The multiverse is expanding, and that includes who gets to wear Batman’s cowl. While the future of Ben Affleck’s Batman is shrouded in some mystery (at least outside of a confirmed role in the 2022 movie The Flash), Robert Pattinson is suiting up to play a newer, younger Dark Knight in The Batman set for release on March 4, 2022.
But Pattinson isn’t just a “younger” Bruce Wayne. He’s a different Bruce Wayne who inhabits a different world than the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) as we’ve come to know it. And that continuity is getting an official name: Earth-2.
But The Batman’s placement is actually raising serious questions about the continuity of the multiverse. And it has to do with a show on The CW.
What Happened? — The Hollywood Reporter has news on the end of both Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s The Trench, a horror spin-off of Aquaman. While reporting on the demise of both projects, THR provides a minor update to 2022’s The Batman from director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson in the title role.
THR confirms that The Batman will take place in a separate continuity that is being recognized as “Earth-2” by DC Films. Last summer at DC FanDome, DC only confirmed that The Batman was set in a different universe than the DCEU but did not provide an official Earth designation. Now, it has one, as Earth-2 becomes part of the DC multiverse.
“[The Batman] is set on an alternate Earth known to geeks as Earth-2,” writes THR, adding this about the broader plan for the DCEU: “Key to setting up its new status quo will be The Flash ... which will tackle the multiverse and is said to also lend clarity to the future of the Justice League with multiple Batmen, as well as Supergirl, appearing.”
While this does clarify that The Batman is not in the same universe as DC movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, and the upcoming The Suicide Squad, the use of “Earth-2” actually poses potentially confusing wrinkles for fans who pay attention. The question that should be on every hardcore DC fans’ minds right now: What about Stargirl?
The Batman v Stargirl? — Stargirl, the former DC Universe (now CW) series, stars Brec Bassinger as teen superhero Courtney Whitmore who takes up a magical staff to become a star-spangled vigilante, Stargirl. In the 2019/2020 crossover special “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which ends with a newly mapped DC multiverse, Stargirl is given the designation of Earth-2, the same universe given to The Batman.
So, is The Batman of Earth-2 sharing continuity with Stargirl? Or is something else going on here?
Of course, the sunny town of Blue Valley, Nebraska can exist many miles away from rain-soaked Gotham City, which means Bassinger’s Stargirl and Pattinson’s Batman never have to cross paths. But that won’t stop fans from asking about any cracks in continuity should the extremely dark and gritty The Batman make a claim like “superheroes don’t exist” while Stargirl actually has the entire Justice Society of America in its lore.
The Inverse Analysis — While DC Films can very well call a new, The Batman-centric universe “Earth-2,” it’s possible there is oversight and no one bothered to check that Earth-2 is already inhabited by another DC hero. Still, there’s a lot of space between Blue Valley and Gotham City. Just because two tonally different heroes exist on the same Earth doesn’t mean they’re going to team up or fight each other. But with the possibilities of the multiverse, they still can.
The Batman will be released in theaters on March 4, 2022.