The DC Extended Universe might be going towards a future which will have not one but three different versions of the Batman. What are they and where do they fit? Will having three different Batmen somehow end up creating a mess the DCEU may or may not be able to get out of? The Flash movie will feature Michael Keaton. It has been recently reported that Ben Affleck is also set to return to the Flash movie. Robert Pattinson is already busy playing the younger Batman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Things are starting to look a little confusing. We need to have a straight answer. The DCEU might be taking a risky gamble here. Let us take a step back and try to make sense out of this situation. It is time we have a plausible explanation regarding the roles of Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, and Robert Pattinson are supposed to fill for the DCEU’s future.
The notion of three different Batmen does sound a bit crazy. But the year 2021 will be somewhat of a conundrum if you are a DC Fan. Affleck is coming back while Keaton has already been roped in. Robert Pattinson is also joining the fray. All the three actors will be potentially playing Bruce Wayne on screen. Like there have been many different versions of James Bond and Doctor Who, there are many different iterations of Batman. But it is the first time we will be seeing three different actors playing the same role in a single live action superhero universe.
Michael Keaton as Batman
Michael Keaton was initially panned by both the critics and the fans to be chosen to play Batman on screen in the 1989 movie. He is now considered to be the best Batman actor to ever exist. Ben Affleck will also be remembered who almost nailed the Batman in the DCEU. No other actors other than Keaton and Affleck have managed to capture the essence of the Dark Night like these two veteran actors have. Robert Pattinson is a newcomer to the mantle. While nobody is denying the guy’s got some mad acting chops, the jury is still out on how well he will be able to fill those big shoes.
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Many were rejoicing when the news came that Michael Keaton will be a part of the Flash movie. He is reportedly playing the role of an elderly Batman. The movie is rumored to be based on the acclaimed Flashpoint story line. In this arc, the Flash travels back in time to change the past and save his mother. While doing so, he unwittingly creates a dangerous ripple effect that drastically changes the future. Superman does not exist. Bruce Wayne is dead. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are almost on the verge of destroying a world that is on the very edge of the abyss.
In the Flashpoint arc, Batman does exist. But instead of Bruce, that burden falls on the shoulders of Thomas Wayne. The Flashpoint Batman, if the rumors are indeed to be trusted, will be played by Michael Keaton. Pattinson on the other hand will be playing the Dark Knight in the upcoming The Batman movie. Affleck will be returning to play the role in the Flash movie as well as Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Ben Affleck as Batman
The first movie Ben Affleck will be playing the part in the near future is Zack Snyder’s Justice League which is slated for release next year on HBO Max. It has been an open secret that the Snyder Verse movies will not be part of the official DCEU line up and now will be interpreted as a standalone trilogy. The Snyder Cut may have lost the ability to influence the larger DCEU but it is still a movie that might end up redeeming the Joss-tice League. Affleck’s brooding Batman from Dawn of Justice will return as a superhero with a re-instilled faith in humanity after Superman’s selfless sacrifice. Zack Snyder’s Justice League will remain a master piece featuring Affleck’s Batman for one of the last times ever in cinematic history.
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Ben Affleck will return again in The Flash movie. According to fan theories, the most obvious explanation to justify his return would be that Affleck’s Bruce Wayne will serve as a mentor figure to the Flash. The Flashpoint story line, if properly incorporated into the script, would lead to Affleck’s Batman and the Flashpoint timeline’s Keaton’s Batman meeting for the first time. This will be the last and final time we will see Batfleck on screen.
Robert Pattinson as Batman
When Matt Reeves agreed to direct The Batman, his vision was to have his own strata of noir flavored detective mystery thriller action in the guise of the superhero genre. He intends to deliver just that with Robert Pattinson as Batman. Pattinson’s Batman will have no continuity connection with the regular DCEU. It will be a sequel set years before the events of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The DCEU is currently focusing on making its own niche by stressing on standalone projects rather than vainly building up a shared superhero universe like the MCU did. As a result, there is a high possibility that Robert Pattinson’s Batman will not even be meeting the other two Batman versions.
Keaton and Affleck are Destined to Meet. Pattinson is Not.
Begrudgingly, we are forced to admit that there is a 99.99 per cent probability that Robert Pattinson’s The Batman will not even make passive references to the DCEU Batman versions of Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. We will not blame Matt Reeves for this. The guy is trying to make something unique here. What will be interesting is the fact that Keaton’s Batman and Affleck’s Batman are all but confirmed to be joining force. Maybe the two will not be seen in the same frame but they will exist in the same movie. The Flash will be the common link between them all.
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Theories suggest that the Flash movie will not be based on an alternate timeline but a future timeline philosophy. The Flash will be accidentally travelling to the future where he will meet Keaton’s Batman, who will be playing an older version of Affleck’s Batman. The DC FanDome event might give us some concrete proof on Andy Muschietti’s plans for bringing the two Batmen together. Maybe Keaton becomes to the DCEU what Nick Fury is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the common link that eventually brings the Justice League together and recreates the DCEU with a better potential for success.