A extraordinary return to the cape and cowl
It’s been 28 years since Michael Keaton last pulled on the famous cape and cowl as Bruce Wayne. However, in an extraordinary turn of events, it seems as if Keaton is set to suit up once more in upcoming film The Flash.
Michael Keaton famously played Batman in the Tim Burton-directed Batman films in 1989 and 1992 respectively, to mass acclaim from both fans and critics. To this day, Keaton is considered by many as one of if not the best man to play the infamous DC superhero.
The return of Keaton as the Bat is one that has shocked many fans for a variety of reasons: first and foremost being Keaton’s history with the role of the caped crusader. Keaton has had a complicated history with the role, stemming from his initial casting; after he was cast Warner Bros received thousands of angry letters littered with complaints and questioning the studio’s decision. Of course, he would go on to silence his critics with fabulous performances in both Batman and Batman Returns. The real issues Keaton had with the role of Batman rear their ugly head following Batman Returns, with Keaton refusing to return to the role after reading a more childish and comical script in line with a new more kid-friendly vision put in place by new director Joel Schumacher.
Following Keaton’s departure, he would continue to distance himself from the role, stating that he was fond of the fact he was never the main attraction of his film with more attention given to the villainous characters of Jack Nicholson‘s Joker, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and Danny Devito’s Penguin. Michael Keaton would also go on to play the lead role in 2014’s Birdman, which almost acted as a dramatization of how Keaton felt following his departure for the role of Batman. Keaton is also prominent in the role of The Vulture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with him featuring in Spiderman: Homecoming and the upcoming Moribus film.
However, with the recent news of Warner Bros and Keaton being in early talks for a sensational return to the role, it leads to many questions arising and many fans trying to become their version of the world’s greatest detective in search of an answer.
When initially announced to be in talks for the Ezra Miller-starring The Flash, it was believed that Keaton would take up the role of Thomas Wayne due to the film following the infamous Flash comic event ‘Flashpoint’. But it is now being reported by The Wrap that Keaton is in fact in talks to return, while director Andres Mucchetti and writer Christina Hudson look to take the multiversal story in a different direction than its comic counterpart. It was also confirmed by The Wrap that this would most likely not be a one and done appearance, as Warner Bros would like Keaton to become a larger figure throughout their plans for the DCEU.
With the return of Keaton as Batman, it leaves many unresolved questions surrounding the DCEU, such as if Matt Reeves The Batman will take place in the main timeline or be a standalone franchise in the vein of Joker. Despite the mystery surrounding this project, the return of Michael Keaton to Batman is extremely exciting for fans of his portrayal, and could show potential signs of improvement for Warner Bros DCEU.
Words by Paul Dawson