“The bar is going to be very high for projects to be outside the DCU, the ELSEWORLDS projects.  But every now and then there will be something that lives up to that.”Peter Safran, co-CEO of DC Studios

As a lifelong Batman fan, I am not keen on Batman in sci-fi/fantastical settings and stories.  I prefer dark, serious, and grounded Batman tales (specifically in the comics and live-action films) that take place without The DARK Knight mixing and intermingling with aliens, gods, metahumans, monsters, and superpowered beings.

That’s the way I’ve always been about Batman and always will be.  BUT…

I’m all in on THE FLASH.


Because Michael Keaton returns to the role of Batman for the first time in 30+ years!

Yes, Keaton’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is essentially the co-lead in The Scarlett Speedster’s (Ezra Miller) first big-budget, big-screen, live-action film which means he will be mixing and intermingling with a dude who can run really fast and a female alien from the planet Krypton named Kara Zor-El, AKA “Supergirl.”  Oh yeah, there’s also time travel, alternate worlds/universes, and other Kryptonian aliens in the movie which is a lot of stuff I don’t really care for in my Batman stories.

But I don’t care – I’m all in on THE FLASH.


Because Michael Keaton returns to the role of Batman for the first time in 30+ years!

As excited as I am for Keaton’s Bat-return in THE FLASH, I also find it a bit bittersweet.

Why?  Well

Originally, when Keaton first agreed to join the cast of THE FLASH as Batman/Bruce Wayne back in 2020, it wasn’t meant to be a one-off.  No, he was supposed to become the Batman/Bruce Wayne in a new DC on film universe after THE FLASH reset/rebooted what was previously called the “DCEU.”  Not only did he film THE FLASH, but he went on to shoot an extended cameo in the now-canceled BATGIRL movie.  But once Discovery purchased Warner Bros. from AT&T and then ultimately hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to be the co-CEOs of the newly created DC Studios, almost everything “DCEU” on film/TV that was going to happen under the previous regime (i.e. BATGIRL) was thrown out the window.

Thus, Keaton’s return as Batman in THE FLASH became a one-off.

But does it really have to be?

When James Gunn and Peter Safran revealed the first slate of film and TV projects for the new DCU, they also announced the creation of an ELSEWORLDS banner for DC films/TV projects that are not part of the main shared universe (i.e., JOKER: FOLIE à DEUX, THE BATMAN: PART II).


So my question to Mr. Gunn and Mr. Safran would be…

Y’all created the ELSEWORLDS banner for a reason, right? If so, y’all planning on using it?

The ELSEWORLDS banner is how Michael Keaton can return at some point down the line in an inspired-by adaptation of BATMAN BEYOND or maybe even THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.

Why the hell not?

And frankly, the ELSEWORLDS doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be just for Batman projects as it currently is with the sequels to JOKER and THE BATMAN.  What if a big-time filmmaker — I’m talking about one of the elite directors out there — wanted to make a DC movie but didn’t want to do it within the confines of the DCU’s shared world?  Or they wanted to do an adaptation of something DC like SUPERMAN: RED SON?


Say someone like Damon Lindelof wanted to make prestige series based on KINGDOM COME on HBO ala WATCHMEN?


I think it would be a shame if we didn’t get to see Keaton as Batman again after THE FLASH because the ELSEWORLDS banner makes it possible.  Hopefully, THE FLASH is a huge success, and the audience wants to see Michael Keaton’s Batman return (See what I did there?) in the future.

But at the end of the day, I don’t think Mr. Keaton will return as Batman in a film after THE FLASH, sadly; and I also don’t think the ELSEWORLDS banner will continue once Matt Reeves finishes his THE BATMAN UNIVERSE story.

I hope I am proven wrong.  – Bill “Jett” Ramey