New reports have come in stating that a huge DC star has been removed from the upcoming movie, The Flash (2023), meaning their time in the franchise is over. Alongside Ezra Miller, fans will also reuniting with stars like Ben Affleck, Michael Shannon, and Michael Keaton in The Flash — but that may no longer be the case.
The DC Extended Universe, eventually the DC Universe or DCU, has been in turmoil for years. Never really catching the trailblazing wind left behind by Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DCEU has struggled with lackluster movies, troubled stars, and a seemingly massive lack of direction.
This year will see a flurry of new movies enter the DCEU, but not for very long as June’s The Flash is set to “reset everything”, according to co-CEO of DC Studios, James Gunn. The filmmaker, and colleague Peter Safran, finally revealed part of their DCU slate — Chapter One, “Gods and Monsters” — and confirmed that new projects would be part of an upcoming cohesive universe. At the same time, media like Joker (2019) and The Batman (2022) from directors Todd Phillips and Matt Reeves, respectively, will be classed as “DC Elseworlds” and operate outside the realm of the DCU.
Related: ‘Flash’ Actor Escapes 26 Year Sentence, All Charges Dropped
So that leaves things like Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) starring Zachary Levi, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) with Jason Momoa, and The Flash navigating a semi-no man’s land with the future of the characters and the actors who play them considerably up in the air.
Gunn and Safran have been increasingly open about the direction of their new franchise, which is part of CEO David Zaslav’s Warner Bros. Discovery corporation, revealing casting and story decisions throughout the last few months, including the controversial ousting of Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman. This, as well as being divisive amongst fans, was also confusing considering the Man of Steel (2013) and Justice League (2017) actor just returned in the post-credits scene of Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam (2022) and confirmed himself he was headed for a new movie.
Now that some of the tension has settled with the news of movie projects like Superman: Legacy, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, a new Batman based on DC Comics’ “The Brave and the Bold”, and TV shows such as Waller, Lanterns, and the Wonder Woman prequel, Paradise Lost, all eyes will be on how the studio handles the string of films releasing this year.
The Flash is, arguably, the most anticipated out of DC’s 2023 slate. Andy Muschietti’s movie has long been slated as a hit, with early screenings claiming the movie a win for Warner Bros. However, despite the positivity stemming from The Flash, the continued inclusion of actor Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash has been met with considerable and deserved criticism.
The DC and Fantastic Beasts actor has been the focus of many headlines over the last year. Miller was reported to have gone on an erratic tirade in Hawaii, been arrested, evaded law enforcement, and brainwashed and kidnapped Tokata Iron Eyes. The actor’s behavior and felonies have sparked outrage from fans directed at Warner Bros. for their continued work with Miller.
Alongside Miller, many familiar faces are set to star in The Flash, such as Michael Shannon as General Zod, Kiersey Clemmons as Iris West, and Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Related: DC Star Ezra Miller Called Themself “Jesus” and “The Devil”, Reportedly Built Altar of “Bullets, Flash Figurines”
Michael Keaton in The Flash
However, according to reports, Michael Keaton will no longer appear in The Flash, and as such, will have been removed from the DCEU altogether. Keaton first appeared as Batman in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and was slated to appear in Warner Bros.’s canceled Batgirl movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and The Flash.
Batgirl was, of course, famously trashed last summer, while Keaton’s appearance in James Wan’s Aquaman (2018) sequel has been reportedly regulated to a deleted scene, and now with his appearance in The Flash also reportedly removed, it seems Keaton’s time in the DCEU franchise is entirely over.
As well as Keaton, Sasha Calle’s Supergirl has also been reportedly removed with the movie’s ending now completely changed.
The Flash is due to release on June 16, 2023. Fans can expect a first look at the DC film this Super Bowl Sunday.
What do you think of Michael Keaton’s reported removal from The Flash? Let us know in the comments down below!