The Batman may be taking place on another Earth.
Reports indicate that rather than a pure reboot, Robert Pattinson’s upcoming take on The Batman will take place on an “Earth-2.” This would make it separate from the main DCEU, which means a very intriguing way for Warner Bros to work in different takes on DC heroes.
What is Earth-2?
The creation of the DC Multiverse was really an accident.
When DC Comics first began publishing superhero tales in the 1940s, they rarely connected until the Justice Society of America united Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, and others.
In the early 1950s, almost all these heroes faded away except for “the Big Three” of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Starting in 1956, the “Silver Age” brought in new versions of the Flash, Green Lantern, and other heroes using different names and origins.
In his first appearance, Barry Allen mentions reading comics of the Golden Age Flash, which inspired his own persona.
In the landmark Flash #123, The Flash of Two Worlds, the Barry Allen Flash finds himself on another Earth that’s home to the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick. Barry theorizes these Earths were created at the same time and separated by vibrational frequencies.
Thus, Earth-1 became the home of the “modern” DC heroes while Earth-2 was the residence of the Golden Age ones and crossovers between the two Earths were common. This, in turn, sparked the creation of scores of other alternate Earths.
In 1985’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event, Earth-2 was seemingly wiped out and the Golden Age heroes were integrated into Earth-1’s history. But the concept was too good to ignore, and since then, the Earth-2 moniker has been used for various tales, ranging from an “evil Justice League” to a new take on the Justice Society.
What an Earth-2 means for the DCEU
In a report on DC’s upcoming movie slate, the Hollywood Reporter focused on how The Batman “is set on the alternate Earth-2.” This means that rather than Pattinson’s Batman replacing Ben Affleck, he will stand alone with his own adventures.
This ties into how the plot of the Flash movie will have the Scarlet Speedster exploring other realities.
At the DC FanDome in 2020, DC Films President Walter Hamada discussed how the multiverse could be used to expand the DC movies without being held to the main DCEU.
“On one Earth, you have Gal and Jason and Ezra, as this Justice League and you can continue telling these stories, while on another Earth, you can have a more grounded, real, Year Two Batman (a reference to Robert Pattinson’s Batman). There is that one Earth, that greater Earth with this existing Justice League and another that’s sort of happening with that Year Two Batman. And of course there’s outliers like Joker, that doesn’t exist on either Earth, but that’s OK. Matt Reeves can continue to build out his Gotham.”
The Batman taking place on this different Earth is the first sign the DCEU Multiverse is becoming a real thing. The greatest impact is the freedom it gives DC over the MCU.
Unlike the MCU, DC won’t be held to ensuring every project fits exactly into the overall story arc and impacts other movies. Instead, The Batman can take more daring chances in its stories without worrying about messing up plans for a Justice League sequel.
It can also be how J.J. Abrams’ planned Superman reboot can utilize an original take on the Man of Steel without contradicting Henry Cavill’s version.
This can also benefit moviegoers who won’t feel the need to have watched several previous films to enjoy a newer take on a familiar hero.
The Arrowverse proves how alternate Earths can work and that crossovers can be a huge deal. The moment in Crisis where Grant Gustin’s Flash meets Ezra Miller’s version delighted fans. The idea of somehow Pattinson’s Batman meeting with Ben Affleck’s is genuinely exciting.
As amazing as the universe of DC Movies is, a multiverse could help set it apart from the MCU and inspire exciting new projects for fans and creators alike.
The Batman premiering in theaters March 4, 2022.