Robert Pattinson’s Batman Can’t Be In The DCEU, Here’s Why

Robert Pattinson’s newest version of Batman is all any DC fans have been talking about, besides Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. From casting news to Pattinson’s many amusing comments about the role, it’s shaping up to be one of the most anticipated DC films in years. But not too long ago, the character was played by Ben Affleck. Now, part of the DCEU might have to go to make way for Pattinson’s reign as the Caped Crusader

Robert Pattinson at a screening, 2019.
Robert Pattinson at the 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival – Special Screenings of ‘The Lighthouse’ | Kimberly White/Getty Images

What’s already in the DCEU?

DC movies have a long cinematic history, but it wasn’t until 2013’s Man of Steel with Henry Cavill that the DCEU was born. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice came next in 2016, and it was the newest iteration of Batman since Christian Bale’s turn in the Dark Knight trilogy from 2005 – 2012. 

Affleck’s turn as Bruce Wayne received a lot of mixed reviews, and that gave the DCEU a shaky start. But Wonder Woman and Shazam! did well at the box office, and Suicide Squad is getting a sequel plus a spin-off movie with Birds of Prey. The future of these movies looks bright, but this new Batman with Pattinson might exist outside of this universe. 

The main reason why ‘The Batman’ can’t be in the DCEU

The most obvious reason it won’t fit is that they’ve recast everyone that’s appeared in the DCEU thus far. As ScreenRant points out, Pattinson’s turn as Batman could be the younger version of Affleck’s role. However, they also recast Commissioner James Gordon from J.K. Simmons to Jeffrey Wright, getting rid of the continuity they might have had between the two movies.

‘Justice League’ poses a huge problem as well

If Warner Bros. and DC wanted to include The Batman in the existing DC universe, all hope isn’t lost. Simmon’s Gordon only appeared in Justice League, so ScreenRant suggests that DC will have to completely retcon Justice League out of canon to make future continuity possible for Pattinson’s film.

The reviews for Justice League were not very good, and it didn’t do well at the box office either, compared to how much the movie cost. So maybe it would be the studio’s wish to wash it from memory.

The 'Justice League' cast at a premiere.
Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill and Jason Momoa attend ‘Justice League’ premiere | Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

‘The Batman’ director shed some light on this too

To add to the conversation, Matt Reeves, the director for The Batman, has made several comments on whether it will be part of DCEU’s current canon. In July 2017, Reeves told The Business podcast that it was a singular movie.

“I have a vision for a way to do something with that character that feels like it resonates with me personally,” he said. “When they approached me, what they said was, ‘Look, it’s a standalone. This isn’t part of the Extended Universe.” 

Then in Aug. 2017, he tweeted a clarification. “Just to be clear: Of COURSE Batman will be part of the DC Universe. Batman will be BATMAN…” He added in more tweets: 

In my comments from a while back about not being part of the DCEU, I was talking about The Batman being a story specifically about Batman… not about the others in the Universe. That it wouldn’t be filled with cameos servicing other stories — that it would be a BATMAN story.

Matt Reeve’s Twitter 1 & 2

There’s still some gray area around Pattinson’s character existing in the same universe as Affleck’s, making him the younger version of the same person. So there’s no telling, yet, how Justice League and any future DECU films will fit in. But it does confirm that, at least in this film, no other DC characters you’ve seen thus far will make an appearance. Including the Joker.