THE FLASH Star Michael Keaton Talks Returning As Batman And Struggling To Understand Multiverse Storyline

Michael Keaton talks about returning as Batman in The Flash ("I bet I could go back and nail that motherf***er") & admits that he had to read the script multiple times before understanding the Multiverse.

Michael Keaton last played Bruce Wayne in 1991's Batman Returns, but the actor will reprise the role in The Flash next year. Playing an older version of his Caped Crusader, the actor will suit up again for a team-up with the Scarlet Speedster and Supergirl that could see him join them on a trip through the DC Multiverse.

However, when he was presented with Christina Hodson's screenplay, the actor struggled to get his head around the concept of alternate realities and how his Batman ultimately fits in.

"I had to read it more than three times to go, ‘Wait, how does this work?’" the actor tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They had to explain that to me several times. By the way, I’m not being arrogant, I hope, about this. I don’t say it like, ‘I’m too groovy.’ I’m stupid. There’s a lot of things I don’t know about. And so, I don’t know, I just kind of figured it out, but this was different."

Despite that initial confusion, Keaton was impressed by Hodson's work and director Andy Muschietti's vision, so he jumped at the chance to don the Batsuit again. "Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherf***er. And so I thought, ‘Well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.’"

"What’s really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him. I get this on a whole other level now. I totally respect it. I respect what people are trying to make," Keaton continues. "I never looked at it like, ‘Oh, this is just a silly thing.’ It was not a silly thing when I did Batman. But it has become a giant thing, culturally. It’s iconic. So I have even more respect for it because what do I know? This is a big deal in the world to people. You’ve got to honor that and be respectful of that. Even I go, ‘Jesus, this is huge.’"

For fans of the original big screen Batman, these comments are only going to get them more excited to see what he brings to the table in The Flash next year. Rumour has it he'll be sticking around as this version of the Dark Knight, possibly becoming the DCEU's permanent Batman in the process.

Time will tell on that front, but we'll hopefully learn more about The Flash at DC FanDome this October.


Click on the "Next" button below for a breakdown of
reveals from a recently leaked promo for The Flash!

7. "A Solar-Powered Alien And Two Idiots"

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In the promo, Muschietti talks about The Flash featuring a much different Justice League, one he describes as having "a solar-powered alien and two idiots."

We don't think Batman is one of those idiots; instead, he's likely referring to Barry Allen and whoever that character hidden behind the spoiler warning is. Once upon a time, we're guessing that was meant to be Cyborg, but speculation is already running wild that it could be anyone from Booster Gold to Hal Jordan and even an alternate version of Wonder Woman. 

Whatever the case may be, this is a casting addition that's been kept fully under wraps. 

As for the "solar-powered alien," it looks like Batman, the Flash, and their unknown ally find Supergirl in a chamber bathed in Kryptonite, likely because she's been held captive by...someone! 
 

6. Batman Returns

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Concept art shown in this leaked video reveals Michael Keaton once again suited up as the Dark Knight driving the Batmobile and spending time in the Batcave (which looks very cool). 

While Ben Affleck is set to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne in The Flash, that's expected to be little more than a cameo appearance, and one that serves as an end to his tenure. 

Despite being quite a bit older than when we last saw him in Batman Returns, it seems Keaton's Caped Crusader continues to watch over Gotham City, and he's clearly going to be joining the Flash and Supergirl on whatever this mission they're embarking on to save the world actually is. 

Needless to say, that awesome on so many different levels!
 

5. The Mystery Character

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So, who is that character hidden by a great big spoiler warning? 

They seem to be wearing a coat of some sort, so perhaps it's a character like John Constantine? The Flash is certainly adhering to the Flashpoint comic books to a degree, with Supergirl taking Superman's place and Michael Keaton's Batman front and center instead of the Thomas Wayne version. 

However, there's no one there aside from Cyborg who really makes sense, leaving us to wonder whether this is another actor from the past who has been enlisted to reprise their role here. 

As well as fighting alongside the heroes we know about, it seems they'll be tagging along for a ride in the Batmobile too; wouldn't it be nuts if this was Batfleck, minus his memories?
 

4. Barry Allen Embraces Being A Superhero

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In both cuts of Justice League, Barry Allen was finding his feet as a superhero and seemed somewhat reluctant to step out of the shadows and let the world know of his existence. 

It seems that will have changed in The Flash because this is no longer a Scarlet Speedster who takes down someone like Captain Boomerang before speeding away. Instead, concept art shows the hero in Central City in an unexpected, though undeniably heroic position. 

The Fastest Man Alive leaps through the air catching babies who have somehow been flung through the sky. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what's led to that! 

One piece of concept art even shows Barry giving Supergirl what looks like a pep talk, so it seems he'll be instrumental in her journey to becoming a superhero. 
 

3. An Underdog Story

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"I embrace the fact these underdogs are going to save the world," promises Muschietti before Miller vows that The Flash is a movie that "will blow people's heads off."

Who are the underdogs? Well, a rookie speedster who has somehow changed reality, an older Batman, and a Supergirl who has spent most of her life in darkness certainly seem to fit the bill! The filmmaker's comments also confirm that whatever threat it is they're facing here is one that sees the fate of the whole world on the line. 

We don't know if that world is a newly created DC Extended Universe, a different reality that Barry Allen visits, or a combination of both, but it looks like we're in for a wild ride. 

What's particularly intriguing about all this is how the other films will acknowledge what could be quite sweeping changes!
 

2. Multiple Versions Of Batman

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In case it wasn't already clear, Miller confirms here that The Flash will include multiple versions of Batman. That might only mean two (Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton), but we have an inkling other versions that will make their presence felt.

In some respects, Flashpoint was just as much Batman's story as it was Barry's. The Thomas Wayne version of the Dark Knight wanted to fix reality in order to save his son, and while we're not convinced this Batman will have a similar mission, the character looks set to be a pivotal part of proceedings. 

We'd be willing to bet that at least one more familiar face returns as Batman (Val Kilmer), but Miller could have been referring to heroes like Batgirl or even Batman Beyond.

Reliable outlets have reported that this Batman will serve as a mentor to Batgirl down the line, so her showing up in this film doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.
 

1. Still No Sign Of A Big Bad

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Right now, the weirdest thing about The Flash is that it doesn't seem to have a villain. 

Someone is clearly going to put the Earth at risk, so there has to be a big bad of some sort. Heroes like these need someone to punch, and it's can't just be whoever was holding Supergirl captive. 

We're going to take a wild swing here and suggest that Miller could be playing Reverse-Flash, a twisted version of himself who has tapped into the Speed Force and lost his mind. That's not what fans want to see, but it might make more sense than a somehow completely secret casting addition!

It's hard to say, but there are few clues to be found in this leaked new look at the film. 
 

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