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Michael Keaton will not appear as Batman after The Flash but another past Batman could be returning

February 11th, 2023 by Marc Comments

When James Gunn and Peter Safran announced their new plan for DC On film, we learned that Robert Pattinson’s Batman would continue on with his story being separate from the other DC movies, so no Superman, Wonder Woman etc. We also learned that Batman: The Brave and the Bold would see a new Batman introduced to the DCU, and this would be the main Batman moving forward for DC’s shared universe.

This means a few things – Ben Affleck’s Batman is definitely gone from the future DC slate, which is a real shame – and any future plans for Micheal Keaton’s aging Batman, who would be in The Flash movie later this summer, were scrapped.

This is all happening even while the awesome Flash poster dropped yesterday and features Keaton’s Batcave and Batwing, left. But what does that mean we have lost?

Well, pre-covid and pre-Warner shake-ups, the plan was to see Affleck’s Batman replaced in The Flash movie by Keaton’s Batman after reality and time was altered by the events of that movie.

At the end of The Flash Keaton’s Batman was set to be moved into place, giving him a big future in the DC movies, however, we’re now hearing that has been scrapped and Keaton’s finale has been changed in The Flash, meaning that when that movie is over, he will not be returning.

We know Batgirl, which was originally meant to follow up The Flash and would see Keaton as the primary Batman, has been scrapped and we’re hearing that Keaton’s role in the Aquaman sequel has also been scrapped; this means that Keaton filmed three appearances as Batman but only one will see the light of day when The Flash hits cinemas this June.

It’s also been revealed that a rumoured planned solo Keaton Batman movie, likely a Batman Beyond movie, setting us a future Batman to take up the mantle, has also now been scrapped.

So, who will be the new Batman in the DCEU?

Ok, so it’s complicated.

Gunn revealed during his reveal of the new DC plan that “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman, Bruce Wayne, and also introducing our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch assassin murderer,” So, we thought that we might see a younger Batman than Keaton of Affleck but it seems that this not really the plan.

According to Bill ‘Jett’ Ramsey over at Batman on Film, WB and DC are looking for a Batman older than Affleck and younger than Keaton and, even more interesting, it’s going to be past Batman actor.


Well, this leaves the possible returning actors limited to a very select few.

If it’s not Keaton or Affleck, then who? Well, let’s take a look.

Val Kilmer (63) [Batman Forever]: Sadly, Kilmer’s health is not good and it means he’s very unlikely to be in line for this gig.

George Clooney (61) [Batman & Robin]: On the Graham Norton Show a number of years ago, Clooney said: “I’d actually thought I’d destroyed the franchise until somebody else brought it back years later and changed it.” He was, of course, talking about Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins trilogy, but he has never been backward about admitting his regret of Batman & Robin… could he be looking to come back and make it right again?

Christian Bale (49) [Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises]: Bale’s Batman trilogy was a high point for Batman, returning the character to the darker roots that Clooney’s Batman had removed the franchise away from, but the actor has said that he and Nolan has planned for three and that he would only return to the role if Nolan had another story to tell: “We said, ‘Hey, look. Let’s make three films, if we’re lucky enough to get to do that. And then let’s walk away. Let’s not linger too long.’ In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, ‘You know what, I’ve got another story to tell.’ And if he wished to tell that story with me, I’d be in.”

For reference, Keaton is 71 and Affleck is 50.

So, who, if the returning Batman rumours are true, is most likely? Well, if Bale sticks to his word and only comes back for Nolan, then that only leaves Clooney, who doesn’t act much these days as he likes to be behind the camera more.

That said, Clooney and Bale are really the only likely candidates but Bale’s Batman had a very definite ending and Clooney’s was a comical movie that, while he was acting fairly seriously, was a camp nightmare BUT with multiverses, they could return but just not be the Batman we know before but rather be a new one who just looks like the other, after all, Keaton’s Batman in The Flash is reportedly not the same as the Batman in Tim Burton’s two iconic movies.

“I think they are going for an older take on Batman — older than he was in THE  DARK KNIGHT RISES (pushing 40) and BATMAN v SUPERMAN (pushing 50).  Late 50s is my guess.  Why?  Because they want to have a very different version of Batman in the DCU than the one in Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN films as played by Robert Pattinson.  And since the Batman Family already exists, Bruce is obviously going to be older — which is fine by me,” says Ramey.

And, while this is fine, it seems odd as it was what DC/Warners were going for with Affleck and then Keaton and both those actors are there, so why go to another actor to do basically the same job? It’s all very confusing.

Let me know your thoughts, out of all the previous Batman actors, who would you like to see moving into the new DC universe as the Prime Batman?

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….