Batman fan favorite Michael Keaton is in talks to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader.
The 68-year-old is being considered for a new big-budget iteration of the legendary DC Comics character, for 2022's standalone Flash film starring Ezra Miller.
If it comes to pass, a full three decades will have elapsed since Keaton will have portrayed Bruce Wayne, last starring as the millionaire-turned-superhero in 1992's brilliant Batman Returns.
According to The Wrap, the Birdman actor is still in very early talks to join the new film, the plot for which revolves around an alternate multiverse which sees multiple different versions of comic book heroes and villains.
The general multiverse concept has already been explored in Marvel's award-winning Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, as well as on television in the CW's crossover event The Crisis On Infinite Earths.
And The Flash's plot has already been teased as being based on The Flashpoint Paradox, a 2013 animated DC movie deriving from the Flashpoint comics which sees Miller's super-fast Flash traveling back in time to save his mother – thereby creating an alternate universe with new and different heroes.
In that animated movie, Aquaman and Wonder Woman become villains pitted against one another, and Batman is in fact Thomas Wayne – Bruce's father – and not Bruce himself.
While it remains unclear how exactly Keaton's Batman would figure into the in-development film, the concept of the multiverse allows for a modicum of freedom and reinvention of core characters, and even could allow different versions of the same character to interact with one another.
As for Keaton, the Oscar nominee first played Batman in Tim Burton’s 1989 dark blockbuster opposite Jack Nicholson as the Joker, thereby relaunching the Batman franchise and comic book characters in general as bona fide players in the big budget studio film marketplace.
After 1992's also successful sequel with Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as The Penguin, the franchise went in a different, campier direction, sans Keaton or Burton.
But Keaton himself hasn't strayed too far from comic book fare – in 2017, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming opposite Tom Holland, and he's also set to appear in an unspecified role in Marvel/Sony's Morbius with Jared Leto.
And while it’s still not known how exactly the Flash multiverse concept will play out in this or other future DC Comics movies, it should be noted that the upcoming The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as a younger Bruce Wayne, will exist as a separate entity.
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