Well, it was nice while it lasted, huh? After basking in the glow of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, we’re now, once again, faced with the reality that the DCEU is actually quite a mess. Similar to Cyborg and flight, it’s in its nature.
Last July, the comic book world went crazy as reports came out that Michael Keaton, the original cinematic Batman, was set to return to the role as an older version of the character in The Flash alongside Ezra Miller. Not only that, but just a few shorts weeks later, it was reported that Ben Affleck’s Batman would return too, setting up the film to involve all sorts of multiversal shenanigans. Given that you can never have enough Batmans, the culture was hyped.
But — because we’re not allowed to have nice things — now here we are, close to a year after the initial announcement, and it appears Michael Keaton isn’t really committed to doing anything Batman-related, certainly if it involves him flying overseas and risking getting COVID-19.
“…to tell you the truth, somewhere on my iPad is an iteration of the whole Flash thing that I haven’t had time yet. I called them and said, I have to be honest with you. I can’t look at anything right now. 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 bullshitting you. I don’t really know. I have to look at the last draft. To be honest with you, you know what worries me more than anything about all this stuff? It’s COVID.” [via Deadline]
Keaton’s admission certainly doesn’t come at an ideal time for the film either, as production is reportedly scheduled to begin in April. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, but too be honest, maybe Keaton’s omission would be a blessing in disguise: give that the film is already confirmed to include the return of Affleck’s Batman (in what will likely be a farewell to the character), the introduction of an all-new cinematic Supergirl, and the aforementioned multiversal madness, stripping it of a superfluous feature may wind up being beneficial.