Apparently, WB is in talks with Michael Keaton to reprise his Batman iteration in a new deal. But what does it mean for Robert Pattinson’s 2021 The Batman?
31 years ago when Michael Keaton first appeared on the big screen whispering in his husky voice ‘I am Batman’ to the bad guys. The world found its most coveted Caped Crusader! Batman is DC’s most iconic character in line with Superman and Wonder Woman. Created by artist Bob Kane the character first appeared in 1939 Detective Comics now, DC.
Watch: The Batman 1989, I am Batman
For more than 80 years, fans have been entranced by various iterations of the Batman. Over time, the caped crusader has appeared in various media – comic strips, radio shows, TV, animated series and full-length feature films.
Batman On The Big Screen
In 1989, Warner Brothers debuted, The Batman, on the big screen for the first time with Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Director Tim Burton’s movie became a massive hit and spawned into sequel Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995.) While Michael Keaton never returned to fulfil his part of the deal, the last of the franchise Batman and Robin showcased George Clooney as Batman.
The last two movies in the series were directed by Joel Schumacher. Out of which George Clooney’s iteration was a major fail! So much so that Clooney on several occasions has openly apologised for the movie. Also, that brought a temporary halt to the iconic Batman on the big screen for a decade to come.
Until Warner Bros hired famous filmmaker Christopher Nolan to revive the character in The Dark Knight trilogy with Christian Bale in the Bat-suit. The movie did exceptionally well and brought the dignity of the character back.
Watch: Various Iterations of The Caped Crusader
The movie also gave DC the confidence to kick start its own extended universe with Zack Snyder at the helm. Snyder envisioned the Justice League with an array of characters debuting in the standalone movies before finally coming together. His choice of Batman was Clooney’s friend Ben Affleck.
Affleck debut in 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The movie tanked and drew a lot of criticism for its dark, gory version of the character. And with 2017’s Justice League fail, he exited the franchise along with Superman co-star Henry Cavill. In 2021, in Matt Reeves’ direction actor Robert Pattinson is going to be DC’s new Batman.
Passing On The Bat Sign
Now the news is Warner Bros. is in talks with Michael Keaton to reprise his version of Batman for its Flash solo movie. The movie helmed by Andy Muschietti will revolve around the infamous Flashpoint comic book series. In the comic, Flash travels back in time to save his mother creating ripple effects in the DC timeline.
It is easy to conjure how Keaton can be involved in the Justice League franchise.
Watch: The Batman 2021 and Michael Keaton Crossover
Keaton’s apparent involvement in the DC universe opens up many exciting avenues. Fans and experts both believe that this is DC’s unsaid way of entering it is own Multiverse. Like its competition, Marvel Studios that is already set to kick in its multiverse in Phase 4 with Doctor Strange sequel.
The Batman multiverse was developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett for 1999 animated television series. It ran for three successful seasons till 2001 and also had a spin-off movie. Then it was followed by Batman Beyond comic book that was based on the series.
Keeping in line the success Marvel Studios has seen in interconnected timelines spanning through 10-year long Infinity Saga, DC seems to be following in the footsteps.
Michael Keaton reprising Batman in the Flash movie can result in more future cameos of an older Batman stringing multiple stories together, much like Nick Fury in the MCU.
Metaphorically speaking, no Batman ever passed on the bat sign (or the torch) so Keaton reprising the role makes a lot of sense story-wise.
Challenges For Robert Pattinson’s Batman
While this is a long shot, what’s next is Tom Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s The Batman.
In a recent interview with GQ, Robert Pattinson spoke about finding his inspiration in the oddest place – George Clooney’s Batman! He said,
“I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day. And even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it’s sort of been done, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has been already covered. And that’s in, ’96? ’97?”
To some extent, Pattinson’s worries are justified in the fact that where to begin and end Bruce Wayne’s character spectrum.
Watch: George Clooney Apologises For Batman & Robin
Keaton had the opportunity to make the character his own on the big screen in WB’s maiden attempt.
His dark, slightly sinister character defined the Batman for generations to come. Likewise, Christian Bale’s iteration was genre-defining and is beyond any comparison.
Whereas Clooney’s attempt at Batman failed miserably, Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne got the burn for its darker, wearier, cynical version. That was what fans were most upset about the tone of the BvS movie. While details about Pattinson’s Batman are scarce it is certain that the standalone movie will feature a younger version than Affleck’s iteration.
Pattinson’s real challenge is to find the distinct tone of the Batman which Clooney miserably failed at. Otherwise, we are on course for a recap of the Batman & Robin disaster!
Because the boy sure doesn’t have the Keaton-like husk to whisper I am Batman!