The news that Warner Bros. were planning to move forward with two separate and distinctly different Batman franchises didn’t come as much of a surprise, when it was confirmed a long time ago that Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves’ reboot exists in its own corner of the mythology, and the mainline DCEU was never going to sideline a character as popular as the Dark Knight.
However, it did come as a shock when it was revealed that the shared universe’s canonical Caped Crusader wouldn’t be Ben Affleck as everybody had been expecting, but Michael Keaton’s veteran Bruce Wayne. Of course, the internet went into meltdown when it was first announced that the star of Tim Burton’s movies was returning for The Flash, and he’d even reportedly signed a multi-picture contract for good measure.
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The idea of the DCEU’s resident Batman being a guy in his 70s is certainly a different approach to the character, one that will see him operate in a mentor role to the younger superheroes, and we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Affleck would be returning in The Flash long before it was confirmed – that Keaton’s gravitas will be used in a number of upcoming Batman-adjacent projects within the DCEU.
This will obviously include the long-rumored Batman Beyond as well as Batgirl, which was dropped by Joss Whedon but still exists out there somewhere in development hell, with Birds of Prey and The Flash writer Christina Hodson the last name attached to the script. Which other projects he could appear in remains unclear, but with the DCEU set to expand onto HBO Max as well, any lower-level heroes could hugely benefit from the rub that comes with Keaton’s presence as he looks to establish himself as Batman once more, 30 years after he last suited up.