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When the impossible happens, does it mean anything is possible? That's the question I'm asking as Justice League's "Snyder Cut" will finally make its debut after a couple years of argument over whether it really existed. Now that it's on the way, folks are talking about what it means for DC, and whether this means that Zack Snyder's Justice League 2 is now potentially on the table as well.
That discussion is a whole other thing on its own, but it's exciting to me because it would potentially create a situation that hasn't happened before. If Justice League 2 went through, we'd feasibly have Robert Pattinson and Ben Affleck playing two separate versions of Batman at the same time. Is this something DC would actually do? For those who are wondering the same thing, here's a rundown of DC's past in regards to Batman representation, what the situation is now and whether this could one day be a reality.
DC Has Been Very Protective Of Batman, Will That Change?
When it comes to live-action, Batman is one of the most protected heroes of the DC world. His image is sacred, so much so that he's seemingly barred from DC's television shows, with only vague mentions or portrayals of Bruce Wayne up for grabs. The sole exception to date was Gotham's series finale, in which the hero was primarily shown in costume through quick flashes, followed by one final full look of the character. That was for a multi-season origin story, and fans only got one money shot. He wasn't even called Batman!
Based on DC's tactics with Batman and other heroes and villains DC TV has barred in the past, the message seems clear: with a few exceptions (such as Flash), it doesn't want multiple versions of these characters existing at any one time in live-action, possibly to prevent confusion. I can only speculate as to why, of course, and further speculate that if DC wasn't willing to keep multiple versions of the same hero across television and movies, then depicting two of them on film isn't kosher either.
With that being said, the Batman appearance in Gotham and Bruce Wayne appearances in other live-action projects have been a fairly recent trend. Furthermore, The CW is airing Batwoman, which not only frequently mentions Batman and his famous adversaries (not to mention, but has also finally shown what Bruce looks like. I should note that a lot of this coincided with the DC film world's long gap on the Batman front, where everyone was trying to figure out whether Ben Affleck's Batman was in or out. It could've been that absence was why DC allowed this unprecedented amount of access, though it maybe also be a sign that things are changing.
But Wouldn't Ben Affleck's Batman Be Robert Pattinson's Batman?
Many people may remember that Robert Pattinson inherited Ben Affleck's role in The Batman, and may be curious as to why we're even discussing the possibility of two different versions of Batman. While the first part is true, it's important to know that while Pattinson did take over as Batman in The Batman, this movie is an entirely different story.
In addition to seeing the eponymous protagonist clash with Deathstroke and visit Arkham Asylum, it's possible that Ben Affleck's The Batman would have explored the death of Robin, which was vaguely referenced in Batman v. Superman. However, that version of the story never got off the ground, and once Affleck passed off the script he was writing to Matt Reeves, DC had already decided to step away from the idea of its shared universe. Reeves' vision, which started from scratch, has been described as a noir-driven detective film that will not be directly tied to past DCEU movies.
This would mean that the Robin story told in Batman v. Superman is out, but the theory that there could still be DCEU connections is interesting. The implication would be that this Batman is somehow tied into the events of the DCEU at large, despite being entirely removed from it and being a completely different Batman. I'm not sure how that would work considering there's a different Detective Gordon or everything, but maybe he's part of a multiverse Ezra Miller's Flash can visit.
A multiverse would be the way for DC to have two entirely separate Batmen, yet still be connected tangentially. This doesn't necessarily have to be a situation where it's one or the other, and both could co-exist in new movies if Warner Bros. and each respective actor was willing to do so. This is especially true with a disconnected hero universe, because let's remember, the green light of the Snyder Cut doesn't necessarily mean a shared universe is back on.
Could 2 Different Versions Of Batman Exist In DC Film Universe?
While it may be disappointing to some that there's no connection between Robert Pattinson and Ben Affleck's Batman, this is actually a winning situation from both sides of the Snyder Cut argument. If this version of Justice League is so good that it gets a sequel gets the green light, Ben Affleck's Batman is free to return with no ties to the new Batman script written by Matt Reeves.
Of course, getting Ben Affleck to return to play Batman will be a different story. The actor won't need to return for reshoots, and he was candid that the role caused him to struggle with alcoholism. I can't imagine he'd be willing to sacrifice his well-being just to make Justice League 2 happen. Of course, things could change, or Warner could recast him (again) if Justice League 2 was seriously going to happen. As long as Robert Pattinson didn't become Affleck's Batman (which wouldn't make sense), the possibility of having two different Batmen at the same time is alive.
But as I've mentioned several times already, just because some things can happen doesn't mean they will. Jared Leto was more than willing to reprise Joker, and now his version of the character (minus calls for the Ayer cut of Suicide Squad) seems lost in the wind, and it's all about Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. I would assume a lot of the decision making will fall down to how well the Snyder Cut and The Batman are received, and then DC will make a decision on whether there's room in its movie world for two different versions of Batman.
Would you have a problem with DC maintaining film franchises with two separate versions of batman simultaneously? Share all thoughts in the comments below, and as always, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest happening in television and movies.