(UPDATED 1/5/2021 at 8:10 AM CT)
Many outlets (including BOF) ran a report (see below) in regards to Mr. Brooks Barnes’ Tweet about Michael Keaton’s return as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Mr. Barnes then took to Tweeter to clarify what he wrote in the NYT article and what he said in the aforementioned tweet. To be fair, I’m posting his update below…
Been offline (moving apartments) and return to see this Michael Keaton craziness. I was referring to the *one film* that Keaton has been announced as being in, not a set of his own Batman films. If I had info on him beyond “The Flash,” I would have obviously put it in my article
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) January 5, 2021
He’s saying that he’s only talking about Keaton in THE FLASH.
However, that doesn’t mean that Warner Bros. doesn’t have plans for an alternate Batman on film series in addition to Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN (starring Robert Pattinson) that will feature Keaton as an aged Bruce Wayne in a riff off of BATMAN BEYOND. I’ve heard and said that for months as have several other people/outlets/websites/pundits who are in the know/well connected.
As far as Ben Affleck’s future as Batman, there doesn’t appear to be one. He walked away from the role — as well as writing/directing a solo Batman film — years ago now. Yes, he worked a few days on the additional photography for HBO Max’s ZSJL and he’ll do the same for THE FLASH — the latter of which will finally give him the cool way to segue out of the role that he previously desired. It’s Keaton and his Batman/Bruce Wayne who is a major character in THE FLASH (Hell, they’re essentially turning it into a Batman movie!), while Affleck’s part is what has been described as a “glorified cameo.” Speaking of Mr. Affleck…
Don’t confuse me saying that I don’t believe he’ll ever play Batman again (i.e. in an HBO Max miniseries based on his version of THE BATMAN) as being a “hater.” While fanboys were taking to the streets in protest when it was announced he had been cast as Batman back in 2013, I was very happy with the news — especially the prospect of him directing a solo Batman movie. In fact, I’ve thought Ben would make a great Batman as far back as the late 1990s when there was talk of rebooting the Batman on film franchise with an adaption of BATMAN: YEAR ONE. And yes, I was bummed out when he left the role and directing THE BATMAN. Even though I didn’t much care for the depiction of The Dark Knight in BATMAN v SUPERMAN, I thought BA gave one of his best performances as an actor in it and I still very much wanted to see his solo movie.
We’ll talk more about all of this on the next episode of the Batman On Film Social Hour. Stay tuned! The original report is below. – Bill “Jett” Ramey
The point takes a bit to get to, but stay with me, OK? Here we go…
In a recent interview with THE NEW YORK TIMES, DC Film president Walter Hamada told the piece’s author, Brooks Barnes, that going forward, there will be two live-action Batman film series on the big screen at the same time. Here’s a blurb from the interview…
Coming up, for instance, Warner Bros. will have two different film sagas involving Batman — played by two different actors — running at the same time.
If you’ve paid attention to BOF via the website, vlogs, etc., (and other sane outlets/people online as well) — since Michael Keaton signed on to be in THE FLASH, the plan was for him to become the “DCEU” Batman/Bruce Wayne. Ben Affleck is also showing up in THE FLASH as his version of Batman (or at least Bruce Wayne), but I’ve long been told (as have others) that it’s simply a “glorified cameo” and finally, his “cool way to segue out of the role.”
BOF knew about this for a while now, but I kept it on the down and low out of respect for the studio, filmmaker, and Keaton, of course. I can say that I was told by several sources who are privy to the project that Keaton’s older Bruce Wayne will essentially become the revamped DCEU’s version of the character. This could lead to a spinoff where he takes on a young protege to succeed him as Gotham’s protector…Batgirl, perhaps?
Media personality Néstor Bentancor flat-out asked (via Twitter) the aforementioned Mr. Brooks who would be the other Batman on film in addition to THE BATMAN series’ Robert Pattinson who confirmed that it was, indeed. Michael Keaton. Here you go…
Hi @brooksbarnesNYT. Based on your Hamada piece, some have interpreted that WB is doing 2 franchises starring Batman, one with Pattinson, one with a new actor. Is that correct, or you were referring to Keaton as a second Batman, being part of a non-Batman-centric saga? Thank you!
— Nestor Cine (@NestorCine) January 2, 2021
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) January 2, 2021
So that, is THAT. Probably…
ALSO READ: BOF’s Everything About THE BATMAN Page
What I’ve been told, Keaton will play an older (obviously) version of Batman/Bruce Wayne who will mentor a protege/successor in films that are a riff on BATMAN BEYOND, as well as possibly appear in other DCEU films.
As THE FLASH is fixin’ to get going soon in terms of production/filming, expect more info on Keaton’s return to Batman on film shortly. – Bill “Jett” Ramey