Guess who’s back? According to THR, Michael Keaton, who played Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Tim Burton-directed Batman films, could reprise his role as the Dark Knight in DC’s upcoming movie, The Flash.
According to the outlet, the idea is to bring Keaton on to play Bruce Wayne/Batman as a mentor figure to Barry Allen/The Flash, something akin to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. At this point, it’s unclear how Keaton’s return would clash with the upcoming standalone The Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson. Reps for Keaton tell Vanity Fair he is in talks for the role.
Michael Keaton was an instant hit as the caped crusader Burton’s ground-breaking Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Taking a bold career choice after playing the titular character in Beetlejuice, Keaton’s take on Batman was universally praised by fans and critics alike. Following the critical success of the films, a third instalment was planned, which Keaton ultimately rejected.
“[The film] just wasn’t any good, man,” Keaton told The Guardian in 2017. “I tried to be patient, but after a certain point, I was like, I can’t take this any more, this is going to be horrible. But, look, there was some really horrible taste in the ’90s, and I probably contributed to that, unfortunately.” Burton’s planned Batman 3 eventually evolved into Batman Forever, which has Joel Schumacher in the director’s chair. Batman Forever took the franchise in a more colorful, light-hearted direction — one that proved disastrous with viewers and critics alike by the time the fourth film, Batman & Robin.
Keaton’s possible return to the Batman character would have huge ramifications on the DC universe. Interestingly, the former Batman actor did a meta commentary on the whole experience in the Academy Award winning Birdman. On top of that, the veteran actor’s most recent superhero-movie outing was as the villainous Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Following the incredible success of Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Joker, Warner Bros. has successfully revitalised a broken franchise. By sticking with the multiverse formula, it is exciting to see what The Flash will be bringing into the table. The Flash is set to star Ezra Miller as the titular character, reprising his role in Justice League.