When DC Films president Walter Hamada recently confirmed that the studio’s plan is to develop two distinct and completely different Batman franchises, most people assumed that meant Robert Pattinson and Ben Affleck would be leading the way. After all, Pattinson presumably signed a multi-picture contract when he boarded Matt Reeves’ reboot, while Affleck has always been the DCEU’s canonical Caped Crusader.
However, yesterday brought reports that Michael Keaton would be the main timeline’s resident Dark Knight, which throws up a number of questions. The most obvious one is how Warner Bros. plan to move forward on a Batman series with a leading man who turns 70 years old next year, unless of course it means those rumors about Affleck failing to survive The Flash are true.
No offense intended to Keaton in the slightest, but it would take some stretch of the imagination for a man of his age to convince as a battle-ready superhero, especially when you can guarantee the studio has no intention of relegating the Caped Crusader to the sidelines and using him as a supporting player or mentor figure when he’s their most marketable asset by far.
One definite possibility that the fans would love to see is an adaptation of Batman Beyond, and as soon as the news broke that Keaton was going to be the main man, the internet was already demanding that the cult favorite version of the character get the big screen treatment.
I’ve always said I would love to see Michael Keaton as an older Batman’s for a Batman Beyond pic.twitter.com/L1vCNVTMSW
— Robert Neary (@Robertneary) January 4, 2021
They better be going the Batman Beyond route because having a 70 yr old Bruce still going the thing seems like a bad idea. https://t.co/3oEV34pDKa
— Lance Cote-Tenasco ™ (@Lancecote) January 4, 2021
Hot take: "The Batman" is actually Batman Beyond as previously theorized, Robert Pattinson could actually be Terry McGinnis, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, and this has all just been a big ruse. *holds breath for title change on IMDB*
— Psychotacon (@Psychotacon) January 4, 2021
Has to be Batman Beyond. I will miss him as Vulture though.
— JeebusSkyburger (@JeebusSkyburger) January 4, 2021
Apparently I'm a wizard since yesterday I literally said, the fact that WB and DC has no Batman Beyond is evidence of their bad management.
I spoke it into existence. https://t.co/OaIKD8yLQO
— Shillagan (@Shillagan) January 4, 2021
We need a live action Batman Beyond. The Bat-signal has been lit and Michael Keaton has answered twice before. pic.twitter.com/PgPHhZikHE
— ShyGuyBeing (@ReservedFellow) January 4, 2021
Hell, I’d be game for an aged “Batman Beyond” style Bruce Wayne played by Michael Keaton. It could be great to see him return to play a unique character. But if he’s supposed to fit in with the rest of the cast of “Justice League” then all I can picture this being is awkward.
— Evan Monroe (@EvanMonroe12) January 4, 2021
Michael Keaton as an older Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond would be cool.
But imagine if we had gotten the Batman Beyond movie years ago, with Clint Eastwood playing him. #whatmighthavebeen
— MoviesPlease (@moviespleaseyt) January 4, 2021
I’m sincerely hoping the Michael Keaton Batman announcement means my dreams of an early aughts futuristic techno rave, Matrix-y Batman Beyond show or movie is FINALLY en route. Gimme Zeke in The Faculty style teen angst Batman, prettypleasekthxbai pic.twitter.com/NAXPFuOZqi
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) January 4, 2021
Batman : Beyond Retirement
— Gurykopolum (@gurykopolum) January 4, 2021
If Warner Bros. do head down the Batman Beyond route, then that presents an easy out to the Keaton situation. Terry McGinnis could be the one battling bad guys on the streets of Gotham, and it would still allow Bruce Wayne to remain a prominent part of the mythology without the senior citizen having to get his hands dirty. For now, though, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.