind of made rules for myself. I said to the writers — Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg — I only want to put scenes in this movie that exist from actual comic books. That way I protect myself. Even though I protect myself they’re still saying, “Why the f*ck did [he] kill Professor X?” He died in five different comic books! People are crazy. “Brett Ratner killed Professor X! How dare he do that!” He died in five different comic books and came back!”

Me: First Ratner calls us rabid and passionate fans, implying that we know way more about the comic characters than he does, and then insults us for allegedly not knowing that Professor X has died on more than one occasion? Superman and Robin also died but I don’t see the other directors killing off their major characters. By the way, nice language to use during an interview.

Am I supposed to be impressed that Ratner made rules for himself and then chose to only follow the one where a character dies? He also killed off Cyclops in a manner that is not consistent with the comic stories. I don’t ever remember reading in the comics that Jean rises as the Phoenix, finds Scott by a lake and obliterates his molecules. One could argue that Cyclops did die in Uncanny X-Men #377 while sacrificing himself to save a friend from the villain Apocalypse (special thanks to Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw for pointing that out), and that Ratner simply took creative liberties with said death, but I don’t buy it. I think the “Great Sultan of the Lens” took the cheap way out by tossing Cyclops – a pivotal corner of the X-Universe – on the sideline.

I’m not done with his so called “rules”: Ratner says he we wanted to stay true to the source material from the comic, but then he throws in some throw-away characters and really messes up others. Fanboys gave him mad props for trying to include as many characters as he could – the inclusion of Angel, Beast and Colossus were among our favorites visually, but then he did nothing with them. They were just there to look at and chew up scenery. Some of the worst were Juggernaut, Leech, Siryn and Callisto; he put no thought into translating them from page to screen and for that I call “bull crap” on his “rules”.

(Continue to pg 2. for the “Waffle House” Effect)

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  1. Brett Ratner is the biggest douche and now I kind of dislike singer too. Double douches should be the name of their next movie!

  2. I think you can add Christopher Nolan to that list of actors who can pack a theater just because of their name, at least IMO.

  3. Holy crap. I am officially on the Ratner-bashing bandwagon now. I always gave the guy the benefit of the doubt, you know, he did what he could with the studio pressuring him. Same thing happened to Raimi, and he’s a (fairly) established director.

    But man, this guy is a complete idiot who doesn’t even understand his own arguments. Let’s make something clear: Yes, fans will always whine and moan about little changes. We moaned about Wolverine being the star of the franchise, and the changes to continuity (e.g, Iceman not being one of the first students) but at the end of the day, Singer made a good film regardless of those trivial things.

    ALL the great superhero movies have done it. Batman Begins made Ra’s al Ghul an Englishman, Dark Knight messed with Two-Face’s origin to make the Joker directly responsible, Spiderman replaced Gwen with MJ, etc, etc. But as fans, we can get over those stupid changes if the director can still manage to give us a good, solid film.

    We DON’T CARE about the changes these movies make to our favorite characters nearly as much as we make it sound. But we DO care if we’re handed an incoherent mess of a film.

  4. @Josh

    I agree with your closing paragraph. Well said.


  5. I feel like using an Adrian Cronaur quote right about now. Ratner can lick the sweat off of… yeah.

    Perfect points about the Waffle house effect.

    At this point though, I don’t think that I’ll be interested in seeing any more of Mr Classy’s work.

  6. “I said to the writers — Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg — I only want to put scenes in this movie that exist from actual comic books.”

    That and so many other things were what was wrong with that film. It’s only saving grace is that it wasn’t as bad as X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    But seriously, people like him and Michael Bay who say “man, I don’t listen to the critics, if you listen to the critics it’ll make you crazy” yeah, that’s exactly why you’re still making horribly mediocre if not just plain bad movies. I’m not saying listen to what the internet people b**** about, there is some truth to the fact that obsessed hardcore fans are going to rip you a new one no matter what, but listen to a good critic every now and then, occasionally they have something to say which might help you out.

    There are artists out there (not specifically film makers) who’re struggling to find exposure so they can gage how well their doing with their work, people who strive to find people to comment and criticize their work so that they can grow as artists and here you are with huge blockbusters and you ignore or disregard what people are telling you because you’re afraid they’ll hurt your feelings? Suck it up.

    You know… on the off-chance Brett Ratner actually reads this.

  7. so….much….hate…..must….slap…..Brett Ratner.

    well done Paul, i think need a steak now. (and burn down that waffle house)

  8. Great response Vic! Now you can join all the Ratner bashers over at our place. 😉

  9. I just want to say, the “Storm and Cyclops on the set of X3″ pic and caption were HILARIOUS.

  10. To whom do we toss the kudos for the awesome Photoshop work?

  11. @DanLister

    That would be Paul, the author of this article. :)


  12. @Chiguy – You can thank Kofi for that little addition. It was great.

    @Dan – I did the waffle house photoshop and I can truly say that is the 1st time anyone has used the words “awesome” and “photoshop” together when referring to my work :)

  13. @Paul Young-As a Photoshopper myself, I can appreciate when excellence is achieved…even while secretly mad @ myself for not having come up with it first!

    Rather than getting all sour grapes about it, it’s more adult to acknowledge cleverness and skill in others.

    Bravo again

    I would like YOUR opinion of my Photoshop work; it’s on my website

  14. Brett Ratner is a dill-hole. Only someone as arrogant and egotistical as he is would think that X-Men 3 was a better film than the previous 2. Now I have enjoyed some of Brett’s work (most notably the 1st 2 Rush Hour films), but I seriously think that he is now on my list of directors and actors I refuse to support. Why in the world would he rip the very people that paid good money to see the pile of crap that he released? Does he even think that he might need those fans to support some other film of his in the future? Let’s just all hold our internet hands together and pray, PRAY that no studio executive ever lets this clown NEAR another comic book film. What a moron.

  15. @ Andy S.-Now, now…we must be careful!

    After all, calling Ratner a “moron” and a “dill-hole” might result in a lawsuit of a slanderous nature; after all, the morons and dill-holes of the world might be offended that you would put Ratner in their respective camps!

  16. I’m waiting for him to get his next big blockbuster film and for it to tank hard because he spent most of the production bitching to the press about how “the *censored* people on the *censored* internet all hate on me, but they’ll be eating their *censored* words when I rake in all that mutha*censored* money. *CENSORED*!”

  17. X-men was a hard movie to start from scratch as an origin film like spiderman, punisher, etc. because of all the characters involved and not to mention that would mean leaving out Wolverine or him not being a major part initially so I get that you use the characters and create your own original story around those characters but what Ratner did wasnt true to the characters. Fine make up a whole new story involving those characters or even an adaptation of an existing one but stay true to the characters, Colossus being Russian as one example because I personally dont know of any examples where he ever isnt. Movies are made for people to go see them and if the people seeing them arent happy then whats the point, they wont always be happy with every movie but it doesnt hurt to consider their opinion since thats who you are ultimately making them for.

  18. “I said to the writers — Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg — I only want to put scenes in this movie that exist from actual comic books.”

    Then says:

    “I didn’t read the comic books but it doesn’t matter, the cartoon is the same f*cking thing.”

    –hides face in hands— oy….

  19. Before hand I tolerated him, but now he just seems like a total douche. It’s the fact he seems to think he’s made a film as good as X2 and refuses to own up to the fact he’s made a lot of mistakes.

  20. Lol at zipper stevens…

    I never really liked any of the x-men films anyways so him saying this to me is just hilarious. I think we should play this drinking game… Everytime he swears… Well you know what to do lol. You’d probably forget about him and x3 alltogether by the rime your done.

  21. he’s the hollywood director whore of whores. he’s about one step ahead of uwe ball.

  22. If you strip away the self-aggrandizing and ego tripping, (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this), Ratner actually has a good point buried in there.

    You can never win in a creative endeavor by always trying to please people, let alone fans. The best you can do is to please yourself as an artist first, and then hope for the best. If it’s an adaptation, the artist has to be left alone to discover the soul of the work in order to portray it properly.

    If Ratner was making a statement about all fans, then he does it with too broad a brush. If he was talking about a particular type of fan, then he’s actually on the money.

    Hasn’t anyone else visited the boards over at AICN? There are “fans” over there that are certifiable!

  23. I will add without any hesitation that Ratner wouldn’t know the soul of an artist if someone threw one in his lap.

    He has a point, but like blind squirrels and all…

  24. I think X3 might have been a good movie if they just ttook out the cure storyline and concentated on the Phoenix saga .

  25. I love how (from reading the interview in full) that he is above criticism.

    To me he seems in love with himself, and that his movie is the best of the best comic book movie.

    A long time ago I could settle for this being a ok adaptation of a comic book, but things like The Dark Knight, Iron man, and even the Incredible hulk can proved that a amazing comic book movie is not only possible, but now common.

    The movie is just plain horrible despite the good cast!

  26. That was way too long an article to basically state you don’t like Ratner and X3..


  28. @greenknight – I actually didn’t state either comment in the article. I merely addressed his remarks. I don’t hate Ratner but I think his attitude in this interview is ridiculous and it would serve him right to fail at his next fan boy geared movie. As for X3, I found it to be like Blue Cheese, moldy yet edible to a point, too much at one time will make me sick.

  29. No Paul is right. He’s a total fricking douche for acting that way and saying those things. No need to defend your comments Paul. Ratner is a stuck up jerk!