It is a rough time to be a DC fan. After years of turmoil for the DCEU at Warner Bros., things were finally looking up, as the franchise was seemingly headed in the right direction. Fan sentiment for DC at the movies was on the upswing, with projects like The Suicide Squad and The Batman proving to be excellent outings for WB. And the future looked bright as well, with a Shazam! sequel set for later this year, and The Flash on the calendar for 2023 with Michael Keaton back as Batman.
Keaton coming back has been touted as a big deal for the franchise as it looks to expand into more Multiversal stories. The veteran DC actor has been rumored to help usher in a new era for the franchise, serving as somewhat of a guiding figure in this new era of the DCEU.
But all that seems to be in question now. The light that was supposed to point the way as DC fans shuffle in the dark, is looking dimmer than many may have initially thought.
Cutting Keaton's Batman
After the scrapping of two appearances for Micheal Keaton's Batman, his future in the DCEU is in question before it ever really kicked off.
Keaton's Caped Crusader is still set to appear in next year's The Flash, but his other two headlining stops have seemingly both been nixed in a matter of days.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Ben Affleck would be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman once more in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This comes after months of speculation that Keaton would be the only Batman in the series moving forward, which seems highly unlikely now.
This comes paired with the outright cancellation of Batgirl, a film that Michael Keaton's Bruce was set to play a mentor to Rose Leslie's Barbara Gordon in.
Nothing has been confirmed by WB about the actor's future in the franchise.
A Caped Conundrum at Warner Bros.
Since the inception of the DCEU, every time Warner Bros. has pointed the franchise in a direction, it has just as soon had to/wanted to turn it around 180 degrees.
Whether it was Ben Affleck wanting out before things could ever get started in the franchise, or putting the future of its super-powered adventures on the back of a star who would ultimately turn out to be problematic, there is nothing WB can do to catch a break. Sure, some of it may be self-inflicted, but no one could have bet that this much misfortune would befall one name in Hollywood.
As for Michael Keaton's future in the DCEU, it is unclear what the plans exactly are with these shifts by the studio.
If, in fact, he is the glue that will hold everything together for DC going forward, then one would think the studio would want him in as many projects as possible. And maybe he is still in some. Fans have yet to see Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam, and while there has been no reporting about the actor showing up in either, it still could be possible.
Plus, The Flash is a total wild card at this point. It is supposedly set to hit the reset button on the DCEU, so maybe Keaton can appear in that and then set up an even bigger future going forward in the franchise.