A few months ago, rumors began to circulate that Warner Bros. was eyeing Michael Keaton to return to the role of Batman for Ezra Miller’s upcoming Flash movie. Keaton confirmed that the rumors were true but that he was still mulling over the offer as he had yet to read the script and was unsure about the COVID restrictions in the movie’s UK filming locations.
However, Keaton has since accepted the role, and The Flash has begun shooting, so his return as Batman is a done deal. With this in mind, there are many fans things want to see from this long-awaited reprisal.
10 A Grizzled Older Bruce Wayne
At the tail end of his life, Michael Keaton’s Batman should be a grizzled veteran crimefighter in the Flash movie. His characterization should be similar to Batfleck – bitter and world-weary – except Keaton’s Bat actually has the on-screen experience to back up the bitterness.
The melancholic feeling of seeing a seemingly invincible superhero becoming susceptible to pain and failure in later life can be pretty moving. Just look at Hugh Jackman’s powerful performance in Logan.
9 Tim Burton’s Gotham
While Christopher Nolan’s gritty, pseudo-realistic metropolis and Zack Snyder’s Arkham-adjacent doom and gloom are the freshest portrayals of Gotham City in moviegoers’ minds, Tim Burton’s German Expressionism-inspired take is still the definitive one.
If Ezra Miller’s Flash is going to meet Michael Keaton’s Batman, he should also check out the gothic Fritz Lang-esque architecture surrounding him.
8 Alternate Versions Of The Character
The most commonly floated rumor about the plot is that Barry travels back in time to prevent his mother’s death and messes up the spacetime continuum so badly that it requires the intervention of Keaton’s Batman from another universe.
As long as DC is tearing open the multiverse, this premise should be used to introduce a few different versions of Keaton’s Batman, like one who failed to stop the Joker. It could be fun to see a few different versions of this character.
7 A Tangible Mentor-Mentee Relationship With Ezra Miller’s Flash
If Michael Keaton’s Batman is going to become a mentor to Ezra Miller’s Flash in this movie, then the two actors need to develop a tangible mentor-mentee relationship that the audience can relate to and root for.
In Justice League, Batfleck’s quasi-Tony Stark/Peter Parker dynamic with the Flash wasn’t as fleshed out as it could have been, and fans would love to see it done with a bit more heart.
6 Keaton’s Signature Dry Wit
When Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, Warner Bros. was flooded with 50,000 complaint letters, because fans didn’t believe the star of Mr. Mom could play a convincing Dark Knight. But Keaton’s background in comedy ended up helping his portrayal of Bruce Wayne, because he brought a dry wit to the character.
There was plenty of humor in Keaton’s Batman movies – like when he’s having dinner with Vicki in one of his mansion’s many dining rooms and quips, “I don’t think I’ve ever been in this room before” – and that humor should be prevalent in The Flash.
5 Becoming The DCEU’s Nick Fury Figure
There are rumors that DC is planning to use Michael Keaton’s Batman as a sort of Nick Fury figure for the DCEU, watching over all the heroes and bringing them together when necessary.
This could finally set the franchise’s timeline straight after years of on-and-off SnyderVerse, and standalone works like Joker, that have made the DCEU a bit more chaotic compared to the neatly organized, well-oiled machine of Marvel.
4 Another Classic Villain
From Jack Nicholson’s Joker to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman to Danny DeVito’s Penguin, Michael Keaton’s Batman has tangled with some of the most iconic villains in the history of comic book movies.
In reintroducing Keaton’s Caped Crusader, the Flash movie should feature another beloved A-lister in the role of a fan-favorite Batman villain – or even have one of the canonically alive ones return.
3 Danny Elfman’s Batman Theme
Danny Elfman’s theme tune from Michael Keaton’s Batman movies is the perfect musical accompaniment for Gotham’s masked protector. It’s so well-suited to the character that it was reused for Batman: The Animated Series – and it should be reused for Keaton’s reintroduction in The Flash.
Elfman’s theme was incorporated into the theatrical cut of Justice League along with John Williams’ iconic Superman theme, so it’s technically already a part of the DCEU.
2 Go Full Spider-Verse
As long as the Flash movie is ripping open the multiverse and crossing timelines, it might as well go full Spider-Verse and bring in a bunch of different Flashes (including Grant Gustin) and a bunch of different Batmen (even George Clooney, Bat-nipples, and all).
With both Keaton and Affleck’s Bruce Waynes, the Flash movie might already be overrun with Batmen in a story that’s supposed to be about Barry Allen, but DC should really lean into the multiverse angle as long as it’s going down that path.
1 Setup For A Batman Beyond Movie
The reintroduction of Keaton’s Batman as an older man should be used to lead into a live-action movie adaptation of Batman Beyond. The classic cartoon took place in a futuristic Gotham in which an elderly Bruce Wayne trained a young protégé to take on the mantle of Batman and continue his crime-fighting legacy.
While Batman movies have always relied on the influence of film noir to bring their dark antihero, moral gray areas, and complex themes to life, a futuristic take could draw inspiration from sci-fi neo-noirs like Blade Runner.
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