Michael Keaton Still Returning As Batman In James Gunn’s DC Plan?

Michael Keaton's Batman will be seen in The Flash, but beyond that, his appearances require a trip to the DC Universe's multiverse.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

michael keaton batman

As with everything related to the DC Universe these days, the question of Michael Keaton’s future as Batman requires a complex answer. Movieweb reports that despite the cutting back of cameos, James Gunn and Peter Safran are purposely leaving the door open for a multiverse of movies. In fact, one of the films revealed on the first slate of DC Universe films and shows, is a multiverse film according to Safran.

A likely candidate for the DC multiverse is The Authority, which was originally a super hero team from the WildStorm Universe that takes extreme measures to stop villains. For example, one of their first stories involved going to an alternate universe and stopping the rotation of the planet for a fraction of a second in just Italy, throwing an entire race of tyrants into space. Don’t worry though, as the actual first entry in the DC multiverse is The Flash, which promises plenty of Michael Keaton as Batman.

The Flash marks Michael Keaton’s return to Batman after 1992’s Batman Returns, a hit sequel directed by Tim Burton and co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Danny DeVito as The Penguin, and a criminally underrated Christopher Walken performance as corrupt businessman Max Shreck. Leaks have already revealed the new Batwing showing how Keaton’s Bruce Wayne has continued developing his wonderful toys in the ensuing decades.

Ezra Miller will still be returning as Barry Allen in The Flash though the universal reset promised by the events of the movie may result in a future re-casting. The controversial star has kept out of trouble since entering therapy at the behest of Warner Bros. Discovery following multiple criminal complaints over the last year. When the DC Universe resets, Gunn and Safran have hinted that Michael Keaton’s Batman will still have a place in the multiverse, but it will likely be years before he reappears.

michael keaton batman
Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman Returns

A cameo appearance in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been scrapped, meaning only The Flash will contain any amount of Michael Keaton. How Jason Momoa’s second outing will fit in the newly revealed DC Universe is currently unknown but it will be the end of an era. What has been revealed is that once again the world will be waiting with anticipation to find out who is going to be the next Batman.

Michael Keaton was the first movie Batman, following decades after Adam West played a campy version of the superhero on television. Following Keaton, Christian Bale modernized the character in Christopher Nolan’s gritty Dark Knight trilogy, which was quickly undone by Ben Affleck’s gun-toting Batman in the Snyderverse. The most recent Batman, Robert Pattinson, has been relegated to an Elseworld franchise, part of the DC multiverse and not in the main film universe.

Taking advantage of a DC multiverse will let Gunn and Safran have their own Spider-Man: No Way Home moment by seeing Michael Keaton interact with one or more of the other Batman actors. At one point such a moment was rumored to take place in The Flash but with the dropping of Ben Affleck as Batman, that is either not happening or it is and everyone is being misdirected. Regardless of what happens, it seems like Keaton will be involved with the DC Universe when and where the story allows for a trip to an alternate universe.