Michael Keaton is in talks to return as Batman, reports say

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Michael Keaton is reportedly in talks to pick up the cowl again and reprise his role as the Dark Knight in Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ upcoming Flash movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Keaton famously played Gotham’s vigilante in Tim Burton’s Batman movies from the ‘90s. Currently Keaton is just in talks for The Flash, which will see Justice League’s Ezra Miller reprise his role as the super speedy Barry Allen. But Keaton could also reprise the role in “several other DC-oriented film projects,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Sources tell THR that the role being envisioned for the veteran actor is akin to the role played by Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something of a mentor or guide or even string-puller,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, including Warner Bros.’ upcoming Batgirl movie.

Ezra Miller’s Flash made his big debut in Justice League, which saw Ben Affleck play Batman. So how can the same Flash meet two different Batmen? One answer could be time travel: Miller’s Flash movie is likely based on the Flashpoint comic book arc, which saw Allen travel to a different universe where the current version of the Justice League didn’t exist. Keaton playing an older, possibly wiser, Bruce Wayne would make sense as part of that story.

Even then, Keaton and Affleck won’t be the only actors playing Batman in the greater DC live-action universe. Robert Pattinson is currently in the middle of production on The Batman, a standalone Batman movie from director Matt Reeves. His version of the hero will be younger than Affleck’s, and separate from the greater DC Extended Universe (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Wonder Women, Aquaman). It’s similar to Todd Phillips’ Joker, which saw Joaquin Phoenix play the Clown Prince in a completely standalone movie.

It’s hard to say if the reported talks will bear fruit — but if they do, we might find out in just two months. DC Comics’ upcoming FanFare event is scheduled for August 22nd, and likely to include new details on The Flash and the broader DC universe.

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