Michael Keaton has been the center of many rumors regarding the future of the DC film universe. One even said he would be replacing Ben Affleck as the prime Batman. Others have said he will be headlining a Batman Beyond movie or television series. It seems like a lot is up in the air regarding the actor’s involvement, but a recent piece of news says one part of his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman has been signed and sealed.
Insider Daniel Richtman is claiming that “Michael Keaton has closed his deal to appear in [The Flash].” We have actually seen concept artwork that posited his involvement in the upcoming DC superhero film. But if Richtman’s report is true, it sounds like Warner Bros./DC had not quite negotiated his official involvement by the time they released that artwork. However, it now sounds like his participation is an assured thing and he will be playing some integral role in the film.
How pivotal will Michael Keaton’s role in The Flash be? Many assumed it would be a quick cameo to help sell the multiverse idea to audiences. But, with recent reports that Ray Fisher has seen his Cyborg character be completely written out of the movie, we wonder if his role could end up being filled by Keaton’s Batman. Cyborg and Flash were shown to have a close friendship in Justice League and it was assumed that would carry over into The Flash. With Cyborg out of the picture, will his supporting role be vacated or replaced by another character?
More importantly, does Michael Keaton being definitively signed on for The Flash mean he is only signed on for that one movie? Normally, when an actor signs a contract for some massive franchise endeavor, they also sign on for some unknown number of other projects. In the olden days, these would just be straight-up sequels. But, in the modern era of cinematic universes, it is almost certain this now means signing on for an untold number of other tie-in projects. Could this include the often-rumored Batman Beyond live-action adaptation? That seems to be a project that fans deeply want to see Keaton be a part of. And could it mean other appearances from Keaton in DC movies and HBO Max shows?
Whatever the case may be, having Michael Keaton return as Batman in any form will surely excite older fans of the character. It will also help Warner Bros. establish their many varied types of movies they want to make in this next wave of DC films. Making audiences aware that the universe of Keaton’s Batman can exist at the same time as Robert Pattinson’s upcoming version will help sell consumers on the idea of a superhero multiverse. And it will mean the DC projects will not feel as indebted to connect up to one another in the same way the Marvel Cinematic Universe has cemented with its movies.
No matter what, it is unquestionably intriguing to see Michael Keaton return to the role of Batman. How that will all play out remains to be seen, but it is undeniably exciting to think we will be seeing him in the cape and cowl for at least one more adventure.