Turn the clock back over a decade ago and the thought of just a single, cinematic universe was enough to get comic-book fans excited!
The prospect of a rich, fleshed out silver screen universe – where your favourite heroes and villains would interact and share adventures was every fanboy/fangirls dream come true! Cut back to the present day and we now have (believe or not) cinematic multiverses…plural!
DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event revealed that the long history of DC movies and television programs as a vast multiverse – literally spanning decades of stories. Marvel have touched on this, but have done so (with pure excellence) with 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Not only that; Marvel Studios Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will expand the MCU’s journey into multiple realities – which will no doubt open the door to new heroes and villains from across Marvel’s catalogue of characters.
But! Back to the DC!…
Warner Bros are adding yet another feather in THEIR “multiverse cap”. The long delayed Flash movie, which has long rumoured to be adapting the popular Flashpoint storyline, has now peaked the interest of many a fan – with the fresh news which has dropped within the past 24 hours…
Batman alum, Michael Keaton is apparently in talks to reprise his fan favourite role as the Dark Knight!
The Snyder Cut of Justice League is apparently (from various online rumours) going to kill Ben Affleck’s rendition of the Caped Crusader, thus opening the door for another, older version of Batman to take his place.
Early rumours suggested that Robert Pattinson’s upcoming portrayel was going to be THAT replacement of Affleck’s character, but if these new reports are to be believed, then Ben Affleck’s multiverse counterpart will indeed be brought into the DCEU as a consequence of the Flash travelling back in time!
Keaton’s role is said to be a Nick Fury inspired role, as the famed detective and tactician will be mentor figure to the DCEU’s heroes, and in true Batman fashion; operate from the shadows and pull the many strings of the DC Universe.
This, on paper, sounds outstanding! One can’t help but think of Iain Glen’s Bruce Wayne, in Titans season 2. In the second series; Bruce acted as the mentor for the Titans and purely operated in the background – never showing his face as either Batman of Wayne – during any conflict. Instead he helped bring the group together, helped mend his relationship with Dick Greyson and operated more as tech support to lend the Titans a helping hand when they needed it.
The popular animated Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited series also portrayed Batman as more of a “part-timer” to the group and would only lend a hand if he needed to. Furthermore, the DC comic universe has also illustrated this standpoint on several occasions – where in the Tower of Babel storyline – he was even kicked out by his fellow JL members.
If this is the future of Batman in the DC Extended Universe, then we’re all for it! It’s clever, it’s in keeping with the character and it brings back a beloved actor who helped modernise the role over 30 years ago.