With The Flash movie being viewed as a financial failure at the box office, Kevin Smith laments that it may have inadvertently killed off plans for the live action adaptation of Batman Beyond.
The Flash leaned heavily on nostalgia for the history of the DC live-action films and television series. The return of Michael Keaton to the cape and cowl as Bruce Wayne/Batman is one of the major elements of both the story and the marketing promotion prior to the film’s release. But even with fans and critics agreeing that Keaton's Batman was one of the highlights of The Flash, it only brought in $139 million for its total 3-day opening weekend at the international box office.
Could the lukewarm box office for The Flash have quashed the Batman Beyond movie as well? Check out the details below.
The alleged plans for Batman Beyond were mentioned by comic book writer, filmmaker, and hardcore fanboy Kevin Smith during his "Fat Man Beyond" podcast in front of a live audience.
TONIGHT! At 8 pst / 11 est!
Streamed live from the @SVCantina!
Join me and @marcbernardin when we review not 1, but 2 Batman movies!
First, it’s BATMAN RETURNS AGAIN (aka @theFlash)!
Then we talk about the Schumacher Cut of BATMAN FOREVER!
Watch it at https://t.co/Mr5gZlSkgq! pic.twitter.com/OAbWqDuovR
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 19, 2023
During the podcast, Kevin Smith shared a third-hand account of what the apparent plans were for Michael Keaton if The Flash performed at least as well as Matt Reeves’s The Batman:
I was hoping that it did better than it did, or at least great, because Michael Uslan's kid said that… Michael Uslan and Benjamin Melniker, two guys whose names have been on every Batman movie and an animated film, because Michael Uslan got the rights years and years ago… if the movie did as well as The Batman… and The Batman opened at $130 million… one of the next Batman movies they're going to make is Batman Beyond with Michael Keaton. So I was like, 'Oh, my God, now I hope this movie makes a lot of money.
Batman Beyond was a 3-season cartoon created by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Alan Burnett, the same creative team responsible for the fan-favorite Batman: The Animated Series. Batman Beyond explored a completely new (at the time) alternate future, where an elderly Bruce Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy) passed on the mantle of the Batman to a young apprentice, Terry McGinnis (Will Freidle).
However, with only a $55 million three-day opening weekend domestic box office, The Flash is projected to be a loss. For comparison, Black Adam had a $67 million opening weekend. And while the theatrical run was apparently still profitable according to its star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson, it was still viewed as a box office failure. Fans have speculated that the failure stems from Ezra Miller's off-screen behavior and legal issues, as well as DC Studios CEO James Gunn prematurely announcing the end of the DCEU.
Could there still be a chance the Batman Beyond film starring Michael Keaton will see the light of day? Or is Kevin Smith correct in assuming that it is dead in the water after the mediocre box office performance of The Flash?
Fans can watch the entirety of Kevin Smith’s Fatman Beyond podcast discussing The Flash as well as the Schumacher cut of Batman Forever on Smith’s official YouTube channel.
And while the DC Extended Universe's The Flash may have underperformed during the first weekend box office, it is likely it will remain at number 1 for the second week. Whether or not it will ultimately break even or turn in a profit for Warner Bros. Discovery remains to be seen.
Directed by Andrés Muschietti and produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Studios, Double Dream, and the Disco Factory, The Flash is currently running in theaters worldwide.