Michael Keaton returning as Batman highlights DC's new way of thinking
Start the bat signal - Batman is back in action. We're not talking about Ben Affleck's tremendous attitude towards the Caped Crusader, Christian Bales Dark Knight or even Robert Pattinson's brooding Bruce Wayne. We're talking about Michael Keaton's "I can't bend my neck" Batman from Tim Burton's still sensational duo of Batman films.
There are reports of how Keaton started conversations to return as Batman in the upcoming flash movie. In the plot, Ezra Miller's Flash will use his skills to travel 30 years in the past and save his mother. From there he returns to a universe where Keaton's bats act as an aged protector. The Hollywood reporter also claims that the older Batman is featured in the MCU as someone similar to Nick Fury, "something of a mentor or leader or even a string puller".
And how would the flash film do that? Of course, through the multiverse! The upcoming flick will loosely adapt the Flashpoint comic series, which introduced several timelines, including one in which Bruce Wayne was killed in Crime Alley during this notorious incident and his father, Thomas Wayne, became Batman. Instead, the new film seems to replace this idea with Bruce's survival - just a completely different Bruce. To say everything sounds like bat shit would be an understatement.
Enter the multiverse
Since the Justice League has underperformed at the box office, Warner Bros. has taken a completely different approach to its cinematic universe. We saw a joker that has nothing to do with the other films. a Harley Quinn film that manages to be an independent story without being overly committed to the suicide squad; and Shazam !, who managed to feel almost completely separate from everything that came before. The focus seems to be on standalone rather than overarching stories that require a Thanos-sized threat to bring everyone together.
However, this news from Michael Keaton has thrown a Batarang into the works. Yes, DC is likely to continue along the same path - The Suicide Squad and The Batman are loose, if not connected to the other films - but they now have a bizarre way to bring everyone together if they need to: the multiverse.
If Pattinson's Batman is completely independent of Ben Afflecks in the Justice League, The Flash just has to prove that there are multiple timelines, and the two could one day cross. Maybe Joaquin Phoenix's Joker is such a big threat that Bruce Wayne from the universe needs a helping hand - and decides to bring in Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne. He actually needs more help than that, so they recruit Grant Gustins Flash from the TV series - after all, thanks to the Crisis on Infinite Earths saga (which now looks like DC's way), Gustins Flash can already be tested alongside Miller's Flash in the Arrowverse how the audience would react to a mega multiverse).
All in all, the DC, which features a multi-timeline multiverse, is extremely exciting and could lead to incredible crossovers and a narrative through every DC-related film and TV series ever released. And this is where DC could surpass Marvel.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is also about to introduce the multiverse - at least if the title Doctor Strange in the Multiversum of Madness has anything to offer. With the news that Sam Raimi is directing, fans are already hoping that Tobey Maquire will appear as Spider-Man. The multiverse could also be used to include Fox 'X-Men characters who now belong to Disney. However, since Kevin Feige sought a unique narrative across all MCU-related material, we probably won't see too many bizarre crossovers - certainly none that would cause an older character (like Hugh Jackmans Wolverine) to return and become one important part of the MCU.
This approach has certainly worked for the MCU and will continue to work for the MCU. But the idea that DC will try something completely different and that Warner Bros. will use his cinematic legacy to usher in a new age of strange multiverses that could make ridiculous scenarios possible could finally give DC the upper hand. Get Brandon Rouths Superman to fight Henry Cavills Man of Steel!
Read everything we know about The Batman to learn more about Robert Pattinson's attitude to the Caped Crusader
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