DC fans were hit some major and exciting news on Monday when it was reported that Michael Keaton is in talks to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in Ezra Miller's The Flash movie. While the idea that Keaton may once again be playing the iconic character he notably brought to life in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns is one that has fans hyped, it's a return that also comes with quite a few questions about how it all comes together. However, with The Flash seemingly poised to tie the DC cinematic multiverse together -- one major question isn't about Batman at all. It's about Henry Cavill's Superman and if he could appear in the film as well.
Back in May it was reported that Cavill will reprise his role as Clark Kent/Superman in future Warner Bros. Pictures projects, though a sequel to Man of Steel was not one of the films in the works. Instead, Cavill's appearance in films would be something more akin to how the Hulk is utilized in the marvel Cinematic Universe -- more than a cameo, but less than having his own solo film. It's a complicated situation, but it's one that Keaton's appearance in the The Flash film could clarify by creating an exit for Cavill's take on Superman.
With the film loosely based on the DC Comics event from 2011 called "Flashpoint", the story will see Ezra Miller's Barry Allen go back in time in an effort to prevent his mother's death, but the result of that will be the creation of a different reality -- a reality in which Keaton's Batman exists. While The Flash film is set to be different from the comics version -- something director Andy Muschiette confirmed earlier this year -- the comics Flashpoint generally resolves with Barry attempting to put history back to normal, something that ends up resetting the timeline and creating a brand new DC Universe in the process.
If The Flash movie does its own version of that, the reset and recreated timeline could, in theory, offer an elegant exit for Cavill's Superman. Perhaps Cavill's Superman disappears when the timeline is reset. Superman the character and the hero could still exist, he just would no longer be played by Cavill. It's a reset of sorts that could also easily explain why Ben Affleck's Batman no longer exists. A reset would also be an elegant solution by resolving Affleck's portrayal as being one that belonged to a previous iteration of the timeline or pocket of the multiverse.
However, The Flashpoint film -- and Keaton's possible return -- comes together, it will definitely be interesting to see what direction things go for DC after this. There's already some speculation that Keaton's return could push DC closer to a live-action Batman Beyond movie with Keaton's Batman serving as a mentor for a next generation hero. Ultimately, The Flash movie could neatly wrap up the various loose ends, allowing the future of DC Films to go forward in a new direction and embrace new possibilities as seamlessly as possible.
The Flash is currently set for release on July 2, 2022.
What do you think? Could The Flash movie see an appearance of Henry Cavill's Superman, one that would lead to his exit of the role? Let us know in the comments below.