After nearly three decades away from the cape and cowl, Michael Keaton will be suiting back up as Batman for The Flash. There’s still no word yet on how Keaton’s iteration of the Caped Crusader specifically factors into the Scarlet Speedster’s solo movie, but plenty of DC fans have speculated that this could pave the way for Keaton to star in a live-action Batman Beyond movie. Now Bruce Timm, the creator of the original animated series, has weighed in on the idea of such a remake.
Bruce Timm is one of the key creators behind the DC Animated Universe franchise that launched in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond followed in 1999 from the minds of Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett. Here’s what Timm had to say about the prospect of Michael Keaton playing an elderly Bruce Wayne in a Batman Beyond movie, telling Syfy Wire:
Honestly, I think the idea of Michael Keaton doing it is cool. Honestly, he looks a little too good. I know he's probably in his mid 60s now, but he looks pretty damn good for being over 60. I like my old Bruce Wayne to be like really old. But, who knows? It could certainly still work. He looks like he could kick most guys' asses.
On the one hand, Bruce Timm is correct that Michael Keaton does look like he could play a Batman that’s still capable of beating criminals to a pulp, whereas Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond, while not totally helpless, certainly doesn’t have the stamina from his younger years and uses a cane, hence why he primarily aids Terry McGinnis from the BatCave. On the other hand, at 69 years old, Keaton is pretty close to Bruce Wayne’s age in Batman Beyond at this point. After opening with Bruce Wayne’s final official outing as Batman in 2019, Batman Beyond’s first episode jumped forward another 20 years, placing Terry McGinnis’ Batman debut in 2039 and Bruce now being approximately in his mid-70s.
Regardless, there’s no clear indication if a live-action Batman Beyond movie is even in the cards. Yes, Warner Bros is embracing the multiverse by featuring multiple Batmen, and there have been reports about Keaton taking on a mentor-like role in the DC Extended Universe following The Flash, but for now, the only thing that’s officially lined up for this version of Batman is crossing paths with Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen.
As for his thoughts about a live-action Batman Beyond movie in general, Bruce Timm is certainly game for it to happen given how much the original animated show is still talked about these days. In his words:
It's obviously super gratifying that people are still such fans of that show, especially because it was almost 25 years ago now that we did that show. It's crazy. We're almost halfway to the future. We're almost halfway to the time period it's supposed to take place in. It's super gratifying. Could it work in live action? Sure. Of course, it could. I think it's ready-made for it. I do think it would be a little on the higher end production-value-wise, because it would not be a cheap movie to make because it's set in the future. But I there's definitely some cinematic possibilities there, for sure.
A live-action Batman Beyond movie was among the many projects in consideration to relaunch the Batman film franchise following Batman & Robin’s critical failure, with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins ultimately being selected for that task. Over the last decade, the Batman Beyond property has experienced a resurgence in the comics, and it was even rumored in 2019 that Warner Bros was mulling making an animated Batman Beyond movie following Sony’s success with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
As far as The Flash is concerned, the movie is inspired by the 2011 Flashpoint story, which saw Barry Allen waking up in a drastically altered version of the main DC timeline. While time travel will factor into the Flash movie, it remains to be seen if Ezra Miller’s Barry will find himself in a different version of the DCEU, or if he’ll run into (pun slightly intended) Michael Keaton’s Batman on an alternate Earth. In any case, Ben Affleck will also be back as his iteration of Batman, and it was also recently rumored that Danny DeVito might even reprise The Penguin.
The Flash races into theaters on November 4, 2022, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on that movie’s development, as well as if a live-action Batman Beyond movie is ever announced. Learn what else is coming up in the DC cinematic realm with our comprehensive guide.