It has been reported by The Wrap that Michael Keaton is in talks to return to the iconic role of Bruce Wayne from the Tim Burton Batman films. Discussions say though it wont be a solo film but a cameo in the upcoming The Flash film led by Ezra Miller. The idea lends itself to the idea that The Flash film will deal with the long established DC Multiverse. The story of which has already been touched upon in the DC CW tv shows with the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Those who are not well versed in DC Comic history. The DC Universe has a long history of their stories taking place across multiple Earths. The classic Golden Age era of Superman used to take place on Earth-1. Earth-3 was populated by a evil version of the Justice League. It wasn’t until their company wide spanning story event of Crisis On Infinite Earths that all the comics were brought into one main continuity. One Earth. The multiverse still existed but all the heroes from the comics, or at least those that survived the crisis, found themselves in a new world with history blended to mix all the heroes and villains.
The idea that Tim Burton’s Batman still exists in one of those Earths and could be brought into the DC Cinematic Universe. Showing an old man Bruce who has survived 30+ years of crime fighting is something that hasn’t really been explored in the Superhero movies yet. It could be that he is now broken down and unable to carry the mantle. Possibly passing on the mantle of the bat to a new Batman which was seen in the animated show Batman Forever. Could Michael Keaton’s Batman become DC’s Nick Fury where he finds himself on a new Earth and guiding a new multiverse to avoid the mistakes of his Earth’s past? Or…it could just be fun theory crafting for what could be a one off role as The Flash just races through the multiverse and finds this aged Bruce Wayne. Time will only tell if Michael Keaton and the studio reaches an agreement. And then to see if they will be able to blend the story into their established cannon that will be accepted by the movie going audience.
No word yet has been said if this would impact Michael Keaton’s ability to return to Spider-Man as The Vulture. But The Flash movie has been approved for an October 2021 release