Ahead of his return as Batman in The Flash next year, Michael Keaton is celebrating his milestone 70th birthday along with fans across the world. Over the past several decades, Keaton has appeared in a variety of major roles, though he is particularly beloved for his run as Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s Batman and its sequel Batman Returns. The Flash brings him back to the role on the big screen for the third time in 2022.
Of course, Batman fans are ecstatic about Keaton’s return to the role. Though different actors have come in to appear as the Dark Knight in the years since, many people have long been calling for Keaton to come back in a new movie as an older Bruce. Some fans envisioned him appearing in a live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond, which would have him serve as a mentor for a teenager taking on the Batman mantle.
Batman Beyond: The Movie wasn’t meant to be, at least not at this time, but Keaton’s return was still in the cards. Thanks to a multiverse storyline at the heart of The Flash, Keaton will be able to come back as the same Batman he played in the Tim Burton movies, even though Ben Affleck serves as the DCEU’s Batman. Both incarnations of the character will be in the same movie, though word is it will be Affleck’s final performance in the role. There are also rumors Keaton will continue to appear as Batman in other DC movies like the DCEU’s version of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
Meanwhile, Keaton will also be seen in the upcoming Marvel movie Morbius. He will be reprising his Spider-Man: Homecoming role as Vulture, although this is for a separate continuity outside of the MCU. If you’re getting confused keeping up with all of these multiverse variant storylines and characters, you’re not alone. Keaton told THR last month how it took a lot of explaining with the people from Marvel for him to understand how this all will work out.
“I’m nodding like I know what the f**k they’re talking about. I go, ‘Uh-huh.’ And I’m thinking, ‘You may as well be explaining quantum physics right now to me,” Keaton recalled. “All I know is I just know my guy. And I know the basics.’ So finally, they were looking at me, and they just started laughing. They said, ‘You don’t know what we’re talking about, do you?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t, no idea what you’re talking about.'”
Once he was caught up to speed with the multiverse, Keaton was thrilled to return as Bruce Wayne for The Flash after reading Christina Hodson’s script. The actor said, “Frankly, in the back of my head, I always thought, ‘I bet I could go back and nail that motherf**ker.’ And so I thought, ‘Well, now that they’re asking me, let me see if I can pull that off.'”
We will all see how Keaton’s return as Batman goes down with The Flash is released on Nov. 4, 2022. Before then, he’ll be back as Vulture in Morbius on Jan. 28, 2022. For now, fans are celebrating the Hollywood legend’s 70th birthday, and you can see what the Batman fans are saying about the occasion on Twitter.