Could Michael Keaton return to replace Ben Affleck as the regular Batman of the DCEU?
Back last year, the entire DC fanbase was equally shocked and delighted when it was announced that Michael Keaton would be returning once again as Batman for the first time in twenty-eight years. His return is penciled in for the upcoming ‘The Flash‘ movie from acclaimed director Andy Muschietti and once again starring Ezra Miller in the title role.
Ben Affleck will also be reprising the role of the caped crusader for one final time in the movie which will herald the start of the DC Multiverse on the big screen. The plan is said to be part of the plot of the movie seeing Barry Allen (Miller) going back in time to save his mother. But instead, he unleashes an alternate timeline where Keaton’s Batman is still guarding the night from the shadows. Again, the report stated Keaton would play a kind of mentor role similar to Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel Universe.
Now, however, it seems as though Warner Bros. is planning for TWO Batman’s to appear in separate franchises.
The first will focus on Robert Pattinson’s upcoming portrayal as the classic character in Matt Reeve’s ‘The Batman‘, which delivered a killer trailer back in August of last year at DC FanDome. The other is planned to have Keaton as the character to appear not only in ‘The Flash‘ but in essence, to tie the DC Multiverse together in some of the upcoming DCEU movies that are being planned.
Two Dark Knight’s
DC Films President, Walter Hamada dropped quite the tidbit during an interview with The New York Times where he revealed: “Warner Bros. will have two different film sagas involving Batman-played by two different actors-running at the same time”. Robert Pattinson was certainly the first actor in those comments but fans were unsure who exactly the second would be. Could Ben Affleck be returning as The Dark Knight instead of Michael Keaton?
The writer of the article, Brooks Barnes was asked to elaborate as to who the second actor would be via Twitter, he confirmed that it was indeed Keaton who would be the second actor who would be playing Batman.
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) January 2, 2021
A Welcome Return
It certainly sounds as Michael Keaton will be hanging around as Bruce Wayne/Batman for a while after the events of ‘The Flash‘ and that can only be a good thing for the fans. Keaton will bring his incarnation back to the masses once more, even if it is in a smaller, supporting role instead of being the main focus. But can we expect to see him in action as Batman anymore after ‘The Flash‘ opens? Time will tell. I wouldn’t bet against it but you never know.
What is known is that the character of Cyborg won’t appear in any of the Multiverse films in the guise of Ray Fisher. Fisher has stated quite publically that he won’t appear in any DC films while Hamada remains in charge. Especially after the public arguments and claims made by Fisher regarding the making of the Joss Whedon version of ‘Justice League‘. And it appears there is no way back for him in regards to the Multiverse that is on the horizon. Again, you can never say never but it is completely unlikely that Fisher will return, giving the makers a chance to recast the role, using the Multiverse angle as the perfect way to do so.
But no matter who appears and who doesn’t, nothing can distract from the fact that Michael Keaton is returning once again as Batman. And that will not only make the fans sit up and take notice but it will almost certainly guarantee that when the film opens, the multiplexes will be full to the brim with fans and non-fans alike. All queuing to witness the return of arguably the best incarnation of the character to grace the screen.
Production of ‘The Flash‘ is expected to start sometime in the spring ahead of a November 4th, 2022 worldwide release.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!