The Batman from DC’s cinematic universe is facing two complications at the moment in terms of story continuity. On the one hand, the actor who’d been playing the role, Ben Affleck, has been replaced by the younger Robert Pattinson. Also, Joker, the origin film about Batman’s arch-enemy that’s winning massive critical acclaim, sets up a Bruce Wayne who’s too young to grow up to become Batman and fight Joaquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime.
Now, a Reddit fan theory has suggested both these facts can be reconciled through some good old fashioned reality-bending time travel, courtesy of the Flashpoint Paradox. Here’s the full theory, provided by u/Fritzson8805:
Flashpoint paradox. The reality created by The Flash going back in time to save his mother from being murdered. Causing many changes to the reality of the DC universe.
The specific change that I mean to presume to connect to the Joker movie, which is obviously based in a darker more brutal universe opposed to the DCEU, is that by the end of the Joker movie, Joker will kill Bruce Wayne. Instead of having Bruce’s parents being the ones to be murdered. Upton his death Thomas Wayne snaps and muders the Joker. Thus becoming this universes version of a brutal Batman who has no problem with killing.
The Flashpoint Paradox is a concept lifted from DC Comics, where the Flash once traveled so fast through time that he ended up dramatically altering reality itself, leading to all kinds of changes to other superhero narratives. It ‘s been strongly hinted that the upcoming standalone Flash movie will make use of this idea to reset the DCEU and introduce new actors in the roles of Superman and Batman while keeping the existing movie versions of Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman.
According to the theory, the Batman played by Ben Affleck had actually been Thomas Wayne this entire time, driven to become the darkest version of the Caped Crusader yet because of the murder of his son Bruce at the hands of Phoenix’s Joker. That would mean Pattinson could then safely be set up as the one true Batman after the Flashpoint Paradox resets the timeline.
It’s not the cleanest solution to the continuity mess that the DCEU finds itself in at the moment, and there’s also the fact that Warner Bros. and Joker director Todd Phillips have repeatedly insisted that the movie is not in any way related to the rest of the movies in the DC Cinematic Universe. Still, that won’t stop fans from continuing to speculate about the ways in which future films in the franchise will unfold and connect with each other.