The Flash (2023) trailer is finally here, and it promises to be the DC Universe's answer to Marvel's Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) - with multiple versions of Batman instead of Spider-Man, of course. But will the film also follow in the footsteps of No Way Home where villains are concerned?
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Which members of Batman's Rogues Gallery will return from the two Tim Burton and two Joel Schumacher films? Let's take a look...
Jack Napier/The Joker - Batman
We don't mean to hurt his feelings, but Jack Nicholson is far too old to reprise his role as Jack Napier/The Joker from Batman (1989). However, never say never, because de-aging has become the new norm in superhero movies. So, will this version of The Joker return for The Flash?
Well, the problem is that Bruce Wayne/Batman (Michael Keaton) ends up killing The Joker (Jack Nicholson) at the end of the 1989 film. With that said, death didn't stop the likes of Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina from reprising their roles as their respective Spider-Man villains in No Way Home.
Possible or impossible? Well, given the fact that we're being reunited with Michael Keaton's Batman in his own universe at a later stage in his life, several decades after The Joker is killed, we're going to have to go with impossible for this one.
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Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin - Batman Returns
The same rule probably applies to the sinister, sewer-dwelling mutant of sorts that is Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Danny DeVito) from Batman Returns (1992), seeing as he too is killed off at the end by Batman.
Even if Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) visits another Michael Keaton timeline, the fact that Multiversal dimensions appear to run parallel one another, there's no reason why another timeline would take place decades before.
Possible or impossible? Unfortunately, it's probably impossible.
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Selena Kyle/Catwoman - Batman Returns
We're yet to depart Batman Returns territory, and fortunately, Selena Kyle/Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) walked off into the night without a single scratch (okay, she may have had a few).
As such, it's possible Michelle Pfeiffer will reprise her role as the feline fatale in The Flash - even if she is currently committed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the likes of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).
Possible or impossible? Cats have nine lives, don't you know - this is very possible.
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Harvey Dent/Two-Face - Batman Forever
This is where things start to get quite confusing where the original Batman film series is concerned. In other words, are Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997) really canon with Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns?
Well, it seems the only constant is the late Michael Cough (Alfred Pennyworth) and the late Pat Hingle (Commissioner Jim Gordon). Otherwise, they don't really feel like sequels at all. Heck, Batman and Robin doesn't even feel like a sequel to Batman Forever, even if it sees the return of Chris O'Donnell (Dick Grayson/Robin)!
Either way, could Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) return for The Flash? Well, it's likely that Batman Forever and Batman and Robin are being wiped from canon, as it looks like, from the trailer, that Michael Keaton's Batman went on to have different adventures than those portrayed in the two Joel Schumacher movies.
Possible or impossible? Based on all the above, probably impossible.
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Edward Nygma/The Riddler - Batman Forever
While we're inclined to say that the same applies to Jim Carrey's Edward Nygma/The Riddler, not so fast. After all, Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face is killed at the end of Batman Forever, whereas The Riddler survives and is incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.
However, be that as it may, as it looks like his film isn't going to be considered canon by The Flash, then we're afraid there isn't much of a riddle to be solved here. Although it would be awesome to see Jim Carrey reprise his role, especially after the performance he turned in as Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020).
Possible or impossible? Impossible (but with an "ish" on the end, obviously).
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Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy - Batman & Robin
We're finally in Batman and Robin territory, but the "Joel Schumacher rule" still applies - it doesn't look like his two Batman films are actually canon with the first two by Tim Burton, and it sure looks like The Flash is in agreement.
Although, with that said, the film is dealing with the DC Universe, and these two films have to have taken place in a reality somewhere, right? So why not just throw in as many of these villains as possible.
After all, no one really likes The Amazing Spider-Man films, yet that didn't stop villains from those films from appearing in No Way Home. The question is, do we want to see Uma Thurman reprise her role Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy? Erm...
Possible or impossible? Impossible.
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Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze - Batman & Robin
What can we say about these timelines and continuities that we haven't already said? Well, we've not really had the chance to use any ice-tastic puns, so let's see what we can do.
Hell would probably freeze over before fans would ever welcome Arnold Schwarzenegger's Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze back into a Batman film. Can you really imagine modern audiences being so chill about such a cameo? As cool as it would be for some of the more diehard fans, ultimately, The Flash would be walking on very thin ice.
How did we do?
Possible or impossible? Impossible. But deep down, we'd all love to see it happen.
Bane - Batman & Robin
Just no. This must never be allowed to happen.
Possible or impossible? Impossible. He's terrible. Tom Hardy's Bane, on the other hand...
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Check out the official trailer for The Flash below:
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).
Check out the official Warner Bros. The Flash hub here.