In a statement that seems as designed to confuse as it is to enlighten, Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav has teased a 75% reduction in Gotham City crimefighters in DC Studios’ output in the coming years, while also promising “a lot of growth and opportunity” at the same time.
As conveyed by the Hollywood Reporter, Zaslav was speaking to RBC about the future for Warner Bros. Discovery as a whole when he made the comments.
DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have already spoke about creating a plan for the next eight-to-ten years of DC projects, with the focus on what’s been described as “one great overarching story.” According to Zaslav, the team is “coming close to the end” of that process — and it will have some particular implications for what fans are watching, it seems.
Specifically, Zaslav said, “I think over the next few years, you’re going to see a lot of growth and opportunity around DC, there’s not going to be four Batmans. And so part of our strategy is drive the hell out of DC, which James and Peter are going to do. I think they’ve thrilled the fans. I think they’re going to thrill you over a period of time.”
“Four Batmans” might seem like an exaggeration, but it's not: there are four Batmen currently active in DC's live-action sphere. Let's count them down:
- The Ben Affleck Batman from the core DC Extended Universe continuity, who is scheduled to reprise his role in The Flash and Aquaman: Lost Kingdom
- The Robert Pattison Batman from the alt-universe The Batman film, who will reprise his role in the announced sequel
- The Michael Keaton Batman from the '80s and '90s films, who will return in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (like Affleck)
- The Ian Glen Batman, who appears, albeit irregularly, in HBOMax's Titans
Confused? We have a guide on how to watch the DCEU - including the Batman films.
And let's not even begin to get into the multiple Batmen in animation and the original source material of comics.
But if this were comics, I imagine the whittling down of the Batmans would culminate with a crossover event pitting them against each other... because, well, why not?
What Zaslav’s comments might mean for the multiplicity of Batmans (Batmen?) is sure to drive speculation in the coming weeks and months. One thing is for sure: people are talking about DC’s movies and shows with a lot more excitement as all of this unfolds.
Wanting to keep track of what’s happening at DC Studios from now on? We’ve made a page for you to do that very thing. Bookmark it and keep coming back for the latest.