Info has been trickling out of the Batgirl set ever since it began filming in Glasgow, Scotland. Not only did fans get to see the existence of a Boy Wonder in the DC Extended Universe, but Batman himself. Other leaks showed cool props, such as one referencing Batman villain, Hugo Strange, and another magazine prop about Lex "Luther" and his time in Arkham Asylum.
It's only expected that more would leak from the set of Batgirl, but this new leak has at least one heavy implication for the DCEU moving forward. Not only does it put Micheal Keaton's Batman presence into perspective, but how he and his world will be integrated into this cinematic universe moving forward.
Leak Shows Micheal Keaton's Penguin Lives?
In a now-deleted tweet, one U.K. Twitter user, @the_iain_shaw, showed a newspaper prop found on King St in Glasgow, where Batgirl is filming. His original tweet read, "It's amazing - I found a Gotham Globe on the pavement on King St last week. Gotham litter."
As the user noted, not only does the newspaper belong to the Gotham Globe, but it appears to be the same Gotham Globe that appeared in the Tim Burton films starring Michael Keaton, using the same logo.
The cover story for this Batgirl newspaper is "Lex Luther Jailed In Belle Reve Prison," but the actual article is generic placeholder text, as the beginning of the piece repeats itself in the last sentence. In addition, another headline can be seen bleeding through the pages, "Lois Lane Speaks Out," visible behind the Gotham Globe logo.
However, the most revealing headline, barely discernible at the very bottom of the newspaper, is "A Comeback For Cobblepot," which shows that the Batman villain Penguin is still alive in this cinematic universe, despite the character dying in Batman Returns.
All These Changes in DCEU Explained by Flashpoint
It's apparent at this point that Michael Keaton will be replacing Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne in the DCEU moving forward, despite what his co-star may believe. Such massive changes can only be explained by what will happen in The Flash, which will revolve around Flashpoint.
"Flashpoint" was a reboot event that ended the then-current continuity of the DC comics, allowing writers to reinterpret characters, origins, and more. The same will happen with the DCEU, as The Flash will be an easy way to explain numerous changes moving forward, such as the integration of Keaton's Batman.
Tim Burton's universe obviously wouldn't make a perfect transition into the DCEU, and there would be significant changes needed for Keaton's Batman to fit. So, if they were going to change Keaton's Batman anyway, why not undo other aspects too, like the death of his villains? Of course, that idea could put Jared Leto's Joker into question, but that's another topic entirely.
What is Lex Luthor Planning?
It's also funny that the props department miswrote Lex Luthor's name again by spelling his last name with an 'e' instead of an 'o.' Is it just an error they cannot change due to all the props already being made or is it just an arbitrary change in how the villain's name will be spelled from now on?
Regardless, it's interesting that the Superman villain has seemingly been moved to Belle Reve prison after being forcibly put in Arkham Asylum at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. What's curious is, just like Luthor didn't belong in Arkham, he doesn't belong in Belle Reve either.
As shown in The Suicide Squad, it was a prison routinely used by Amanda Waller to recruit members for the titular team. So, for the super-genius, but entirely human, Lex Luthor to end up in such a prison has certain implications.
Will he be conscripted into another iteration of the Suicide Squad after it was revealed to the public in the finale of Peacemaker? Will Luthor form his own Suicide Squad? Or has Luthor placed himself in this prison to have easy contact with powerful metahumans who have several bones to pick with the Justice League? Only time will tell.
Fans will be sure to find out more about Michael Keaton's Batman and how he'll fit in the DCEU when Batgirl is released on HBO Max sometime in 2022.