Michael Keaton Says “We’ll See” About Future Batman Return
With the rise of the multiverse as a key storytelling tool in superhero movies, the far-fetched return of Michael Keaton as Batman became one of the biggest DC stories in years. Expected to step in as the DC film universe’s main Batman following the events of The Flash, Keaton stepped back into the job for Batgirl, and all seemed to work out as expected. Then, of course, Discovery came into the image. The company acquired Warner Bros., yet since Warner Bros. was worth significantly more than Discovery – – and also carried enormous obligation – – Discovery immediately started slashing budgets everywhere they could, including shelving the nearly-finished Batgirl film to take advantage of a tax escape clause.
Following the Batgirl news, fans learned that Justice League star Ben Affleck would return to the job of Batman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which raised questions about Keaton’s future. Those are questions which, it appears, the celebrated actor has no answers for.
“A little later tonight, probably, in the event that you’re not kidding,” Keaton messed with Entertainment Weekly’s Devan Coggan, when asked at the Emmys last night when fans could see his Batman again. “No, I’m kidding. I don’t have the foggiest idea! We’ll see.”
These comments seem adequately innocuous. After all, the entire DC slate is in a state of transition at this moment, and even The Flash is having a hard time, with its release date moved a half-dozen times and presently numerous allegations against star Ezra Miller making it incredibly challenging to market. Still, late speculation that Warner Bros. Discovery could attempt to fully re-embrace Affleck will probably variety Keaton’s remarks here.
Keaton, who starred in 1989’s Batman and 1991’s Batman Returns, was supposed to take on a mentorship job for a new generation of Gotham’s heroes, as Batgirl (Leslie Grace), Nightwing, and other Bat-family supporting characters. Some had speculated that Batman Past, a property that has had a couple of aborted attempts to get started on the big screen, could be an endgame there. Later reports suggest that WBD President David Zaslav wants to focus erring on DC’s biggest characters, perhaps with an eye toward revisiting the Justice League onscreen. That could make movies that middle on B-listers and a 70-year-old Batman a more troublesome sell to management.