Warner Bros. Discovery CEO on DC's Future: "There Won't Be Four Batmans"

As part of James Gunn and Peter Safran's 10-year plan for DC's film and TV properties, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav hinted that there will be fewer variant takes on characters, citing the Dark Knight as a prime example and saying in a recent interview that there are plans to "drive the hell out of DC," and that it seemingly involves not only promoting new brands that aren't already big hits, but focusing the scope of the DC Universe in a way that the previous management ignored a bit with their multiversal approach to storytelling.

The DC restructuring is well underway, with Gunn and Safran reportedly close to finalizing their big-picture plans. There are some big questions, including how the company will deal with their existing multiverse (looking at you, The Flash!), but that might become clear once the first few films are announced.

"I think over the next few years, you're going to see a lot of growth and opportunity around DC, there's not going to be four Batmans," Zaslav told RBC Capital Markets' Kutgun Maral (via The Hollywood Reporter). "And so part of our strategy is drive the hell out of DC, which James and Peter are going to do. I think they've thrilled the fans. I think they're going to thrill you over a period of time."

For now, there will be at least three Batmen on the big screen in the near future -- Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson -- and two Jokers. Between those five actors there are three different timelines (arguably four if you consider Batman 1989) represented. There's an argument to be made that, for casual viewers, that sounds like kind of a mess. On the other hand, how many casual viewers of superhero movies are there left at this point? Marvel is the most successful studio of the last 15 years, and they're well into their multiverse phase.

This also likely means a return to the days when DC's TV series could not have alternate-universe doppelgangers of big-name heroes...but that's not as likely to be as much of an issue, since with most of their series coming to an end soon and Peacemaker a big hit, it would not be surprising to see DC's future TV outings more closely reflecting what Marvel has been doing on Disney+, where it ties directly into the film universe and utilizes those versions of the characters.