Michael Keaton didn’t join the upcoming The Flash movie for fame or fortune, his reason was a lot more nuanced than that; he wanted to see how people would react to him coming back as Batman after 30 years. Speaking with Variety about the upcoming DC movie, Keaton discussed how superhero movies became a cultural phenomenon, making him curious about what it would mean to become Bruce Wayne again.
Keaton put on the cape and cowl for Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns, abandoning the role when Joel Schumacher replaced the director for the third movie in the franchise. While Keaton wasn’t Bruce Wayne for too long, he helped introduce the Dark Knight to a new generation and is remembered dearly as many people’s favorite Batman. So, once DC announced it would adapt the famous Flashpoint storyline, with Keaton reprising his role, fans became immediately excited about the project.
Apparently, that’s the reaction Keaton wanted to observe, since he joined the movie out of curiosity. In Keaton’s words:
“I was curious what it would be like after this many years. Not so much me doing it — obviously, some of that — but I was just curious about it, weirdly, socially. This whole thing is gigantic. They have their entirely own world. So, I like to look at it as an outsider, thinking, ‘Holy moly!’”
The Flash is indeed promising to be a curious experiment, as Ezra Miller travels different timelines as the titular hero and accidentally changes the whole universe. The movie will also bring back Ben Affleck as Batman and introduced star Sasha Calle as Supergirl, and we are all wondering how everything will fit together. Fortunately, it wasn’t only curiosity that convinced Keaton to re-enter the DC universe, as The Flash is an enticing story on its own. As Keaton puts it, “The writing was actually really good. So I thought, why not? It’s cool to drop in and I’m curious to see if I can pull it off.”
Besides showing up in The Flash, Keaton will also play the Dark Knight in Batgirl, the first live-action film starring the beloved heroine. The movie stars Leslie Grace in the titular role, with Doom Patrol’s Brendan Fraser playing the film’s main antagonist, the pyromaniac Batman villain Firefly.
The Flash cast also includes Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen, and Ron Livingston as Henry Allen, replacing Billy Crudup as Barry’s father after his appearance in Justice League. Social media star Rudy Mancuso and Saoirse-Monica Jackson are also involved in the project on undisclosed roles.
The Flash is currently scheduled to come to theaters on June 23, 2023.