DC Announces Official Sequels to Beloved ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ Films

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(L) Christopher Reeve as Superman (R) Michael Keaton as Batman

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The most beloved Batman and Superman films are getting sequels.

It’s no stretch to say that The Flash (2023) was heavily marketed as a follow-up of sorts to Michael Keaton’s two Batman films. But despite Keaton appearing in most of the promotional material, the highly anticipated DC Universe installment didn’t perform well at the box office, nabbing $268.5 million against a budget of $220 — 300 million.

Was it because controversial actor Ezra Miller was in the lead role as Barry Allen/The Flash? Did it not look good? Superhero fatigue? All of the above? It’s possible that without Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman back in the fold, the film would have made even less at the box office. You might say he was the hero the film needed, but not the one is deserved.

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

Related: All the Non-DCU Cameos in ‘The Flash’ Explained

With that said, The Flash is still a reasonably entertaining flick. Fans of Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader won’t be disappointed, either — there’s far more of him than there is any other iteration of the character, whether that’s Ben Affleck or any one of the cameos during the film’s “Chronobowl” sequence and beyond (Adam West and George Clooney).

There are also echoes of Superman throughout the film. While The Flash doesn’t lean into his character as much as it does the Dark Knight, fighting alongside The Flash and Batman is Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Sasha Calle), who stands in as a sort of substitute for Henry Cavill’s Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, who’s long gone from the DCU.

Sasha Calle as Supergirl flying in the sky
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Batman’ Reboot “Trailer” Sees ‘Fifty Shades’ Actor Take Over as Bruce Wayne

And then there are all the Superman cameos: we see Nicolas Cage’s Superman from Tim Burton’s long-defunct Superman Lives project; the original version of the Man of Steel portrayed by George Reeves; and the legendary Christopher Reeve version (who’s seen flying alongside Helen Slater’s Supergirl within the DC Multiverse).

While The Flash seemingly canonizes several non-DCU films and television shows, including Michael Keaton’s Batman films and Christopher Reeve’s Superman films, it doesn’t compliment either one of these two franchises as well as it could have, and as such only leaves us with the desire to revisit those films, or wait for new sequels altogether.

Christopher Reeve in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: All the Non-DCU Films and TV Shows ‘The Flash’ Has Canonized

Well, it seems our wish has already been granted, as ComicBook.com has reported that DC will officially continue to explore the most beloved Batman and Superman films.

DC has announced that sequels to Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) will be released later this year, which will be titled “Batman ’89: Echoes #1” and “Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #1”, respectively.

Check out the synopses below, per ComicBook.com:

“Batman ’89: Echoes #1”

You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts! After Harvey Dent’s crusade against Gotham and Batman, the Caped Crusader has disappeared without a trace. In his place, ordinary citizens have taken to the streets to root out crime. As innocents get hurt, the question on everyone’s mind is the same: Where is Batman? Sam Hamm, screenwriter of the 1989 Batman movie, and Joe Quinones reunite for another tale in Gotham!

“Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #1”

When the planet Krypton exploded, its last son was rocketed across the cosmos and came to settle in a small town in Kansas. But what else came with him, and what if a piece of his home landed somewhere we never knew about? As Superman has become a symbol of strength and pride for America, the Soviet Union looks to crush that image with a creation of their own, built by their own might and forged by their own power! Robert Venditti returns to the Man of Steel with new artist Gavin Guidry!

“Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #1” goes on sale November 7, and “Batman ’89: Echoes #1” goes on sale November 28. But if you need a refresher on the Batman and Superman films before picking up the comics, read on.

Christopher Reeve’s Superman Films

Christopher Reeves flying in Superman 1978
Credit: Warner Bros.

The late Christopher Reeve portrayed Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman in four Superman films: Superman (1978), Superman II (1981), Superman III (1983), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). While the titular Man of Steel is portrayed by Brandon Routh in Superman Returns (2006), the film is considered a sequel to the previous installments. Reeve gets a special cameo during the Chronobowl sequence in The Flash, in which his likeness is re-created using CGI.

Related: ‘Superman: Legacy’ Will Continue a ‘Superman Returns’ Trend

Michael Keaton’s Batman Films

Michael Keaton using a grapple hook in 'Batman' (1989)
Credit: Warner Bros.

Michael Keaton has appeared in two Batman films: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and also has a substantial role in The Flash. Keaton didn’t reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Joel Schumacher-directed films, Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997), in which the character is played by Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively. Fans have often wondered whether the two last films are canon with the first two. The answer, as The Flash will have you believe, is both yes and no.

The Flash running
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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

The Flash is now available to watch at home.

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.

It 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).

Will you be picking up these new Batman and Superman comic books? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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