Michael Keaton’s return as Batman may have been prematurely reported.
In December, the New York Times published a report on DC Films’ plans for the future of their superhero franchises, which included more detail about Keaton’s upcoming appearance in “The Flash”.
The film, according to the report, is planned to feature two Batmans, with both Affleck and Keaton reprising their roles in earlier franchise entries as part of a multiverse crossover.
In the wake of confusion over the casting, Keaton spoke with Deadline about the reporting and revealed that he hasn’t actually fully committed to the role yet and hasn’t read the latest script.
“I called them and said, ‘I have to be honest with you. I can’t look at anything right now,'” Keaton said. “I’m so deep into this thing I’m doing. 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 to that. So, yeah, there is that. I’m not being cute or coy. If I talked about it, I’ll be just bulls**tting you. I don’t really know.”
Keaton also revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a matter for concern when it comes to committing to a major film project like that.
“I keep my eye more on the Covid situation in the UK than anything,” he explained. “That will determine everything, and so that’s why I’m living outside the city here on 17 acres, staying away from everybody, because the Covid thing has got me really concerned. So, that’s my first thing about all projects. I look at it and go, is this thing going to kill me, literally? And you know, if it doesn’t, then we talk.”
Earlier this year, after news of Keaton’s return to the Batman role was first revealed, some fans on Twitter took that to mean Keaton would be coming back to the DC Extended Universe permanently, or even taking over the role of Batman for a series based on the popular “Batman Beyond” animated show, about an elderly Bruce Wayne.
Brooks Barnes, the writer of the original NYT article clarified Monday that he did not mean to imply anything about Keaton appearing in further DCEU films beyond “The Flash”.
Been offline (moving apartments) and return to see this Michael Keaton craziness. I was referring to the *one film* that Keaton has been announced as being in, not a set of his own Batman films. If I had info on him beyond "The Flash," I would have obviously put it in my article
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) January 5, 2021
Even still, fans continued to speculate on the possibility of a “Batman Beyond” adaptation starring Keaton, and even dreamed up potential casting for a younger Batman in the film.
If @MichaelKeaton does return to the #DCEU as Bruce Wayne after The Flash (2022), and they make a Batman Beyond film, they should cast @RealChalamet as Terry McGinnis/Batman Beyond. pic.twitter.com/y9RqbCt1JD
— Iwan D. Roberts (@Iwan_D_Roberts) January 5, 2021
Michael Keaton would actually make for a great older Bruce Wayne if they ever make Batman Beyond into a film. https://t.co/68ZpeN97Fa
— Khattar Hashbhakt (@PabloVikasso) January 5, 2021
“The Flash” is current set to hit theatres on Nov. 4, 2022.