Robert Pattinson isn't going to be the only Dark Knight in town when The Batman is released, as the plan at DC Films moving forward is to produce not just one, but two separate Batman movie franchises running simultaneously. In a recent interview with The New York Times, DC Films president Walter Hamada spoke about these plans, confirming that a new actor will be brought in to replace Ben Affleck in the DCEU while Pattinson will still play the superhero in unconnected movies of his own.
"I don't think anyone else has ever attempted this," Hamada said of DC Films' plan for bringing two different Batmen to theaters on a consistent basis. "But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it."
It's not surprising to see DC Films heading this way, as Joker certainly proved how much money there is to be made in telling standalone stories outside of the DCEU. That movie came just a few years after Jared Leto debuted as the Joker in Suicide Squad, so the precedent is already there for alternate versions of established characters in the DCEU to get separate movies. The difference here is that Leto's Joker is only showing up for brief special appearances in Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder's Justice League as opposed to getting his own solo movie.
The situation is also reminiscent of the reports that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will be back as alternate versions of Peter Parker in the MCU sequel Spider-Man 3. While this acknowledges the previous franchises featuring both actors, there will still only be just one live-action Spider-Man movie series for the foreseeable future. By contrast, DC Films wants two different versions of Batman to be leading their own live-action movie series with no apparent connections to one another.
In the DCEU, Batman was played by Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. At one point, Affleck was planning to star as Bruce Wayne in his own solo movie, but the actor ultimately chose to retire from the role. Affleck's exit from the DCEU is also what led to The Batman morphing into a self-contained story with a new actor. He will return one last time in the cape and cowl to give his Batman a proper sendoff in The Flash in 2022, which will unite him with former Batman actor Michael Keaton.
If Affleck's replacement will be playing the same incarnation of his Batman in the DCEU, then a solo Batman movie following this version would also be able to bring in other DCEU characters for special appearances. That means we just might see Leto's Joker mingling with Batman for longer than it takes to drink a cup of coffee, or even some of Bruce's superhero pals like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman or Henry Cavill as Superman. Of course, casting the caped crusader might prove to be a challenge, as many DCEU fans enjoyed Affleck's performance and may have some trouble adjusting to a new actor in this particular movie universe.
This news comes to us from The New York Times.