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Batman Returns?! 'The Flash' director Andy Muschietti shares cryptic image as production speeds along

By Josh Weiss
Batman 1989

Seemingly aware of how long fans have had to wait for Warner Bros.' standalone Flash movie to kick off production, director Andy Muschietti isn't holding back on the teaser front. Ever since filming began in April, the IT filmmaker has helped speed up excitement for the DC project with a number of images from the set, including an actor's chair bearing the name "Bruce Wayne."

As we've known since last summer, The Flash is set to feature two versions of the Caped Crusader: the DCEU iteration played by Ben Affleck (he builds Barry's new suit) and the Tim Burton iteration played by Michael Keaton. So, it's rather unclear to which Batman the chair is referring.

Muschietti added another wrinkle into the mix Friday with a cryptic image of the Dark Knight logo splashed with Watchmen-esque droplets of blood. There's no caption, but the symbol on display is more in line with the one utilized by Burton's interpretation of the Gotham vigilante (as opposed to the wide and girthy sigil devised by Zack Snyder for Batfleck). Ok, but who's blood is that? Well, a piece of concept art released at DC FanDome last summer showed Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) fighting alongside Keaton's Batman, so we're not surprised that Bruce is about to get a little battered.

Take a look for yourself below:

Written by Birds of Prey scribe Christina Hodson, The Flash will introduce the idea of a wider multiverse into the context of the DCEU. The screenplay is reportedly inspired by the Flashpoint arc in which Barry Allen finds himself in a post-apocalyptic future while trying to prevent the death of his mother. In this fractured world, the Justice League was never formed, with each member operating as authorities unto themselves. While Ray Fisher's Cyborg will not be making an appearance, it's pretty much confirmed that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) are slated to enjoy cameo roles in the movie, as well.

In the original Flashpoint comic by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, Bruce Wayne was murdered as a young child, leading his father to take on the mantle of the Batman, while his mother went insane and became the Joker. With Keaton returning to this universe, however, it seems like The Flash will disregard the source material in favor of depicting an older, more jaded Batman that recalls the character's reluctant retirement in Batman Beyond.

"Barry, because he's got this ability to go back and manipulate time, he's the only one who can actually go and change his own personal story," Hodson said at DC FanDome last August. "I'm also excited to see Andy's version of the Speed Force. He happened to have done some doodles that I may or may not have taken and kept. They are literally unlike anything that I've seen before."

The Flash opens in theaters everywhere Nov. 4, 2022.