Well, let’s start with the source of this particular rumor, as it comes to us from the latest episode of ‘The Superhero News Show,’ where co-host (and Forbes writer) Mark Hughes claims that he has heard from several sources that the idea is being floated around that if the ‘Joker’ movie with Joaquin Phoenix ends up being successful, Warner Bros/ DC will most likely push ‘The Batman’ out of the DCEU continuity and instead make it part of the Joker movie universe.
Hughes made sure to note that this is nothing more than an idea at the moment and a lot has to occur for that particular move to happen, but it does make a certain amount of sense and might be the first signs of the beginning of the end for the DCEU. A DC comics movie universe without Batman just does not make sense. Although, even as I say that, I remember there is a DC live-action universe on the CW with no Batman (yet!) and it has been doing just fine for 6 years now. And yet, seeing groups like The Justice League without the Dark Knight at the forefront (and as one of the leaders) would be very odd indeed.
Clearly, movie audiences will be wondering where the hell Batman is if the DCEU keeps going without him. With Ben Affleck already on his way out and a new movie poised to jump into the Joker universe (which is being dubbed either “DC Dark” or “DC Black”), I cannot imagine the skittish executives of Warner Bros/ DC going ahead with ANOTHER Batman in the DCEU, not with all of their worry about fans getting “confused,” which has been their excuse for forcing shows on the CW to exclude certain characters over the years. As for ‘The Batman,’ it makes sense for it to take place in the new continuity, especially if they are going with a new, younger version of Bruce Wayne. Having it take place in the Joker universe would allow them to maintain some of the darker aspects of the character which has been a staple of the franchise for years (though some would argue it could also be a crutch, as Zack Snyder leaned a bit too heavily on it for his DCEU films). Who knows? Maybe they are setting up the Joker universe to eventually take over the DCEU with characters crossing over thanks to ‘Flashpoint’ or some other means. But for now, things are looking a bit bleak for fans of the current DCEU.
You can check out the episode of ‘The Superhero Show’ where this call came out below, with Hughes talking about the rumor around the 1:03:24 mark. Afterward, feel free to share your thoughts about ‘The Batman’ leaving the DCEU in the comments section!