Holy photographic evidence, Batman! Michael Keaton is officially back as Gotham’s Dark Knight, and we’ve got the receipts to prove it. Photos emerged from the set of HBO Max’s upcoming Batgirl movie, with Keaton in full costume!
The photos come courtesy of the twitter account Batgirl Film News. A series of 4 photos was posted to the account, with Michael Keaton’s Batman in 3 of them. The new costume certainly has some similarities with his classic one, but there are some noteworthy differences. It doesn’t look quite as stiff as his 1989 Batman suit and it appears he might even be able to move his neck in this one. Not sure. Judge for yourself in the images below.
In two of the images, Michael Keaton appears as Batman with crew members obscuring the view somewhat. In another shot, we can only see his head from the other side of a police car, where he’s standing to the side of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Considering it was the late Pat Hingle who played Commissioner Gordon in Keaton’s Batman films, we can only hope some kind of cute comment acknowledging the difference is coming. Something like, “Have you lost weight, Commissioner?” Or maybe, “Jim, you’re the last person I could see editing a newspaper.” Or, “hey, aren’t you on Law & Order a bunch?” Okay that lost one is just silly.
It isn’t clear yet exactly what role Michael Keaton’s Batman will have in HBO Max’s Batgirl. Will he serve as mentor to Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace), or will he try to turn her away from the crime-fighting life? Assuming at some point in the film he learns that Batgirl and Barbara Gordon are the same person, it seems likely the Dark Knight will feel some pressure to spill what he knows to her father.
Michael Keaton’s Batman may already have his sidekick slot filled in Batgirl. In January, photos emerged from the set of a Gotham City mural featuring both Batman and Robin. Considering the various boys and girls who have assumed the title of Robin over the years in the comics and other media, we don’t know exactly which one this is or if he will still be working with Batman during the time of Batgirl. The mural does appear to be aged, after all. If this Robin turns out to have befallen a tragic fate, that could serve as the impetus for Bruce Wayne to refuse to mentor Barbara Gordon.
A lot of unknowns surround Batgirl, including the mystery of why Michael Keaton’s Batman is involved. The presence of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon suggests the film takes place in the prime DCEU, since Simmons first assumed the role in 2017’s Justice League. The 21 year age difference between Keaton and Ben Affleck would suggest this is more than simple re-casting and likely has something to do with both versions of Batman appearing in The Flash later this year.
Batgirl is also expected to release on HBO Max at some point this year, though no firm release date has been set. Along with the actors already mentioned, the film will star Brendan Fraser as Garfield Lyns, aka the pyromaniac villain Firefly, and Ivory Aquino as Alysa Yeoh. Jacob Scopio has been cast opposite Leslie Grace in an as of yet undisclosed role.