DC didn't actually say it, but they didn't have to. Michael Keaton's Batman will return in a big way in the 2022 movie The Flash. And based on new concept art, we will see just how important Keaton's Caped Crusader will be to the Scarlet Speedster.
What Happened? — On Saturday, DC held its virtual DC FanDome convention. In the early afternoon, the event ran the pre-taped panel for The Flash, the solo superhero movie that will star Ezra Miller reprising his role.
During the panel, hosted by star Ezra Miller, screenwriter Christina Hodson and director Andy Muschietti talked up the significance of the 2011 story Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and the possibilities of the multiverse that dominate the DC movies and TV show.
The panelists revealed Ezra Miller's Flash will wear a new costume in the movie, one that includes a more organic design than his armored suit in Justice League. The costume is given to him by Batman, the panelists confirmed. But they didn't specify which Batman gives Flash his new suit.
As previously reported, Flashpoint will — for the first time in history — feature multiple Dark Knights from throughout the DC multiverse. Aside from Ben Affleck (confirmed just this week for the movie), Michael Keaton will also reprise his Batman from the 1989 film Batman and 1992's Batman Returns.
Based on the concept art (included below) and what the panelists revealed, it's hinted that Michael Keaton's Batman that gives Barry Allen his new, redesigned costume. Look closely at Batman in the concept art: That's unmistakably Michael Keaton in his classic costume with the yellow symbol.
The Clues — What's interesting is that the panelists stopped short of saying out loud, "We have Michael Keaton." Everything was suggested. And obviously there is context and plot specific details we're missing about The Flash. It's still possible that Ben Affleck's Batman is the one who gives Barry his new costume. (After all, they already have an existing friendship, whereas Barry has never met Michael Keaton's Batman yet.)
But based on how the panel discussed the film, with the iconic Danny Elfman piece scoring the discussion and the concept art revealed, it's more than likely that a familiar Batman from the past is helping the heroes of the present.
The Inverse Analysis — Whether it's Affleck or Keaton who gives Barry his costume, it's still the most we've learned about The Flash movie to date. For so long The Flash has been wrapped in secrecy, with multiple directors and creators attached to the project before leaving for unknown reasons.
With It director Andy Muschietti now on board, DC is ready to start talking about The Flash as if it's not some big secret. That the movie will also do some truly historic things, like include a crossover of different Batman franchises, will mean everyone will soon want to know everything about The Flash.
The Flash will be released in theaters on June 2, 2022.