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What Is Michael Keaton’s Batman Doing in ‘The Flash,’ Anyway?

Michael Keaton as Batman flying in The Flash

The Flash‘s release date is drawing closer, prompting Warner Bros. to drop an official trailer and poster to promote the film. These promotional materials have fostered a lot of conversation for multiple reasons. On the one hand, there are the DC Universe (DCU) fans intrigued by the comic book references and franchise impact of the film. On the other hand, some are still quite a bit leery over The Flash moving forward and receiving such high praise and attention from Warner Bros. and the DCU despite the numerous controversies surrounding the film’s lead star, Ezra Miller.

However, Miller’s controversies haven’t stopped fans from supporting and appreciating the other stars of the film. Based on the trailer, it seems that Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle will be stealing the show from Miller, anyways. Calle will be making her DCU debut as Kara Zor-El (a.k.a. Supergirl) in the film. She will be the hero of an alternate universe that arises when The Flash (Miller) changes time. What’s particularly interesting is that Superman doesn’t seem to exist in this universe, allowing Supergirl to take the spotlight as the world’s protector.

Meanwhile, Keaton will be reprising his role as Batman in The Flash for the first time in over 30 years. Keaton previously portrayed the hero in Warner Bros’ Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman film series. In The Flash, he will be portraying the Batman of the alternate universe, while Ben Affleck will return as the main-timeline Batman. Keaton, with his costume, Batcave, and Batman theme, easily stole the spotlight in The Flash trailer and raised anticipation for his return. However, his appearance may lead some to question how he ended up in the film in the first place.

Why is Keaton in The Flash?

Michael Keaton as Batman
(Warner Bros.)

Back when the news of his appearance in The Flash was first released, Keaton opened up a bit on why he decided to come back to the role of Batman after 30 years. His decision to return probably seemed pretty huge to fans, due to many having given up over the years of seeing him as Batman. However, his decision to return was pretty simple. He made the decision largely because he was interested in the idea of seeing an older iteration of Batman on stage, loved the writing of The Flash, and thought it would be fun. He told Variety:

It seemed like fun. I was curious what it would be like after this many years. Not so much me doing it — obviously, some of that — but I was just curious about it, weirdly, socially. This whole thing is gigantic. They have their entirely own world. So, I like to look at it as an outsider, thinking ‘Holy moly!’ The writing was actually really good. So I thought, why not? It’s cool to drop in and I’m curious to see if I can pull it off.”

While Keaton explained his personal reason for returning, Warner Bros. hasn’t explicitly explained why they invited him back. However, it isn’t difficult to speculate on why it would benefit the studio to bring back Keaton. Keaton has often been looked upon as one of the best actors to portray the iconic hero and has risen in prominence greatly since his original stint as Batman. Meanwhile, with The Flash toying with alternate realities and, similar to Spider-Man: No Way Home, opening up the opportunity for past iterations of characters to return, having one of the biggest Batman actors return seems like a no-brainer.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.