Michael Keaton Could Play Batman Again in a Movie People Actually Want

Forget confusing cameos. Let’s make a real movie.

Warner Bros.

Michael Keaton is a generation’s Batman. Yes, he shared the cowl with George Clooney and Val Kilmer, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito took the stage at the Oscars and referenced their roles as Batman villains, it’s Keaton they feigned a grudge toward. He even starred in Birdman, a movie about the fallout of playing a popular superhero.

Given his reputation as an iconic Caped Crusader, it’s no wonder Keaton was brought back for DC’s flailing attempt to begin a multiverse in The Flash. DC is moving on from that debacle, but could Keaton’s Batman still return? The actor isn’t ruling anything out.

Michael Keaton is open to returning as Batman yet again.


During an appearance on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Keaton discussed everything from the upcoming Beetlejuice sequel to his baffling Morbius cameo. When Horowitz asked him whether his time as Batman was officially done, Keaton’s answer was delightfully cagey.

“I don’t think about it much,” he said. “Never say never. Everything’s dependent upon something else.”

This could have major implications for the DCU now that it’s being restarted by James Gunn. Batman is no longer beholden to a franchise’s worth of lore and worldbuilding, meaning any take on the character — and every actor — is on the table.

An aging Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond.

Warner Bros.

It’s been more than 30 years since Keaton first played Batman, a timeline that would let Keaton take an intriguing approach to the character. Batman Beyond, one of the most beloved animated series, is set decades after Bruce Wayne’s retirement, and there have been rumors that a new Batman Beyond animated movie could finally happen. There had also been talk of a live-action Beyond movie, but that was contingent on The Flash succeeding at the box office. It did not.

With Keaton open to return to his most iconic role, perhaps he could lend some star power to the project by playing an aging Bruce. Batman Beyond could inspire a story that serves Gunn’s ambitions for the DCU, although it’s more likely a new Keaton movie would fall under DC’s standalone Elseworlds label, allowing the story to be told without having any impact on the broader canon. Regardless of the circumstances, bringing back an iconic actor could help DC find its feet again. DC already brought Keaton back for The Flash. Why not try again, but make a good movie this time?

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