Michael Keaton is reportedly in “early talks with Warner Bros. to reprise his role as Batman in the upcoming DC film The Flash, reports The Wrap. The long-gestating film is set to premiere in the summer of 2022.
The Flash is part of the newer slate of DC films to come out of the company’s Expanded Universe franchise that included Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Shazam!, and Aquaman. It’ll be loosely based off of the crossover comic series Flashpoint, in which Barry Allen (reprised by Ezra Miller) tries to change the past when his mother died. The film will be directed by Andrés Muschietti (It and It: Chapter Two).
According to The Wrap, Keaton will return to the franchise as a way to explain the DC franchise’s multiverse concept, something that’s familiar to fans of the comics. The concept is that all of the various adaptations of DC properties are connected because they’re part of a multiverse, and thus, if you travel from one parallel universe to another, you could have characters from various films and TV shows meet one another in a way that remains canon. Keaton played the caped crusader in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, and The Wrap notes that the film will essentially ignore 1995’s Batman Forever and Batman & Robin in that particular continuity.
Most recently, The CW’s Arrowverse has put the DC multiverse to use with its own franchise of DC properties, using its latest crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths to pull in a number of actors from prior DC adaptations, including Burt Ward from Batman, Tom Welling and Erica Durance from Smallville, Brandon Routh from Superman Returns, Tom Ellis from Lucifer, and The Flash‘s Miller. If it happens, Keaton would be the latest example to be part of this project.