Big Batman movie news: Keaton joins Affleck and Pattinson as DC Films plans emerge

batman pattinson, keaton and affleck
(Image credit: Tasos Katopodis/WireImage, Sunset Boulevard and Justin Tallis / Getty Images)

Hold onto your cowls, we've now got three men playing Batman now. 

In a move that is seriously reminiscent of how Spider-Man 3 will have a trio of Spider-Men (or is the plural Spiders-Man?), we've just learned that Robert Pattinson and Ben Affleck are being joined by one of the OG cinematic Bruce Waynes himself, Michael Keaton.

We've learned this thanks to a The New York Times profile on DC Films president Walter Hamada, who pulled back the curtain on the plans to make the DC Extended Universe films a serious threat for Marvel's MCU. And we also learned that HBO Max will play a big role in all this.

As fans may have expected upon reading that Keaton was returning to the role of Bruce Wayne, the folks at DC Films are going full multi-verse. Things start with the current DCEU timeline, where Wonder Woman 1984 took place, as well as other recent movies like Aquaman and the Ezra Miller character appears as well. 

Then, there's the DC Films multiverse, where you'll find movies like Joker and The Batman starring Robert Pattinson.

Will three Batman characters become one?

According to The Times, "Warner Bros. will have two different film sagas involving Batman — played by two different actors — running at the same time." The DCEU characters live in Earth 1, and Mr. Pattinson's Batman is on Earth 2.

Then, you've got the way to tie it all together, Endgame-style. The blockbuster film The Flash, coming in 2022. will link Earth 1 and Earth 2, but also feature two Batmans (err, Batmen?): Ben Affleck and a returning Michael Keaton. Affleck is expected to exit the DC movies in The Flash, handing over the baton to someone else.

Hamada told The Times that HBO Max is going to get a bunch of spin-offs, such as John Cena's upcoming Peacemaker project, which spins out of James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. Hamada said, "With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, 'What's the potential Max spinoff?'"

Oh and as for The Justice League Snyder Cut? Hamada said that's "a storytelling cul-de-sac — a street that leads nowhere." This note may rub Snyder Cut fans the wrong way, suggesting that they don't plan to follow up on this project that fans have clamored for.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.