The Flash: Michael Keaton on Marvel, DC, and Revisiting Batman

It's a good time to be a superhero fan, especially with the films that DC and Marvel are putting out these days. Not only can fans look forward to the current canon expanding to places never imagined, but they also have actors returning to their once beloved roles as we see with Spider-Man: No Way Home and now the Batman franchise courtesy of Warner Bros' cinematic take on "Flashpoint." In Ezra Miller's first outing as a standalone star in the upcoming Flash, the studio also managed to retain Ben Affleck for his role as the Caped Crusader at least one more time and recruited Michael Keaton from the Tim Burton films to return in a similar capacity. While talking about his part in The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Keaton talked to Deadline Hollywood about how it feels to return to the world of DC after a 30-year absence since Batman Returns (1992).

The Flash: Michael Keaton on Marvel, DC, and Revisiting Batman
Image courtesy of Warner Bros

Where Does Michael Keaton's Batman Fit in The DCEU Flash?

When it comes to the reasoning behind donning the batsuit again, Keaton played it a little coy. "Well, now that you put it that way, maybe you're right. Jesus, what am I thinking about? Well, now I'm nervous all of a sudden. No, now I'm thinking what a stupid freaking idea."

But perhaps the actor is still letting the experience sink in. "No, you know what it is? I need a minute to think about it because I'm so fortunate and blessed, I got so much going on now," he continued. "I'm really into work right now. I don't know why, but I am. To tell you the truth, somewhere on my iPad is an iteration of the whole Flash thing that I haven't had time [to look at] yet. I called them and said, 'I have to be honest with you. I can't look at anything right now.'"

And it also appears that he has several projects in motion right now. "I'm so deep into this thing I'm doing", notes Keaton. "Also, I'm prepping a thing I'm producing and getting ready to do down the road in the fall that I'll be in, and I feel responsible for that. I'm not being cute or coy. If I talked about [Batman in The Flash], I'll be just bullshitting you. I don't really know. I have to look at the last draft."

The Flash: Michael Keaton on Marvel, DC, and Revisiting Batman
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

How Keaton Isolates What Works for Him in the Comic Realm

Keaton explained the methodology of how he gets into his comic roles. "You know what's interesting about the Vulture character?" he said. "My knowledge of the lore of all these superhero comic books and culture is extremely limited. I thought it'd be fun. It fits into my life and schedule, and I thought Vulture is really interesting. I actually don't know what I'm talking about, the culture of DC Comics and Marvel, but that character fits an element of dissatisfaction in the culture of the overlooked, especially among men. What I found interesting about this guy was, he made himself, worked hard, and got somewhere. Only to see somebody who inherited wealth, who has all the toys, the advantages; it's easy to see him say, yeah, I want to be this. What about me?"

For more about how Keaton broke down his role in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), the self-aware black comedy Birdman (2014), and working with Chicago 7 director Aaron Sorkin on a recent A Few Good Men reading the part previously played by his Batman (1989) co-star Jack Nicholson, you can read it at Deadline. The Flash, which also stars Kiersey Clemons, Sasha Calle, and Maribel Verdú is expected to hit theatres on November 4, 2022.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.