As unlikely as it may seem, Michael Keaton may once again be able to utter the iconic line, “I’m Batman,” and actually mean it. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Warner Bros. is in talks with Keaton to star as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Flash movie.
Keaton would join Ezra Miller in The Flash and act as a kind of mentor and guide to the young superhero. The wording from THR suggests that this is far more a Bruce Wayne role than a Batman one. The actor hasn’t played the Caped Crusader since 1992 and is currently 68, putting him well beyond the age of donning the cape and cowl.
Still, stranger things have happened, including the fact that Warner Bros. reportedly sees this not just as a one-off. The studio is apparently contemplating Keaton’s Bruce Wayne being the mentor to multiple DC Comics superheroes across the relaunched DCEU, including in the upcoming Batgirl film. Think Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury but with a cooler car.
While none of this has been confirmed by Warner Bros., it opens up a lot of interesting theories about how it could come about. DC is soft rebooting the DCEU with films like The Flash and Wonder Woman 1984, but the upcoming The Batman is said to not be connected to it. That leaves a window open for Keaton’s Batman — and, in turn, the Tim Burton Batman films — to become part of the DCEU.
DC has also already meddled with alternate universes in its TV shows, with the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. In fact, Ezra Miller’s Flash made an appearance in it, confirming the DCEU’s existence in a much larger DC film/television multiverse. Reinforcing that, The Flash itself is said to not only involve time travel but interdimensional travel. Given these facts, DC could easily connect all the different iterations of Batman by claiming they come from parallel universes.
DC is making a ton of splashy moves recently as it works to rebuild its comic films after the DCEU crashed landed in Justice League. Not only do we have Keaton possibly returning as Batman, but Henry Cavill is expected to return as Superman as well. They’re also bringing Zack Snyder’s Justice League to HBO Max alongside a slew of other superhero shows, including Green Lantern.