Will ‘The Flash’ Bring Any ‘Batman’ Movie Villains Into the DCU?

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Bane in Batman and Robin

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

There’s no denying that The Flash (2023) looks like the DC Universe’s answer to Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). But what other characters will the film introduce to the DCU?

So far, we know of at least two versions of Batman that will be appearing in the upcoming film — Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman from the two Tim Burton-directed films, Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), and Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight from previous DCU installments such as Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2021).

Michael Keaton as Batman in 'The Flash'
Credit: DC/Warner Bros. Discovery

Related: 7 Batman Villains You Definitely Missed in ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’

While rumors that Christian Bale’s iteration from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy will also be making a comeback persist, this remains to be seen. But what other characters from previous Batman films might make an appearance in the DCU film, looking specifically towards the original Batman film series?

The original series is made up of Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever (1995), and Batman and Robin (1997), with the latter films directed by Joel Schumacher, each with different actors portraying the titular caped crusader, in Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively.

But will any villains from these films, along with their respective actors, appear in The Flash?

Jack Nicholson as The Joker in 'Batman' (1989)
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: All the ‘Batman’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Starting with Tim Burton’s first film, we have Jack Napier/The Joker, played by Jack Nicholson. The Joker is killed off at the end, so it’s unlikely he’ll be making an appearance, seeing as The Flash will seemingly introduce Keaton’s Batman 30 years after we last saw him in Batman Returns, meaning that his timeline will be, for lack of a better term, “up to date”.

The same can be said about Danny DeVito’s Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin in Batman Returns. However, with that said, Spider-Man: No Way Home introduces “aged” versions of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, yet, confusingly, at the same time gives us the likes of Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn/Green Goblin and Rhys Ifan’s Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard, both of whom are killed off in their respective Spider-Man films, whom we can only assume are from other timelines that are slightly “behind” others?

But if The Flash sticks to just one Keaton-timeline, one villain who could easily return is Batman Returns‘ Selena Kyle/Catwoman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who simply disappears into the night at the end of the 1992 sequel.

The Penguin and Catwoman plotting against Batman in Batman Returns
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: 7 Actresses Who Could Play the Female Joker

Now let’s move onto Batman Forever, which gives us Edward Nygma/The Riddler, played by Jim Carrey, and Harvey Dent/Two-Faced, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Carrey’s whacky, question mark-plastered villain is perhaps one of the few celebrated things about the two Joel Schumacher films, so it’s entirely possible we’ll see him show up in The Flash.

As for Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face, well, not only is he killed at the end, but rumor has it that Jones did not like working with Carrey one bit, so we can’t see them enjoying a reunion on the set of another Batman film anytime soon!

Mr Freeze (L) and Poison Ivy (R) in Batman and Robin
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: 5 Actors Who Could Play Batman In James Gunn’s DC Universe

While DC Studios’ co-CEO James Gunn has confirmed that George Clooney will not be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the DCU, that doesn’t mean villains such as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman’s Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy (the less said about Bane, the better) from Batman and Robin should be ruled out.

It would, of course, seem silly to bring these characters back into the DCU, but then No Way Home does bring a number of characters from The Amazing Spider-Man films back, yet, much like Batman and Robin, most fans don’t seem to like those installments.

As such, it would seem that nostalgia doesn’t just apply to things we love!

Check out the official trailer for The Flash below:

Related: ‘The Batman’ Star Reveals Episode Count For Upcoming ‘Penguin’ Series

The Flash releases in theaters on June 16. As per Wikipedia, here’s the synopsis for the DCU film:

Barry Allen/The Flash travels back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, which traps him in an alternate reality without metahumans. He enlists the help of Batman and the Kryptonian castaway Supergirl from alternate realities in order to save this world from the restored General Zod and return to his universe.

The Flash in shock at what he is seeing in 'The Flash'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros. Discovery

Related: Keanu Reeves on Being the Next Batman

The Flash stars Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/The Flash), Sasha Calle (Kara Zor-El/Supergirl), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Ron Livingston (Henry Allen), Michael Keaton (Bruce Wayne/Batman), and Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman).

The Flash releases in theaters on June 16.

Which villains from the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher Batman films do you think might show up in The Flash? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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