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How Many Batmen Does It Take For James Gunn To Fix The DCU (& Why The Answer Is Four)

Hey. Hey, guys. Might you be interested in a Batman? We're asking because as it turns out, the DC Universe currently has an overwhelming surplus of the li'l guys. Aww, look at them go, stalking the night!

DC Studios co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran have officially announced their plan for the DCU's future, and while projects like "The Authority" and "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow" are as cool as you'd hope, it appears that a computational mistake was made somewhere along the way. Maybe they left for lunch one day just after deciding to have two Batmen. Then they came back, forgot where they left things, and accidentally added another two. These things happen. 

Regardless of how this frankly weird amount of four pointy-eared Caped Crusaders came to be, they're somewhere out there right now, waiting in the (bat)wings for their dramatic entrance. We have the Robert Pattinson Batman, busy doing his own thing in the gritty realism corner just outside the DCU proper. "The Flash" is still happening, which means veterans Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck will be squeezing back into their respective Batsuits this summer. Finally, there's the as yet unannounced new DCU Batman, who'll team with the Damian Wayne version of Robin for the newly announced "The Brave and the Bold." That's at least two more Batmen than you need to once again get mad about the fact that the DCEU had just one live-action Batgirl, and Warner Bros. Discovery called quits on her.

While the bat-market seems to be more saturated than it's ever been — which is saying something, considering the character tends to be rebooted every other Wednesday even at the best of times — there just might be a method to the mayhem. Here's how all four incarnations of Batman can be handy tools as James Gunn is fixing the DCU.

Two bats are different by design, two are inherited but still handy

The big bat-themed revelation here is, of course, the looming introduction of Active Batman #4 in "The Brave and the Bold." Per /Film, Gunn and Safran specifically stated that neither Affleck nor Pattinson will be playing the role, so fans are no doubt already browsing through Hollywood's most chiseled faces to locate potential Bat-candidates.

The way they described "The Brave and The Bold" makes it seem that the movie will be significantly lighter in tone than "The Batman," and focuses on the dynamic between the crimefighter and his young son-slash-sidekick. This sets Batman #4 up as a borderline comedic role of a dad who's trying to figure out an optimal work-life balance –- which actually sounds hilarious, and also like something that's never been done in live action. 

Since "The Batman" series takes care of the serious, muted-colors version of the Dark Knight's two most common representations, there's a decent chance that "The Brave and The Bold" will leans into the fun, colorful side of the equation, not unlike its animated namesake. No need to fully Adam West things up, but an injection of comedy in the live-action Batman mythos is something no one's dared to attempt since Joel Schumacher ... though, to be fair, this is likely also because of Joel Schumacher. 

As for "The Flash" bat-duo, Gunn and Safran obviously inherited the pair. Even so, they might be extremely useful. See, regardless of how "The Flash" wraps Keaton and Affleck back in their respective capes and cowls, it'll set a precedent: Now, there's a DC film with multiple Batmen. After that, Gunn can summon meetings between Bruces Wayne whenever he deems it necessary, and with minimal explanation. This might just come in handy, because with four Batmen (and, quite possibly, counting) at his disposal, he'll always be sitting on a potential "No Way Home"-style Bat-event for the ages.