TheWrap is reporting that Michael Keaton is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to reprise the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the upcoming DC film The Flash.
Currently at this moment in time, Ezra Miller is still attached as Barry Allen aka The Flash, with Andy Muschietti attached to direct.
While the storyline for The Flash film is being kept under wraps at the moment as rumours circulate leading up to the DC FanDome in August, the report from TheWrap states that the film will follow the comics storyline of Flashpoint, in order to introduce film audiences to the idea of the multiverse, showing how alternate universes coexist within the larger reality depicted in DC Comics. The report from The Hollywood Reporter however states that the deal could also lead to Keaton reprising the role beyond The Flash film and possibly appear over several films, with the actor being envisioned to portray the character as a mentor figure or the guy pulling the strings (the report likening it to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). The report even touts that he could be linked with appearing in Batgirl since that’s still a project that DC might not have given up on just yet as that’s been shelved since Whedon’s departure, though the script from Christina Hodson still exists.
Michael Keaton portrayed the Caped Crusader back in 1989 in Tim Burton’s Batman, then staring in the 1992 sequel Batman Returns, though he wouldn’t return for a third, speaking about the reasoning for his decision in an interview with the Guardian in 2017 when promoting American Assassin, saying:
[The film] just wasn’t any good, man. I tried to be patient, but after a certain point, I was like, I can’t take this any more, this is going to be horrible. But, look, there was some really horrible taste in the 90s, and I probably contributed to that, unfortunately. It was a time of nouveau riche excess – everyone was known for their jets and their stuff. And I thought, I’m in this job for the long run, I don’t want this. And the truth is, I’m not boasting, but I was correct. There are a whole load of people who ran things that are long gone.
In 2017, Keaton returned to the superhero genre, portraying the Spider-Man villain Adrian Toomes aka Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In relation to this news, I’m not even thinking about it in terms of how he would fit in The Flash film, I’m too busy thinking of down the road what they will do with Keaton’s Bruce Wayne. Will we get a Batman Beyond style film beyond the horizon? Or will Keaton don the cape once more for The Dark Knight Returns? It’ll be interesting to see what happens and I’m sure if a deal is struck in the next week or two, we might get some info at DC FanDome.