Michael Keaton says that he always wanted to return to the role of Batman, even before being cast in The Flash. The star was the first to bring Bruce Wayne to life on the big screen in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and the sequel Batman Returns (1992), paving the way for the modern era of Dark Knight films. After decades away from the DC universe, Keaton is finally reprising his Batman role in The Flash – something he’s apparently wanted to do for a long time.
In the midst of ongoing confusion over the future of the DCEU, Keaton’s impending return to Gotham City has been a unanimously celebrated development. His original 1989 outing as the Caped Crusader remains a fan favorite, and after a rocky few years for both the character and DC’s live-action films at large, it should be fun to see The Flash return to Batman’s cinematic roots. Ben Affleck’s Batman is also set to return in The Flash for the first time since Justice League, possibly setting up a confrontation between the two.
Speaking recently with THR, Keaton said that he was excited at the prospect of returning in The Flash because playing Batman one more time has always been something he wanted to do. “Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherf-cker,” Keaton said, teasing what should be an exciting rendition of an older, more seasoned Bruce Wayne. The actor revealed that he felt even more in tune with the character and its legacy this time around, which bodes well for The Flash.
For now, Keaton’s actual role in The Flash remains shrouded in mystery. It’s known that he’ll appear when Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen travels to a parallel universe – similar to the events of the famous Flashpoint comic – but beyond that, it’s unclear how the elder Bruce Wayne will play into the story. Regardless, there’s sure to be plenty of references to and Easter eggs from the Burton films.
Keaton’s return has been so widely celebrated by fans that some have even called for the actor to get his own new solo Batman movie. Others still have pushed for a live-action Batman Beyond movie starring Keaton as Bruce Wayne. For now, there are no confirmed plans for Keaton to continue in the role in the future. But if he’s as excited to be donning the Batman costume again as he says, The Flash might not be the last time DC fans get to see his version of the character suit up.