How Michael Keaton Reprising Batman In The Flash Could Be A DC Game Changer

Batman Michael Keaton stands in front of the Bat Signal

Who would have thought there’d be a DC Extended Universe rumor that could rival Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and the supposed drama that went into making it, for the attention of comic fans worldwide? As early talks were announced between DC and Michael Keaton, in hopes of potentially bringing his Earth-89 variant of Batman into the fold for writer/director Andy Muschietti’s The Flash, some believe that this strategy isn’t the proper course of action.

Though I respect the opinion to the contrary, I think that it’s time for the DCEU to get nuts, and reintegrate Keaton’s performance into the universe at large. In other words, I want Warner Bros to get nuts, and here’s why I think they should, indeed, get nuts.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin's Flashes meet

The Connection Between The CW Arrowverse And The DCEU Can Be Cemented

As we saw in The CW’s big Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, there were several anchors laid down that tied together a lot of DC Comics' on-screen canon. One huge event that saw fans screaming with delight was the meeting between both Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller’s incarnations of The Flash. That quick last minute addition basically formed the knot on top of the DCEU package that united the worlds of TV and movies. Not only does this mean the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths are now canon throughout DC’s filmed output, but if the recent scandal surrounding Miller leads Warner Bros. to want to recast the role, there’s always the opportunity to let Gustin’s incarnation take center stage as Michael Keaton’s would-be apprentice.

Batman Returns Michelle Pfeiffer tries her glove on for size

Michelle Pfeiffer Could Return As Catwoman

If Crisis on Infinite Earths is canon, and Michael Keaton’s Earth-89 Bruce Wayne/Batman is coming back, there’s a lot of missed opportunities that can be realized in The Flash’s big solo adventure. The CW crossover even tipped its hand towards a particularly exciting prospect, as a newspaper headline stated that Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle were to be married in Earth-89’s course of events. Which means, Michelle Pfeiffer could finally return to the role of Catwoman after leaving her mark on the part in 1992’s Batman Returns. This could more than make up for the failed attempts at giving Pfeiffer her own spinoff movie, and it’d certainly bring more classic Batman fans to the table.

Batman Billy Dee Williams and Pat Hingle stand together on the streets of Gotham

The Flash Could Reintroduce Billy Dee Williams As Harvey Dent/Two-Face

The unrealized plans of the DC Comics/Warner Bros partnership are so vast and varied, there really is something for everybody. What became known as Earth-89 in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover is one of the prime examples of such promise, as when Billy Dee Williams was introduced as Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman, there was a plan to eventually turn him into Two-Face. Whether we catch up with him as a reformed villain, or someone who’s about to finally wreak havoc on Gotham City’s elite, the material in The Flash might be exciting enough for Williams to return to his previous comic book role.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Marlon Wayans climbs into a plane, suited up

Marlon Wayans Can Finally Play Robin

Were it not for the cancellation of Tim Burton’s proposed threequel, Batman Continues, we would have seen both Selena Kyle and Harvey Dent return to the screen a lot sooner than this potential Flashpoint project. But what we also would have seen is young Marlon Wayans playing the Robin to Michael Keaton’s Batman. While Wayans still got paid some pretty healthy wages for a role he sadly never got to play, one would have to think that he’d still fulfill the role if he was called upon to do so. Whether it’s as a retired Robin, or a still active Nightwing protecting the streets of Gotham, Marlon Wayans could get his shot to finally be a DC Comics hero on the big screen.

Batman & Robin Chris O'Donnell marvels at a gigantic diamond

Chris O’Donnell’s Robin Could Be The New Batman In His Universe

Michael Keaton’s Batman isn’t the only potential version of the character we could see in The Flash, as the Flashpoint story does open the doors to pretty much any incarnation you could think of. Case in point, there’s a chance that the world of Batman Forever will be invoked, and if Val Kilmer isn’t feeling up to suiting up again, there’s another Robin that’s available for duty. Chris O’Donnell’s portrayal of Dick Greyson could be seen as the successor to Bruce Wayne’s legacy of crime fighting, throwing another bat into the belfry for The Flash to work with. Which will be interesting, as Keaton’s Earth-89 version of the character might have some things to say about the flashier appearance of that film’s caped crusaders.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks worried outside of the theater

A Multiverse Of Batmen Means Jeffrey Dean Morgan Could Still Play Thomas Wayne

Perhaps the greatest potential when it comes to the Batmen of the promised past, The Flash’s usage of the Flashpoint comic could lead to something that has been in the air since 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. With actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the role of Thomas Wayne, the man who actually becomes Batman in the Flashpoint saga, we could see him finally enter the ranks of Gotham’s protectors in his own, brutal version of the legendary crimefighter. Not to mention, seeing some sort of closure between Michael Keaton’s Bruce and Morgan’s Thomas would make for one hell of an emotional wallop in the midst of this radically skewed universe.

Batman Beyond Terry McGinnis suited up

We Could Be One Step Closer To A Batman Beyond Movie

Here lies the brass tacks of this particular enterprise known as The Flash’s hypothetical brilliance. If The Flash sees Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman teaching Barry Allen how to be a better hero, that means Bruce is ready to hand off the mantle after a potentially final ride in the saddle. But Gotham City could always use a Batman, and once Barry has sewn up the dimensional dividers between the universes, that means Bruce Wayne could easily meet up with young Terry McGinnis, and finally give the world a Batman Beyond story to enjoy on the silver screen.

As you can see, there’s a lot of potential excitement to be had with the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman. While nothing’s confirmed or denied at this point, it’s still something worth getting excited about, as the DC Extended Universe may have found a way to tie its past together with its future. The hypothetical results, if done right, are nothing short of awe-inspiring, as it would bridge the more classic contingent of fans together with the new blood that will keep the DCEU going into the foreseeable future.

For now, fans will have to wait for more details on The Flash as they become available, with the film’s June 3, 2022 release date marking its potential debut. Though, we may get some sort of hint as to where things might be going in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as that will be debuting in early 2021.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.