There might only ever be one true Batman. Actors can come and go, new versions of the character can get spun up with new stories around them. Others can try to put on the cape and cowl and get up to their own devices. But when it’s said and done, Michael Keaton is the guy who first took the character out of the campy version and more into what we see with comic book movies these days. And he’s officially coming back to the cape and cowl. After months of speculation, it’s official according to The Wrap. Michael Keaton will be donning the suit and appearing in The Flash when it finally hits the big screen.
This is pretty huge news for the comic book movie landscape. It’s been a year of new beginnings along these lines with multiple franchises now starting to wade into crossover waters when it comes to productions. We know something similar is coming down the pike in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: No Way Home and the DC Extended Universe is about to play the multiple-dimension game of their own with Michael Keaton back in the mix as Batman.
The official news about Michael Keaton joining The Flash as Batman came via his publicist and cemented what we long thought would be the case when it came to the old rumor mill. In fact, it was pretty widely known that there was a good chance he would take part in the film with only recent rumors going the other way around him possibly dropping out. Those seemed to stem from his concerns around joining a production with Covid-19 issues still hanging out there. But those fears were laid to rest on Monday with this announcement.
And things for Michael Keaton started to dial up even more over the weekend when pictures of his original Batmobile started making the rounds on Instagram. It was thought those were from the set of The Flash and essentially confirmed that his version of Batman was coming back.
It’s not totally clear how Michael Keaton as Batman will work into this story but it for sure will be part of a scenario that sees Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen / The Flash speeding his way through multiple realities. We know that in the latter’s world, Ben Affleck is the Batman so this Keaton version will offer something of a different timeline in a different reality. And there are other rumors as well for the movie which could include members of CW’s Arrowverse taking part in the festivities. It’s going to be a major blockbuster that will loop in DC characters from all over the production map.
Michael Keaton first appeared as the character all the way back in 1989 in Tim Burton’s Batman. It was a huge deal at the time, shifting the comic book movie landscape into a different and darker direction. He went on to reprise the role in Batman Returns. But that was the end of the line for Keaton who moved on after that with Val Kilmer and George Clooney taking up the mantle. Those dudes aren’t back (thank goodness) but Keaton is. And the return could be glorious.