The Flash is about to bring in Michael Keaton’s Batman

Production for 2022’s The Flash is headed to Glasgow for a very exciting reason.

Originally Published: 
Michael Keaton on the set of "Batman". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Batman’s set to dance with the devil in the Scottish moonlight. Production for The Flash is heading to Glasgow, Scotland for a very cool reason.

According to recent leaks, the DC Comics superhero tentpole’s upcoming shoot there ties into the studio’s plans for an ambitious “multiverse.” Here’s what we know.

What Happened? — Last month, the Scottish tabloid Daily Record reported that production on The Flash, set to hit theaters in 2022, will shift to Glasgow in order to shoot scenes that take place in the Gothic world of Tim Burton’s 1989 classic Batman. That move is reportedly planned for June, though a specific start date is unknown.

With June finally in full swing, Reddit’s r/DCSpoilers has resurfaced that report, though additional information about the shoot has been hard to come by. Regardless, Glaswegian DC fans should be on the lookout for leaks of 69-year-old Michael Keaton potentially interacting with 48-year-old Ben Affleck, as both are set to reprise their versions of Batman in The Flash.

Michael Keaton, on the set of Batman Returns released in 1992. Keaton will return as Batman for the first time in 30 years in the 2022 film The Flash.

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Bats in Scotland — It should be said the original filming of Tim Burton’s Batman didn’t take place in Scotland, but rather at Pinewood Studios in England. Consequently, new scenes in Glasgow may look less-than-identical to the sets built for Batman over 30 years ago.

However, production of The Batman — another 2022 DC movie, with Robert Pattinson in the lead role — wrapped filming in the UK this past March, with additional pre-pandemic production taking place in Glasgow. While this doesn’t mean The Flash will cross over into Pattinson’s The Batman, Glasgow could become the new visual home for Batman, taking over from Chicago during Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Multiverse of Bat-ness — The Flash is set to explore the DC multiverse in a major way. One badly kept secret that Warner Bros. hasn’t acknowledged outside of released concept art is that the Flash (played again by Ezra Miller, returning from Justice League) will cross over with DC film history.

One of The Flash’s most comprehensive crossovers will be into the Batman universe. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it’s expected that Miller will share the screen with Keaton, who’ll reprise his role as the Caped Crusader for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns.

The premise of The Flash is loosely inspired by the 2011 DC Comics event crossover Flashpoint, in which the Flash changed his own origin story, creating dire consequences for the rest of the DC Universe, so it makes sense that the film could open up more of DC’s multiverse.

One reference point for the “multiverse” strategy can be found in DC’s recent TV series, which recently opened up a multiseries crossover of their own titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Bringing together TV series including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Legends of Tomorrow, it also included a buzzy appearance by Miller. That same crossover briefly paid a visit to Burton’s Batman universe, designated Earth-89.

In the 2020 crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” Ezra Miller’s Flash briefly met Grant Gustin’s version of the same character. In 2022, Miller will again explore the DC multiverse in his solo film The Flash.

Warner Bros.

The Inverse Analysis — Glasgow is known for its 19th-century Victorian architecture, which makes the city a fitting backdrop for a Gothically styled superhero like Batman.

While Gotham City has long been a stand-in for New York City in the comics, it was through visionaries like Batman director Burton and his late production designer Anton Furst (who won an Oscar for his work on the film) that Gotham became the nightmarish cityscape it’s known as today. To wit: the first line describing Gotham in the screenplay for Burton’s Batman read: “Hell burst through the pavement and grew.”

With the right visual framing and creative direction, Glasgow is a perfect city to recreate that same hellish metropolis that Burton and Furst imagined three decades ago. And the question of how different that style will look after 30 years is just as exciting a prospect as seeing it revisited at all.

The Flash will be released in theaters on November 4, 2022.

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