For some, Michael Keaton is the original and best Batman. Adam West was actually the original in his live-action cartoon series in the 1960s, but on the silver screen, Keaton was the first modern actor to don the cowl and cape of the Dark Knight and to this day his take on Bruce Wayne and his alter ego gets plenty of love.
Keaton is a very fit 69 years old, but it did seem for some time that his days playing superhero were over. Not so. He's coming back to the DCEU as Batman in 2022, reports the New York Times in a profile of DC president Walter Hamada. Keaton will appear as Batman in The Flash—and Ben Affleck will be there too.
This is all thanks to a storyline delving into DC's "Multiverse," which allows for different people as the same superheroes in parallel universes. That's how Robert Pattinson will also play Gotham's caped crusader in 2022’s The Batman.
Confused? CNET explains:
Robert Pattinson, perhaps most famous for playing vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga, stars in The Batman, which is scheduled to come out in 2022. His films will exist in a universe dubbed Earth 2, which will feature new actors playing familiar characters.
Another film universe, Earth 1, will feature actors who are continuing to play characters they've already portrayed, including Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. So what happens to Pattinson's Batman on one Earth doesn't also happen to Batman in the other timeline.
Keaton and Ben Affleck will both play Batman in the 2022 film The Flash, which Hamada says will link the two universes. Keaton is returning to the role he played on screen in 1989 and 1992, and the film will apparently reveal what's happened to Keaton's Batman since he last played the role.
The moment you buy into the element of the parallel universe, the scheme gets less confusing. As for Affleck, he's reportedly done with the role following appearing in The Flash, but there's a good chance Keaton will show up in other films.
Story details for Flash are under wraps, as are plans for Keaton becoming a mainstay of the Batman franchise again. Walter Hamada, however, told the Times that he trusts the audience.
Hamada admitted to the NYT that he didn't "think anyone else has ever attempted (the multiverse concept on screen)." However, he also believes "audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it."
Robert Pattinson takes on the role in The Batman when that movie premieres on March 4, 2022.
The Flash, with Ezra Miller in the title role, returns Keaton and Afflect to their respective Bat Caves on June 2, 2022.