Batman Returns! Michael Keaton in Talks to Play Bruce Wayne in ‘The Flash’ Movie (Exclusive)
After nearly 30 years, Michael Keaton is in talks to return to the role of Batman and appear alongside Ezra Miller in Warner Bros.'s new film "The Flash," which TheWrap has learned exclusively. Talks with Keaton are at a very early stage, it is far from certain and can go either way. No details are currently available on how big or small Keaton's role is.
This action will introduce the general public to the idea of the multiverse, one of the core concepts underlying DC Comics. For the non-fan boy set, the multiverse refers to a changing number of alternative universes that coexist within the larger reality depicted in DC comics. Originally developed to explain various contradicting changes that the characters of the company have experienced over decades, several different versions of the same characters can coexist and occasionally interact. Matt Reeves' upcoming "The Batman" will not be affected, and Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is still considered the future of the franchise.
A notable component is the idea that there is always an above-average number of heroes and villains with superpowers in every single universe on Earth, whose actions often have cross-galaxy consequences.
Read also: What Michael Keaton's return as Batman could mean for the DCEU and Snyder Cut
DC has been planting the seeds of the multiverse for several years. It was introduced in The CW's "Arrowverse" franchise, with "Supergirl" and "Black Lightning" explicitly established as separate universes from "Arrow", "The Flash" and "Legends of Tomorrow". But most recently during the crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths" by The CW, films like "Wonder Woman" and "Justice League" were confirmed as part of the Arrowverse multiverse, as Barry Allen played by Grant Gustin in The CW on Miller's Barry met Allen.
And while it is not yet known how the multiverse concept will work in other future DC Comics films, it certainly extends the options available to Warner Bros as it develops them. Just in case it wants to find a way to play Joaquin Phönix 'Joker against the current version of Aquaman, for example.
We discuss here in more detail the possible larger impact of Keaton's return.
Keaton first played Batman / Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's eponymous blockbuster from 1989, a critical and financial success that changed the way superhero films were viewed - and paved the way for the genre's future box office. Keaton's casting was initially controversial among fans, as he was best known for wide comedies. But his performance, especially how he used his comedic background in his portrayal of Bruce Wayne to differentiate him from Batman, has been widely praised and is now considered a pioneering moment in comic films.
Keaton last played Batman in "Batman Returns" from 1992, but gave up the role during the development of a third film after Burton was superseded and replaced by Joel Schumacher, who replaced the series with "Batman Forever" and its version from 1995 in a Campier direction moved in 1997 much slandered follow-up "Batman & Robin".
But "The Flash" will completely ignore the latter two entries and investigate what Keaton's version of Batman has had since our last visit. The story is loosely based on the 2011 DC Comics crossover event "Flashpoint", previously announced as the film's title at Comic-Con 2017, and lets Barry Allen of Ezra Miller travel back in time to the death of his mother to prevent. The result? Everyone accidentally creates another universe protected by Michael Keaton's Batman, which is now 30 years older.
"It: Chapter Two" director Andrés Muschietti will direct "The Flash" based on the latest draft of the script by "Birds of Prey" writer Christina Hodson. Barbara Muschietti and Michael Disco produce.
"The Flash" plans to start production in the first quarter of 2021, which is subject to the Covid 19 protocols.
Keaton is again supported by ICM Partners and Ziffren.
Read the original Batman Returns story! Michael Keaton in conversation with Bruce Wayne in "The Flash" (exclusive) at TheWrap
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