The Return of Michael Keaton’s Batman Proves DC Just Wants to Watch the World Burn
In another strange but not undesirable step out of Warner Bros.'s chaotic DC superhero universe, it is reported that Michael Keaton - the best Batman - could return as Dark Knight in the studio's upcoming flash movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
If a deal is made, Keaton would return not only for Flash, but possibly for several other DC-oriented film projects as well. Sources tell THR that the role intended for the seasoned actor is similar to the role that Samuel Jackson plays as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something like a mentor or guide, or even a string puller. Batgirl is one of the projects in development that could fall into this category.
After a series of twists and turns - with overlapping and sometimes independent film universes with multiple batmen and jokers - adding another Batman, played by the man who made the hood famous in 1919, is deeply confusing and unexpected.
It's a strange step from a studio that lacked consistency in its tentpole superhero traits in the 2010s. Let's recap:
In 2013, a year after Christopher Nolan had completed his groundbreaking Dark Knight trilogy, DC launched its new era of interconnected comic films to compete with Marvel's MCU. This consisted of Man of Steel (2013), Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League (2017). During this time, DC introduced both a new Batman (Ben Affleck) and a new joker (Method Actor Jared Leto). But after just two films, the Justice League marked Ben Affleck's last film, and after the disappointing results from DC's first Avenger-like film, the studio changed gear. From there, the next DC superhero films from Aquaman (2018), Shazam! (2019), Joker (2019) and Birds of Prey (2020). Some of them took place in this larger networked universe, others did not. Some of these characters played recurring characters, others new characters, and one an old character played by a new actor who played decades in the past.
From there, DC released a confusing list of films, including Justice League's Snyder Cut, another Batman film with Robert Pattinson, and sequels to Aquaman, Shazam !, and Wonder Woman. Then there's this flash movie that marks the return of Ezra Miller as the title character, and supposedly Keaton, who returns as Batman, but not Affleck as Batman (although Miller and Affleck both played in the Justice League).
I'm not sure how that will work, but I don't care. After the rigid, predictable consistency of the MCU, it's nice to see that DC doesn't give a single fuck! And if it means that Keaton is an old Bruce Wayne, then I won't complain.
Some movie studios just want to see the world burn, and maybe that's fun.
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