DC has confirmed that Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel and Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight share the same continuity.
Yes we’ve seen Batman and Superman trade blows in recent years on the big screen inhabited by Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, respectively. But fans who had grown up to the thrills of Keaton and Reeve’s takes on the characters have wondered if they share the same reality.
Through the recent Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1, it had been revealed that both cinematic versions of the characters do indeed exist together on the designated Earth-789 of The Multiverse. This revelation opens the possibility of these two having a crossover, especially in light of the recent miniseries, Superman ’78 and Batman ’89, respectively.
Ever since the release of Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, fans have speculated as to whether or not this incarnation shared the same dimensional space as Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman: The Movie. In fact, the closest fans came to seeing Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeve in the same shot together was in the 1994 romantic comedy Speechless with Geena Davis.
This would be one of Reeve’s final performances before his equestrian accident that left him a quadriplegic until he passed away in 2004. Keaton, meanwhile, focused on projects as far away from Batman as possible until he returned to comicdom as Marvel’s Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Bruce Wayne once more in The Flash.
DC Affirms What Fans Have Speculated For Years
The aforementioned miniseries deviates from the less-popular sequels and focused on original stories. Further, these stories used characters that had been passed over as cinematic antagonists. For example, Superman took on Brainiac, a character that had been replaced for Superman III by Richard Pryor’s bumbling computer genius, Gus Gorman.
It was also revealed that Jor-El and Lara were still alive in one of the many shrunken cities on Brainiac’s ship. In Batman ’89, meanwhile, we not only saw Billy Dee Williams’s Harvey Dent, not Tommy Lee Jones, become Two-Face, but how Marlon Wayans would have looked as Robin.
Burton never saw the sense of a Robin existing in the world that he had created, and often fought studio pressure. He and the studio ultimately parted ways as he wanted the next Batman film to be darker than Batman Returns, but he still retained a Producer credit. These two books focused on the essence of what birthed these franchises, giving readers a glimpse at what might have happened if Donner and Burton had remained on hand to steward the films.
That is where the world that spawned them comes in. These two books focused on the essence of what birthed these franchises, giving readers a glimpse at what might have happened if Donner and Burton had remained to helm the films. Now that these series have been made canon and are a part of the same universe, the possibilities are endless. The only question is when will we see The Batmobile zooming past The Daily Planet, or Superman soaring over Gotham City past the Bat-Signal? Or perhaps a competition between Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane and Kim Bassinger’s Vicki Vale?
Time will hopefully tell.