Michael Keaton’s return as Batman in The Flash is exciting, but the film must avoid nostalgia and develop his character in a meaningful way.
Michael Keaton puts his cape and hood back on The flash, but his return as bat Man you need to avoid a nostalgia problem. After multiple setbacks and going through numerous directors, filming has finally begun on the Scarlet Speedster solo movie. From a script by Christina Hodson, Andy Muschietti is directing the blockbuster and Ezra Miller returns as Barry Allen. Interestingly, he will not be joined by one, but two Batmen: Ben Affleck and Keaton.
The flash marks Keaton’s third outing as the Dark Knight after Tim Burton’s gothic adventures, bat Man (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Keaton’s original casting instantly sparked controversy, not unlike the unease when Affleck was billed as the crime fighter. Fortunately, Keaton’s subtly deadpan portrayal of the hero and eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne was a hit with critics and audiences. Exactly what this version of Batman has been up to for the past 30 years is a mystery filled with exciting possibilities and narrative pitfalls.
Although the return of Michael Keaton is highly anticipated, there is a very real danger of The flash which is primarily based on nostalgia. So far, most of the news regarding the production has been Batman-related, with photos from the set poking fun at Wayne Manor, the Batmobile, and the Batcave, while even Muschietti revealed a glimpse of Keaton’s bloodied Batman suit. Seeing these elements revived is undoubtedly exciting, but the film must provide a solid rationale for their presence and develop their character to ensure a natural continuation of Keaton’s story.
Because it has The flash specifically chosen to bring back Keaton’s Batman? Obviously the character is much older now, which automatically grants him the aura of a mentor figure to Barry. However, Affleck reportedly shares this role, so Keaton needs to offer something different. Affleck’s Batman was lost and his story turned from brutality to redemption. Interestingly, Keaton’s version never seemed to mind a little bloodshed. Perhaps this was overlooked because Tim Burton created a world so twisted that it justified killing, but The flash offers a compelling avenue to directly confront the characters’ use of violence. What will Batman do from Keaton with Barry’s world, and what could he learn from the young superhero? Concept art shows Flash in a new costume, fighting alongside Keaton in full costume, attracting fans with a fun outfit but providing no insight into their dynamics. The movie might slide on for the thrill of seeing its Batman in action, but this would be as insignificant as the nostalgia-fueled insertion of Danny Elfman’s Batman theme in 2017. League of Justice.
In DCEU canon, Affleck’s Batman is likely dating, having successfully established a new generation of heroes. The flash You can continue this idea and it could provide a fascinating contrast to the older but still active Keaton. Muschietti’s film should address what Keaton’s Batman has been up to all this time – how he might have changed, and why he may not have retired yet. Alfred surely passed away, and Keaton’s Batman may never have trained a Robin to carry on his legacy. If his rogues’ gallery is still running rampant in Gotham, this could all be used to explore his reluctance to give up Batman. Still, rather than blatantly naming Jack Nicholson’s Joker and Danny DeVito’s Penguin, who Barry has no connection to, Keaton’s return needs to expand his world. Catwoman could still be at large, while Harvey Dent has likely transformed into Two-Face. These factors are more likely to affect Batman’s stance on crime fighting than aimless references to dead enemies.
Keaton appears to have a substantial role in The flash, but its impact depends entirely on whether it lends a purpose to its return. The criticized Space Jam: a new legacy Y Scoob! both revealed the depths of Warner Bros. aggressively pushing nostalgia for compelling stories. Whether it’s a one-off appearance or the beginning of something bigger, the film should provide a tangible future for Keaton’s Batman, not the “greatest hits” of the past.
Next: All Upcoming And In Development DC Movies
- The Suicide Squad (2021)Release Date: Aug 06, 2021
- The Batman (2022)Release date: March 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release Date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: July 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release Date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022)Release Date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release Date: Jun 02, 2023
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