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Michael Keaton Drops F-Bomb Over Batman Return For The Flash

With Michael Keaton having last played Batman in 1992’s Batman Returns, and four other actors (soon to be five) having since inherited the cape and cowl in the live-action cinematic space, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that we’d never see the Beetlejuice star in the role again. Then the news came in last year that Keaton would reprise his version of DC Comics’ Caped Crusader in The Flash, as the story will see Ezra Miller’s eponymous protagonist traveling to alternate universes. As for why he decided to return to the role, Keaton recently dropped an f-bomb explaining his reasoning.

Along with being impressed by both Christina Hodson’s script and director Andy Muschietti’s vision for The Flash, Michael Keaton informed THR that he was intrigued by the opportunity of returning to Batman, having previously reshaped public perception of the character. In Keaton’s words:

Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherfucker.’ And so I thought, ‘Well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.’

Tim Burton’s first Batman movie was much tonally different compared to the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West that most people knew the character from, but this darker take on the source material was not only a critical and commercial success, but also helped pave the way for superhero movies to eventually take Hollywood by storm. Following his time as Bruce Wayne in Batman and Batman Returns, Michael Keaton opted not to return for a third movie (which eventually became the Val Kilmer-led Batman Forever), but when he was approached to appear in The Flash decades later, he felt he could perform the role even better this time around. Considering how Keaton’s Batman is already a favorite among many, if his performance is indeed even better this time around, just imagine how many more people will join the ‘Michael Keaton’s Batman Is The Best’ club.

As a loose adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline, The Flash will see Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen traveling to other corners of the DC multiverse, and he’ll cross paths with Michael Keaton’s Batman along the way. Keaton admitted that he had trouble understanding the multiversal aspect of the movie, but he was more taken in by his increased understanding of how much Batman means to people. The actor explained:

What’s really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him. I get this on a whole other level now. I totally respect it. I respect what people are trying to make. I never looked at it like, ‘Oh, this is just a silly thing.’ It was not a silly thing when I did Batman. But it has become a giant thing, culturally. It’s iconic. So I have even more respect for it because what do I know? This is a big deal in the world to people. You’ve got to honor that and be respectful of that. Even I go, ‘Jesus, this is huge.’

But Michael Keaton won’t stand in the Batman spotlight by himself, as Ben Affleck is also back as the DCEU’s version of Gotham City’s Dark Knight. The Flash’s cast also includes Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Ron Livingston as Henry Allen (taking over the role from Billy Crudup) and Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen. After years of delays and creative obstacles, The Flash finally began filming back in April, and leaked set photos came out in June showing Keaton suavely dressed as Bruce Wayne. When it came to putting on the Batsuit again, Keaton said earlier this month that it felt “shockingly normal,” with “sense memories” reemerging as he was doing his scenes.

The Flash races into theaters on November 4, 2022. We’ll keep you apprised on more updates about the Scarlet Speedster’s movie, including when we finally get an official look at Michael Keaton suited back up as Batman. For now, browse through our upcoming DC movies guide to learn what else the DCEU has coming up.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.