When Warner Bros. revealed that it was moving The Flash from 2022 to 2023, fans and media members attending CinemaCon – the celebration of theatrical exhibition in Las Vegas – assumed that footage from the superhero solo adventure would be put on hold. After all, there will be another CinemaCon in Las Vegas before Warner Bros. releases The Flash on June 23, 2023. But there was a significant block of DC Films footage shown at CinemaCon, including extended looks at Black Adam and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. But it was the site of an unmasked Michael Keaton in his Bat garb that stole the show.
The trailer for The Flash began with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) in school. He’s very fidgety, and very agitated. We then transition to The Flash, in an enhanced suit, showing up on the street in front of his childhood home. We saw this in the first trailer for The Flash. Barry is speaking to someone through an intercom. He mentions that he is being lured towards someone, and that they are “drawn to each other like magnets.”
But the moment that grabbed everyone’s attention was at the end, when Michael Keaton, returning to the role of Batman for the first time in decades, says to Barry:
This is a callback to Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne threatening The Joker (Jack Nicholson) when they faced off in Tim Burton’s Batman, released in 1989. Keaton has admitted to feeling a lot of pressure when working on Batman, so maybe that wild line delivery stemmed from that? Either way, here’s the scene. It’s a classic.
Warner Bros. confirmed from the stage in Las Vegas that The Flash was going to be the first movie that embraces the DC Multiverse, though I wonder if they are bummed that Marvel and Sony beat them to the punch with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Not that it won’t be cool to catch up with Michael Keaton playing Batman again… something he plans to keep doing when he reprises the Batman role for Leslie Grace’s Batgirl. Just look at how excited she is to add him to the Batgirl cast. We also think that we are seeing Ben Affleck’s Batman in The Flash. Affleck said he had the most fun filming his Batman scenes for The Flash. But Cyborg will have no part in the fun, so don’t look for him.
As for Michael Keaton’s line, it’s fan service. But so long as the entire movie isn’t just winks and nods to old DC movies, we could be in for something special. The Flash doesn’t arrive until June 2023, so be patient, and scan our full guide to upcoming DC movies to see what you can check out while you are waiting.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.