Robert Pattinson, Michael Keaton, and Ben Affleck Will All Play Batman in 2022
An unprecedented multiverse is coming to a theater near you—in 2022. DC Films has confirmed that Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, and our newest Caped Crusader, Robert Pattinson, will all play Batman in 2022. In an interview with the New York Times, DC Films president Walter Hamada confirmed that the three actors will portray Gotham’s greatest in films set in parallel worlds. The notion of different superheroes existing simultaneously in a multiverse is par for the course in the world of comics, but this is a pretty novel and exciting concept to explore on the big screen.
We’ve been anticipating Pattinson’s turn as Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ The Batman for a long time now. That film was originally slated for a 2021 release, but as with every other facet of life, the pandemic scuttled those plans and forced Warner Bros.’ to move the film from October 2021 to March 4, 2022—and this was after already moving it from its original release date of June 25, 2021. All this to say that had 2020 not been the absolute worst, we’d have gotten Pattison’s Batman first, then dipped into the multiverse Batmans after. Now, we’ll be getting three of them in a single calendar year.
The buzz really from the story increased tenfold when the writer, Times reporter Brooks Barnes, replied to Desde Hollywood film critic Néstor Bentancor on Twitter to confirm that yes, Keaton is returning to the role, meaning we really will have a trio of actors will all be playing Batman in 2022:
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) January 2, 2021
Confused? Here’s the simple way of wrapping your head around this bounty of Batmans. Pattinson’s version in Matt Reeves’ The Batman exists on Earth 2, in which characters we’ve seen in previous Batman films will be played by new actors, led by Pattison. Then, over on Earth 1, we’ve got actors we’ve already seen in their roles—Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, etc.—continuing to play those characters. Whatever happens on these separate Earths remains separate…
That is, until, Keaton and Affleck’s Batmans converge in The Flash, in 2022. Keaton will reprise the Batman role from Tim Burton’s 1989 and 1992 films, while Affleck will be the Batman he played in 2016’s Batman v. Superman and 2017’s Justice League. Thus, The Flash will link the two universes. We just have no idea how, or what the ramifications will be for their characters, Pattinson’s version, or the larger DC Extended Universe.
“I don’t think anyone else has ever attempted (the multiverse concept on screen),” Hamada told Barnes in the Times. “But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it.”
True enough. So prepare yourselves for 2022, when the 34-year-old Pattinson, the 48-year-old Affleck, and the 69-year-old Keaton will all play Batman across two Earths and many thousands of theaters. How this will work is anyone’s guess, but it’s a safe bet that by 2022 we’ll all just be thrilled to be in a movie theater again. And if this multiverse concept works? Paging Christian Bale…
Featured image: Caption: ROBERT PATTINSON in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics