We’re just over a year out from the big return of several key members of 2017’s Justice League in the upcoming The Flash movie and while all that’s pretty damn exciting, personally I can’t stop thinking about the film’s most shocking reprisal: Michael Keaton as Batman. For the first time since 1992, Keaton is busting out the ol’ Batarang and readying up to fight some crime in an adaptation of the famous, multi-dimensional DC story Flashpoint and it’s the kind of unexpected casting that honestly feels too good to be true.
While this role might seem a far stretch from a lot of Keaton’s more dramatic undertakings in recent years, such as Birdman and Spotlight, in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter the actor revealed a pretty compelling reason as for why he decided to rejoin the DC Cinematic Universe: he wanted another bat at, well, the Bat. According to Keaton, reprising his role as Batman has long been something he’s wanted to do — so he couldn’t pass it up when he got the option to return 30 years later:
Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherfucker,’ And so I thought, ‘well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.’
While taking on the role of arguably one of the most iconic and beloved superheroes of all time at the age of 69 (he’ll be 70 in early September) might seem like quite the undertaking, we’re pretty convinced that it’s one only the likes of Keaton is capable of. Funnily enough, the actor went on to say the most challenging part of the ordeal has merely been keeping up with the lore, which is extremely valid. While Keaton said he was impressed by Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson’s script as well as director Andy Muschietti’s vision, he was still pretty intimidated by just how much ground has been covered by DC throughout their movies and the heights Batman has soared since 1992.
I had to read it more than three times to go, ‘Wait, how does this work?’ 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. 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. 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.’
While the upcoming film is surely no “dance with the devil in the pale moonlight” for Keaton, we are incredibly excited to see what the “Golden Age” actor brings to a contemporary superhero film. Seeing how much of a punch he packed as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming (another role he will be reprising in 2022’s Morbius) we have extremely high hopes. As of right now, The Flash is scheduled to hit theaters on November 4, 2022.