Following the news that Michael Keaton was returning to play Batman in The Flash, followed by increased speculation that Jeffrey Dean Morgan would reprise his cameo role as Thomas Wayne to play the Flashpoint version of the Caped Crusader, along with the rumors that Warner Bros.’ owners AT&T want Ben Affleck to finally get around to making his own standalone movie, it looks as though Robert Pattinson could be just one of many variations on the Dark Knight set to hit our screens over the next few years.
And given that Batman and the Joker have always been inextricably linked across every imaginable form of media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there could also be multiple versions of the Clown Prince of Crime existing at the same time, too. Joaquin Phoenix might reprise his Academy Award-winning performance as Arthur Fleck in a standalone sequel, Jared Leto’s divisive interpretation looks to factor heavily into the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad, and Matt Reeves’ proposed trilogy is widely expected to have a Joker of its own.
The revelation that the DCEU is fully embracing the multiverse has presented almost limitless storytelling opportunities, and Warner Bros. are said to be keen to load The Flash with as many high-profile cameos as possible. We’ve already heard that Nicolas Cage’s Superman is on their wish-list, and we’ve now learned that they want to reunite Keaton with his original arch-nemesis as well.
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According to our intel – which comes from the same sources that told us Justice League Dark and Green Lantern shows are heading to HBO Max, which we now know to be true – the studio are interested in having Jack Nicholson return as his Jack Napier version of the Joker. Nothing’s been confirmed just yet, but they’re hoping to start negotiations in the near future, with the plan being for the Clown Prince to be alive and well in this new timeline and locked up in Arkham.
Jack Nicholson may be one of the greatest actors that’s ever lived, but he’s also very much a retired one, and hasn’t made an onscreen appearance in ten years. It’s going to be tough then for WB to convince him to return – even if it’s just a quick cameo – but it also goes to show how high the studio are setting their sights in trying to establish the DCEU’s multiverse as a big deal with The Flash.