Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav touches upon the DCU in a recent conversation where he confirms going forward there will not be multiple versions of Batman.
“I think over the next few years, you’re going to see a lot of growth and opportunity around DC, there’s not going to be four Batmans… And so part of our strategy is [to] drive the hell out of DC, which James and Peter are going to do. I think they’ve thrilled the fans. I think they’re going to thrill you over a period of time,” Zaslav said via THR.
Presently, there is the Robert Pattinson Batman as part of the Matt Reeves projects; there is the Ben Affleck Dark Knight from the Zack Snyder movies who will be appearing in both The Flash and Aquaman 2, and there is also Michael Keaton Caped Crusasder who was supposed to appear in Batgirl and is also appearing in The Flash, and then there is Iain Glen who also played Bruce Wayne in Titans.
So according to Zaslav, they are going to whittle down all the versions of Batman where Zaslav also said the new co-heads of the DCU, James Gunn and Peter Safran, are “coming close to the end” of finishing a bible for DC.
Zaslav also said that DC is a “hugely undervalued asset,” adding that “Disney did a wonderful job with Marvel. But if you looked at Marvel and DC ten years ago, you would have said DC is as good or better. But Marvel is a connected universe. It has a ‘bible.’ The key was having one person following everything. All of Marvel is one place. You don’t wake up and find that there has been a Batman TV show someplace.”
Zaslav continued, “DC is one of the biggest opportunities this company [has]. Our company is a creative company and so we found two great guys. You will see a lot of growth around DC. We haven’t done a Superman movie in 13 years.” The idea is “to drive the hell out of DC, which is what they are going to do.”
Who will be the new Batman going forward?
There actually recently was a rumor that Zaslav wants to phase the Robert Pattinson Batman out of the DC films, that once Matt Reeves is done with his new Trilogy, that Pattinson will no longer be Batman.
However, there have also been rumors stating just the opposite, that Zaslav wants to bring in the Pattinson Dark Knight to the DCU.
I know the original plan before Man of Steel was to have the Henry Cavill Superman spearhead a Justice League universe where a Batman in his year two would star in his own movie called The Batman, which would lead to solo Justice League movies and a big Justice League flick.
We now know they went back to that original idea in part with Reeves and Pattinson.
If I had to guess, I could see maybe two versions of Batman remaining: The Robert Pattinson Batman and whoever James Gunn and Peter Safran decide upon. But I’m doubting it’s Michael Keaton.
Reeves has big plans for his universe, involving The Batman 2, and spinoffs for Penguin, the Gotham PD, and Arkham Asylum. I can’t see Zaslav throwing that all away.
Zaslav already canceled Batgirl featuring Keaton and Aquaman 2 has been reshot to replace Keaton with Affleck, so it seems as if Keaton is out the door (he’s 71).
Regarding Ben Affleck sticking around as Batman, it could definitely be a possibility. Affleck departed the role due to problems from the previous regime at WB, but now that Zaslav, Gunn, and Safran are in charge, and Affleck is coming back (so is Henry Cavill as Superman), maybe Affleck will be the DCU’s Batman of choice once again.