The latest tease for Batman's movie future reveals how Matt Reeves and James Gunn's DC plans can co-exist. The announcement that James Gunn was taking over DC Studios immediately raised questions about what he would do with Batman and how it would affect what Matt Reeves wanted to create with The Batman. The latter successfully rebooted the character with Robert Pattinson playing the iconic hero, while Gunn inherited a franchise that has Batman appearances by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton coming this year. Since neither of them appears to factor into DC's long-term plans, especially under Gunn, speculation has persisted about The Batman's future.
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Batman's movie future has long been a complicated problem for Warner Bros., especially after Zack Snyder's Justice League exit. The success of The Batman gave Matt Reeves the power to continue expanding his plans for a shared universe that was totally disconnected from the DCEU. Worries that Robert Pattinson's Batman would be absorbed into James Gunn's DCU reboot have been debunked, but that has only created another problem as he and Reeves both want to use The Dark Knight. Thankfully, a solution might already be in the works.
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Reeves & Gunn’s Meeting Is Good For Batman’s Movie Future
Instead of competing over Batman, it appears that James Gunn and Matt Reeves are going to work together in some form. The Batman director confirmed that he will meet with Gunn and Safran soon to discuss their individual plans. He told Collider that the meeting will include him presenting his plan for The Batman shared universe and where he envisions the franchise going as it continues, but Gunn and Safran are also going to share their 10-year DCU plan with him. The purpose is not to try and convince the other party that one plan is better than the other but instead because "we don't want to be crashing into each other."
This is the best outcome for Batman and his fans, as it means there will be the DCU version of him and Robert Pattinson's from The Batman. It ensures that whatever happens with the DCU Batman will not also be happening to Pattinson's Batman. The communication between Reeves and Gunn will push each of them to be more creative and not recycle ideas or characters that the other wants to use. It also should mean that they can plan out how frequently Batman will be appearing on the big screen and risk oversaturating audiences with him or releasing movies with two different versions of Batman too close together.
Reeves & Gunn Are Avoiding DC's Past Batman Mistakes
James Gunn and Matt Reeves meeting about their Batman plans also means they are avoiding the same mistakes that DC made in the past. The last few years have seen multiple creatives trying to use different versions of Batman however they think is best. This was perpetuated by the constant change in leadership at DC and Warner Bros. Ultimately, it became clear that there was no direct plan for the DCEU, much less which Batman was going to be the focal point of the universe. The confusion and reshuffling even meant Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom reshooting scenes to add Ben Affleck's Batman to replace Michael Keaton's.
Once Gunn and Reeves meet and get on the same page about where their respective franchises are going, these DC Batman mistakes will not happen anymore. Matt Reeves and The Batman franchise will be able to continue with Robert Pattinson's character as the focus. Meanwhile, James Gunn can tell his own Batman stories that exist within the larger DCU. This will also mean avoiding any potentially disastrous retcons like adding Robert Pattinson's Batman to the DCU. The different versions of Batman and DC franchises will each have the creative freedom to do as they please as long as they stay in touch about any necessary changes.
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The Batman Franchise Can Be Part of DC’s Elseworlds Plans
Matt Reeves has also restated that The Batman will remain separate from what James Gunn and Peter Safran are doing, meaning the franchise could be considered part of DC's Elseworlds branch of content. Reeves referred to The Bat-Verse as "its own thing they're letting us do" before talking about how he has a loose plan in his mind for where the story will go. It is likely no coincidence that James Gunn also confirmed that Elseworlds-style DC projects are something they are developing. While the DC Studios co-CEO did not specifically mention The Batman and any related projects as part of these plans, they would fit.
In the comics, Elseworlds stories are those that take place outside the main continuity and exist on their own. This is how famous comics like Superman: Red Son and Kingdom Come (which Gunn has teased) were made. By James Gunn and Peter Safran allowing Matt Reeves' The Batman franchise to exist outside the DCU canon, the franchise is effectively an Elseworlds story whether it gets that designation officially or not. There is even the potential that Gunn and Reeves could agree to a crossover through the multiverse, most likely once Reeves is nearing the end of his Batman universe.
How Gunn’s DCU Batman Can Be Different From Robert Pattinson’s
The DCU Batman that James Gunn helps create will also be able to be consciously different from Robert Pattinson's thanks to his meeting with Matt Reeves. The Batman established the rebooted Dark Knight as a younger hero who is more detective driven than in past movie iterations. This brought a darker tone to Batman once again thanks to the movie's film-noir approach, Bruce's mentality, and the gothic look of Gotham. While The Batman's ending does tease a potentially more hopeful version of Robert Pattinson's Batman will come in future installments, it should still be expected that some of the darkness remains.
All these qualities can help shape James Gunn's DCU Batman potentially. Whereas The Batman has a very grounded interpretation of the character, the DCU could explore more of Batman's Justice League-level adventures. Using more of Batman's gadgets and giving him a few more years of experience would also help set him apart. The DCU's Batman should not be too old, especially with a younger Superman recast happening, but Gunn can still feature him as an established hero instead of retelling his origin again. This would also pave the way for the Bat Family to be part of the DCU and Batman's adventures.
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James Gunn's DCU Batman will also differ from Robert Pattinson's because of the state of the universes they exist in. The Batman did hint that other superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman might exist in this universe, but it is not expected that any other Justice League heroes will enter Matt Reeves' franchise. As a result, the DCU's Batman will have to be different because he will be exposed to a greater power set.
Are The Batman’s Villains Off The Table For The DCU Now?
If Matt Reeves and James Gunn want to make sure they do not step on each other's toes when it comes to Batman, that might also mean not using the same villains. Having two versions of Batman on the big screen is one thing, but using The Batman villains like Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, and Joker multiple times is not needed. It is possible that part of Gunn and Reeves' meeting will be about staking a claim in which villains they each want to use. This would be a smart way for them to ensure that they both do not have plans for the same character, like Reeves wanting to put Bane in The Batman 2 while Gunn wants him for something.
An agreement from Gunn that the DCU will not reuse The Batman villains would be best for both parties. It means that as more Batman stories are told, viewers will get to experience a variety of villains instead of competing versions of the same few. This might even happen subconsciously. Matt Reeves has shown an interest in classic Batman villains that are also grounded in Gotham's crime. However, Gunn's interests often lie with stranger and more obscure comic characters. As a result, Reeves could use Mr. Freeze, Hush, or Scarecrow, and Gunn can utilize Batman villains like Clayface, Kite Man, or even Man-Bat.
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