Michael Keaton’s reported casting for Flashpoint changes the landscape for the DCEU. Which alternate versions of Batman could we see on screen? Time to play the speculation game.
The Batfleck rumors are starting to make sense now.
Soon after the Snyder cut of Justice League was announced, there was an interesting rumor that ATT/Time-Warner executives wanted Ben Affleck to return to the role of Batman. It just didn’t add up. Matt Reeves’ The Batman with Robert Pattinson as Batman is currently filming. Obviously, the studio is not going to cancel production just to make a new Batfleck movie. Then came the word that Warner Brothers is in talks with Keaton to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne. That means we are getting alternate versions of Batman on the silver screen. If Keaton can return to the role in the DCEU, there is room for Affleck under the cowl, too.
All this leads me to today’s topic: what other versions of Batman could be in the works for the DCEU? At this point, everything is fair game, so let the speculation begin.
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
Some fans may scoff at the idea, but hear me out.
First of all, we know that Flashpoint will have at least one alternate version of Batman. After all, Ezra Miller comes from the world of Batfleck, so casting Michael Keaton clearly establishes other continuities. With the DC Multiverse being explored, who is to say that Flash won’t open the door to the Dark Multiverse?
DC has been force-feeding readers the Batman Who Laughs since his introduction. He’s become the resident cash cow, and ATT/Time-Warner may be looking to use his popularity to boost ticket sales for Flashpoint. Adding the BWL as an antagonist for Flash and Batman would generate huge amounts of buzz, and it would be something we haven’t seen in the MCU.
Next to the Thomas Wayne Batman, which I covered in “Did Michael Keaton Open the Door for Flashpoint Batman?,” this is the most obvious choice. Last year, director and comic alum Kevin Smith suggested WB should cast Keaton as Bruce Wayne for a live-action Batman Beyond. At the time, it seemed like an interesting idea, but nothing the studio appeared to be taking seriously. Now that Keaton is in talks to return to the role, the idea has more validity. Obviously, the 68-year-old actor won’t be donning the cape and cowl, so he likely will be a mentor figure. This would be the perfect way to introduce him into that role.
Owlman is another far-fetched idea, certainly, but it could happen. Having Flash traverse the Multiverse opens the door for any possibility, and we could see the Crime Syndicate. Even if we don’t see the entire group, Owlman could be introduced on his own as a worthy adversary. Again, if Flash is exploring other realities, it would be logical for him to find evil versions of the Dark Knight.
BATMAN OF ZUR-EN-ARRH
If you haven’t read Batman: Rest in Peace, you are missing out on a great story. While the original Batman of Zur-En-Arrh idea was hatched in 1958, Grant Morrison scraped away the cheese and made this a very cool element of the plot.
As far as the upcoming Flash movie, I see this as a possibility because it is such a weird, campy idea. Since we’re going to see Ezra Miller’s comedic take on Flash from Justice League, it is safe to say this will be an action-comedy along the lines of Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok. I can’t see the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh occupying much screen time, but a funny cameo as Flash makes his way across the Multiverse would make for cheap laughs.
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