How Michael Keaton’s Return as Batman May Reshape the DCEU
For a while, fans were wondering who would be the DCEU’s primary Batman after Ben Affleck exited the franchise. We’d received confirmation that Robert Pattinson would be taking his crimefighting to another Earth within the ever-expanding multiverse. For a while, many fans clung to the chances that Ben Affleck would miraculously change his mind and hop straight back into the cape and cowl, harboring a newfound passion for the role. However, What fans received is a small role reprisal in the upcoming Flash film starring Ezra Miller.
The Flash will mark the return of Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne. This is the first time he is returning to the role since Batman Returns. It got confirmed that Keaton will take over as the Bruce Wayne of the main timeline. They’ve called it the DCEU Earth-1, as the primary universe of the Arrowverse shows is serving as Earth-Prime. It got confirmed during the surprise cameo by Miller in the Crisis on Infinite Earth‘s crossover. He shared a short scene with Grant Gustin‘s Barry Allen, which was a welcome surprise to see the TV and film universes crossover. Nevertheless, The Flash will shake up the DCEU in massive ways, so who knows how long the current multiverse will last.
Barry Allen is set to find some familiar faces in the multiverse and ends up working alongside the Bruce Wayne of Earth-89 at some point in the film. It stumped me a bit trying to put the puzzle together. How could a multiverse film affect the status of the DCEU’s Batman? Luckily, DC is pretty famous for its fascination with resetting their multiverse through Crisis events. A previous report mentioned that Keaton was in talks to stick around the DC universe for a while and take on a Nick Fury-type role. So, he will not have an active role but pull the strings from behind-the-scenes. However, Ben Affleck‘s departure as the caped crusader left a bat-shaped hole that needs filling.
Luckily, the Batman lineage doesn’t end with Bruce, as he has long moved on from his singular crusade. The Bat-Family becoming one of the most prominent groups in comics. So, let’s take a look at who would be the perfect choice to fill that hole. Of course, the most obvious option would be Barbara Gordon, who’s long had a project in the works. Just recently, the project gained steam again. Christina Hodson, the writer behind Birds of Prey, has been actively working on two DC projects. Those are The Flash and, most notably, Batgirl. Naturally, this led to theories that this is no coincidence. It would surely keep things consistent behind the scenes when you’ve got one person hive-minding this shift of power between some of the most iconic characters in comics.
Recently, DC Films’ President, Walter Hamada, mentioned Batgirl alongside Static Shock as two of the riskier films that will be made available via HBO Max. The film seems to still be in development. Also, in the past few years, female-Led superhero projects have changed the game. Batgirl shouldn’t be any different, as she is by far one of the most iconic female superheroes. Hell, why stop at one? As mentioned above, the Bat-Family has become an iconic and integral part of DC. Now that Bruce is seemingly out of the game, he’d make sure Gotham was in the right hands.
As many DC fans know, the introduction of an older Bruce Wayne opens up the potential to a very iconic storyline. It might be the right time to introduce Terry McGinnis to cinema-goers. Many fans have been wishing for a live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond. Many fans are crossing their fingers that Keaton‘s return is a sign that it is finally happening. Love him or hate him, Batman is the heart of DC. He’s an integral part of a universe that spanned decades. The potential and future of this character is bright and will not be ending any time soon.