James Gunn Confirms Which Version of Batman WON’T Appear In ‘The Flash’

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The Bat cowl on the floor in The Flash trailer

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

It’s been a busy few months for the DC Universe. With James Gunn now Co-chairman and CEO of DC Studios, the film franchise is headed for a reboot of sorts, which will see a brand-new Clark Kent/Kal El/Superman and Bruce Wayne/Batman at the very least.

Naturally, as is always the case in the world of film these days, this hasn’t been without controversy. Last year, it was reported that “Man of Steel” Henry Cavill would be donning the red cape again, however, several weeks later, the actor ended up exiting the franchise.

Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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On top of all this controversy, Barry Allen/The Flash actor Ezra Miller has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. But now it seems that the DC Universe is back on track, and it all seemingly rests on the shoulders of a certain upcoming Ezra Miller-led film.

James Gunn has confirmed that a new actor will be portraying Superman going forward, and we also know that they’re looking for a new Batman too. While we already have a new Dark Knight in The Batman‘s Robert Pattinson, that version exists as part of DC’s “Elseworlds”.

Gunn recently confirmed that the next DC Universe Batman project would be a new DC film called The Brave and the Bold (TBA), which is in no way related to The Batman (2022).

Robert Pattinson as Batman at the crime scene in The Batman
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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

Now, it looks like upcoming film The Flash (2023) will help Gunn and Safran achieve their goal of wiping the slate clean for the DCU. The trailer dropped at the Super Bowl this week, and it didn’t just break the DC Multiverse — it broke the Internet!

Check out the official trailer below to find out why:

Related: Every DCEU Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

As you can see, there are two different versions of Batman in the trailer, much to the delight of fans. Though Warner Bros. scrapped Batgirl last year, which would have seen Michael Keaton reprise his version of Bruce Wayne/Batman, he returns in this new trailer.

Also donning the cape and cowl once again is Ben Affleck, and though fans think they’ve spotted Christian Bale’s version of the Gotham crime-fighter in the trailer, this is yet to be confirmed. But what other versions of Batman will appear in the new film?

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

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Well, we can definitely rule one out, as James Gunn recently responded to a fan on Twitter who asked whether or not another previous Batman actor would be returning to the DC Universe. That Batman is George Clooney, one of the most disliked versions to date.

Asked if it was true that he’s “casting George Clooney as the new main DCU Batman”, Gunn’s response was short and blunt. He said “Absolutely not.” So, George Clooney will not be returning as Batman in the DCU, and as such, he won’t be appearing in The Flash.

(L to R) Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), Batman (George Clooney), and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) in Batman and Robin
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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Directed by Joel Schumacher, Batman and Robin (1997) did not go down well with fans, or moviegoers in general. Abandoning the quasi-gothic style and tone of the first two Tim Burton-directed installments, the 1997 flick opted for a cheesy and campy overhaul.

In fact, the film was so badly-received that Joel Schumacher and George Clooney himself offered public apologies. Ultimately, though, it isn’t that bad, and if you go in expecting a caper more along the lines of the Adam West stuff, you’ll have a somewhat good time.

Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) with one of his henchwomen in Batman and Robin
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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After Gunn shut down rumors that the world’s most famous bachelor would be returning to play, well, the world’s most famous bachelor, another follower asked, “Does this mean were still getting an actor who was already Batman or we’re getting a new actor altogether?”

“New actor,” Gunn replied. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, especially considering the fact that no one ever expected Robert Pattinson to be the Batman of DC’s extended universe, and not to mention Ben Affleck’s on/off relationship with DC over the years.

Ben Affleck as Batman in battle
Credit: DC / Warner Bros. / Clay Enos via Twitter

Related: What Would ‘Batman: No Way Home’ Look Like?

It remains to be seen who will be responding to the Bat-Signal going forward, and though it’s possible The Flash will introduce the new Batman actor, it would seem that Gunn and Safran are yet to find someone to take up the Dark Knight mantle.

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

Would you like to see George Clooney return as Batman? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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