Tag: who is playing batman in the new flash movie
Why are there two Batman actors in The Flash movie? Among upcoming DC movies, the Scarlet Speedster’s solo film has found itself cursed with shifting release dates and constant director departures like few superhero movies have faced. Or rather, that used to be the case, until a string of developments from the boarding of director Andy Muschietti to some genuinely unexpected casting announcements came along.
Going by the latest news surrounding The Flash movie, it’s hard to believe that it was once the poster child for the well-known developmental problems the DCEU's films have experienced in the past few years. One need look no further than the first day of DC FanDome for evidence of how much trend has now clearly reversed, but the extent to which The Flash has roared back to life is astounding by any measure. Moreover, the multiple Batman actors appearing in the movie is an obvious red flag of much larger plans for DC’s theatrical and televised future.
The Flash is reportedly set to draw elements from the Flashpoint comic book story, in which Barry Allen’s ability to time-travel plays a central role. However, the movie is going a step further by diving into the Multiverse of DC, while the distinction between the film being “inspired by” rather than “adapted from” Flashpoint is a key one for this conversation. With an alternate Batman being featured in Flashpoint alongside Bruce Wayne, it makes sense that The Flash movie will pull a similar trick with its two confirmed Batmen, while the fact that they will be portrayed by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton shows that the film is very likely the most important upcoming pillar of where things are headed for DC’s Multiverse.
Ben Affleck’s Return As The DCEU’s Main Batman In The Flash Explained
In a year that has been packed with practically non-stop surprises for all things DC, the news that Ben Affleck will reprise his role as the DCEU’s Batman in The Flash was a development that was, to put it lightly, shocking. Constant rumors of Affleck’s imminent DCEU departure had long been the elephant in the room for the franchise until he finally made it official in early 2019. With Affleck’s Batman days having seemingly been behind him, his return is all the more significant for The Flash.
Andy Muschietti would confirm at DC FanDome that Barry’s suit in the movie will be designed by Bruce Wayne. With The Flash being inspired by Flashpoint as opposed to a direct adaptation of it, this offers some evidence that the role of Affleck’s Batman could be somewhat larger than, or at least different from, that of Bruce book-ending the story in the comics. Of course, Affleck’s Batman will probably be less front and center to the film as was the case for his Batman v Superman and Justice League roles. With that being said, considering the well-known back-and-forth of Affleck’s earlier departure, the fact that he’s appearing at all, in addition to his Batman designing Barry’s new suit, also indicates there’s more to the complete picture of his role in The Flash then has been made public, especially with what else is known about the movie, along with who else is in it.
The DCEU Multiverse & The Flashpoint
The past few months has seen great emphasis placed on DC’s film and television properties all co-existing within a Multiverse. The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event was a central component of this, bringing in references and plugs to as many DC movies and TV shows as possible, including a scene of Ezra Miller’s Flash coming face-to-face with Grant Gustin’s. Miller had previously described The Flash as acting as the doorway to the “speedster multiverse", while DC FanDome itself would even devote an entire panel to DC as a Multiverse.
Going back to Flashpoint, the story involves Barry Allen traveling back in time to prevent the murder of his mother Nora Allen at the hands of the Reverse-Flash, with this change making severe alterations to the timeline. Due to The Flash being its own version of Flashpoint without being a straight-up page-to-screen adaptation, this means that while elements of time-travel and the Speed Force are sure to be integral aspects of the movie, it’s also more open-ended as to how it will incorporate an actual Flashpoint on Barry’s part along with DC’s larger Multiverse. However, there is one component of the movie that makes its place in DC’s overall pantheon much clearer.
Michael Keaton’s Batman Return In The Flash Movie
However surprising Ben Affleck’s return as Batman in The Flash may have been, the idea of Michael Keaton also returning was a development that wasn’t even on the radar. The exact nature of what role Keaton’s incarnation of Batman will play in the movie isn’t entirely clear, though there have been rumors of him taking on a Nick Fury-esque role in the DCEU. At the same time, an adaptation of Batman Beyond could easily be set-up with Keaton's appearance functioning as a kind of backdoor pilot. Still, just as important as what role Keaton’s Dark Knight has to play in The Flash is what his appearance in the movie means for DC as a Multiverse.
By bringing Keaton’s Batman back decades after he was last seen in Batman Returns, coupled with the events of Crisis On Infinite Earths, the canonicity of every DC film and TV adaptation within the Multiverse is now set in stone. They may not all be canon within each other’s respective realities, a point demonstrated by Batman Forever and Batman and Robin now being detached from Keaton’s Batman films, but that’s ultimately irrelevant. If the Michael Keaton Batman can not only return but be seen in a movie featuring characters from a completely separate continuity, there’s now nothing to say that the same can’t happen with characters from other realities of DC’s Multiverse, and naturally, this extends to other Batman actors.
Other Batman Actors Who Could Return In The Flash Movie
Now that The Flash movie is populated by not one but two formerly retired Batman actors, the film has taken on an almost “Into the Spider-Verse with The Caped Crusader”-quality in how central the Multiverse is to its story. With Affleck and Keaton back, The Flash can now pull in any other Batman actors it wants. The only question is what role they would serve to the story, and would the actors, and possibly filmmakers, connected to them be up for it.
Theoretically, Val Kilmer’s Bruce Wayne could make his own return, especially with his Batman now known to be his own entity from Keaton’s. Affleck’s Dark Knight being in The Flash also opens the door for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who appeared briefly as Thomas Wayne in the opening of Batman v Superman, to portray the Batman from the new reality Barry inadvertently unleashes in Flashpoint. Christian Bale and Robert Pattinson are probably off the table due to the grounded and standalone approach of The Dark Knight trilogy under Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman. For Bale and Pattinson, a possible glimpse at footage from either one’s movies seen in the Speed Force is probably the extent of how they might realistically be referenced, and even that’s a toss-up, particularly in Bale’s case. Kilmer and George Clooney playing the same Batman would also likely write-off any possible appearance by the latter, though if there's a desire to reference his Bruce Wayne as well, making Kilmer and Clooney two parallel versions of Bruce Wayne would only be a retcon away.
When it comes to the future of DC on film and TV, there’s no doubt that The Flash will be as critical to rolling out DC’s Multiverse on the big-screen as Crisis On Infinite Earths was on the small screen. The surprise of both Affleck and Keaton’s versions of Batman appearing in the movie has also put it under the collective microscope of fans and the media alike. Given how well-documented the difficulties experienced in getting The Flash movie off the ground are, the fact that it is now not only a foundational building block for DC's Multiverse but has also brought two Batman actors out of retirement is an epic irony if ever there was one.
Next: All 29 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films
Key Release Dates
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)Release date: Dec 25, 2020
- The Suicide Squad (2021)Release date: Aug 06, 2021
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 21, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
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Tag: who is playing batman in the new flash movie