There has never been a bigger year for the Dark Knight in movie theaters. Not only will we get a brand-new version of the character played by Robert Pattinson in director Matt Reeves‘ upcoming film, The Batman, but we’re also set to see the return of Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck to the role in The Flash. Yes, that’s three Batmen across two movies, and one of them is already shooting yet another movie as the Caped Crusader.
Keaton has arrived in Glasgow to film his scenes for the Batgirl movie, which will hit HBO Max some time later this year as well (most likely after The Flash officially brings this classic Batman into the DCEU). We don’t know very much about Keaton’s role in the movie, although it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll serve as a mentor for Leslie Grace’s Barbara as she begins her own crime-fighting career.
Thanks to photos leaked from the set, we also know that Keaton’s Batman will appear in at least one flashback scene that sees him take down a group of criminals with a younger Jim Gordon played by J.K. Simmons in a red wig. The pictures feature Keaton’s double in a Batsuit that’s very faithful to the Tim Burton films but with a few tweaks as well.
Check out the pictures below:
As you can see, some changes have been made to the way the cowl sits over the cape, which itself once again naturally rests of the suit’s shoulders. The mask almost seems meant to look like a combination between the Batman ’89 design and the refined one used for Batman Returns. The chest armor also looks a bit different from what was featured in the Burton movies, with the Bat symbol looking like it’s now firmly part of the cowl itself as opposed to imprinted on the chest.
The suit also doesn’t appear to be as form-fitting as the originals, as evidenced by the way the suit wrinkles as Batman moves. Of course, the costume pictured seems to be more of a stunt suit made for the stunt double’s comfort during his performance and could be tweaked digitally to look a bit more complementary to the character in post-production.
It’s also very nice to see the boot portion of the suit has retained the Air Jordan sneaker design from the original films. But can Batman dunk?
Below, you can also see some other photos of the scenes shot on the streets of Glasgow. Doesn’t the top right picture almost look like Batman is talking on the phone? Is he calling up the Batmobile like he did in Batman ’89? Or is he having a chat with Alfred?
There’s also some video footage that shows how the scene with Gordon plays out. Batman and Gordon apprehend the evildoers. As police cruisers arrive on the scene, the Dark Knight vanishes, leaving just Gordon at the scene. Out from a corner comes a little girl running to hug Gordon, which could be Barbara as a little girl.
This all brings up some very interesting questions about how this flashback is even possible. After all, we know that in Batman ’89, Pat Hingle’s Commissioner Gordon wasn’t yet working with the Caped Crusader, and even pursued him as a criminal throughout the film. So how can a younger Detective Gordon be working with the Batman here?
Well, this all goes back to The Flash and the changes that film is likely going to make during its multiverse-spanning adventure. Since the DCEU version of Barry Allen played by Ezra Miller somehow travels to the Burtonverse during that movie, likely after making big changes to his own universe via the Flashpoint, could the hero end up changing things even further by the end of the movie? It seems that in the process of fixing things in his universe, he somehow melds the DCEU and the Burtonverse together, making it possible for a younger version of Keaton’s Batman to have worked with a younger version of Simmons’ Gordon.
Or something. I don’t know.
The Flash releases in theaters on Nov. 4. But before that whole crisis, there’s The Batman, which is out on March 4. We recently spoke to Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves and got plenty of exclusive details about the film, which you can read here.