Michael Keaton is taking over from Ben Affleck as the DC Extended Universe’s resident Batman, insider Grace Randolph writes. Set photos from The Flash — reportedly from the tail end of the movie — find Keaton’s Bruce Wayne arriving on the steps of a Central City courthouse, surrounded by reporters and dressed in a flashy navy two-piece. Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen is trudging down in full civilian wear and joined by Kiersey Clemons’s Iris West. A black car reportedly belonging to Keaton’s Batman is parked on the curb. Ben Affleck is nowhere to be seen. You connect the dots.
See Grace Randolph tweeting her thoughts about the Michael Keaton photos below.
The polemical host and founder of YouTube’s Beyond The Trailer made the audacious claim this morning, and she’s not the only one. DC Films President Walter Hamada told Brooks Barnes of The New York Times in December only two Batmen were making it out of Flashpoint alive. The first is Robert Pattinson’s. The second was confirmed by Barnes the following week to be Michael Keaton’s. Bill Ramey of Batman on Film seconded the report. So did Lights, Camera, Pod on Twitter. Warner Bros. also renovated its iconic Studio Tour Hollywood building along Burbank’s Riverside Drive recently, erecting new banners. All current live-action Justice League members (and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn) feature, except for Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman.
Their spots alongside Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman were given to vintage greats Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeve. DC Films is already revamping its marketing scheme, favoring the rebooted timeline going forward, and fans of the Snyderverse are none too happy about it.
Ben Affleck’s Batman is set to make his final appearance in the DCEU in Andy Muschietti’s The Flash — we’ve known this from the start. And all the signs certainly point to the fact. Warner Bros. has been trying to move the franchise away from the characters Zack Snyder originated since Batman v Superman failed company expectations; with Justice League’s four-hour Snyder cut finally out, and Flashpoint already headed for a major franchise-defining overhaul, both parties can finally say their goodbyes. The Prime Universe will persist with Michael Keaton — and Henry Cavill’s as-yet-to-be-revealed Christopher Reeve-esque relief — at the helm, with entirely new visionaries in tow.
As for the Prime Universe’s other key members, Jason Momoa and Zachary Levi (Shazam) are still contracted to appear in their characters’ standalone sequels. Gal Gadot still has a third Wonder Woman feature in the offing, but beyond that, details are fuzzy. Her place as the DCEU’s Prime Diana is assumably in jeopardy in light of her social media comments about the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict; her Wonder Woman still exists in The Flash in the form of a bus poster, but this may have been a scene before Flashpoint, not after. Her role was reportedly recast for the crossover. Aside from Momoa’s Arthur Curry, Ezra Miller’s Barry is the only key Snyder League member scheduled to survive the reboot. Warner Bros. has yet to announce any future projects for Michael Keaton’s Batman, but after today, it’s safe to say they’re being taken care of.
The upcoming live-action movie Flash stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, Ben Affleck as Zack Snyder’s Batman, Michael Keaton as Tim Burton’s Batman, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Maribel Verdú as Barry’s mother Nora, Ron Livingston as Barry’s father Henry, and Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Rudy Mancuso in undisclosed roles. The film, directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Christina Hodson, hits theaters on November 4, 2022.