If the Batsuit fits, you’d best believe Michael Keaton is going to wear it. The once and future Dark Knight visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and told the crowd that he still cuts a fine figure as Gotham City’s resident Caped Crusader, a role he’s reprising in the upcoming Flash solo adventure. “Svelte as ever,” Keaton said of how he fit into Bruce Wayne’s classic cape-and-cowl ensemble he first wore in Tim Burton’s 1989 comic book blockbuster. “Same dimensions. Same fitting.”
Keaton bid farewell to the Bat-series after 1992’s Batman Returns, and the role has since been played by everyone from Ben Affleck to Will Arnett, whose gruff-voiced Lego Batman never fails to make his predecessor laugh. “[He’s] really funny,” the actor told Colbert, adding that he’s lost count about how many descendants inhabit the Batcave now. “I don’t know how many there are, like 77 Batmans. They probably should form their own union.”
Jokes aside, Keaton understands what it means to suit up as Batman again. “What’s really interesting is how much more I got [Batman] when I went back and did him,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in August. “I get this on a whole other level now. I totally respect it. I respect what people are trying to make. I never looked at it like, ‘Oh, this is just a silly thing.’ It was not a silly thing when I did Batman. But it has become a giant thing, culturally….This is a big deal in the world to people. You’ve got to honor that and be respectful of that.”
Certainly, jaws dropped and wings flapped last summer when it was first announced that Keaton was coming out of superhero retirement to appear alongside Ezra Miller in The Flash, which speeds into theaters on Nov. 4, 2022. The movie is expected to introduce DC’s Infinite Earths in the same way that Spider-Man: No Way Home is poised to kick in the door to the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. So far, Flash director Andy Muschetti has avoided revealing any glimpses of Keaton in his svelte Batsuit, only dropping teasing glimpses of the familiar Bat symbol on his Instagram.
But with the second edition of DC’s virtual fan event, DC FanDome, coming up on Oct. 16, the time may be right for our first Bat sighting. According to Keaton, he’s already given his friends and neighbors a sneak peek. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last year, he joked about wearing the Batsuit around his house — just because he can. “If I am just feeling insecure enough, I will slip into the suit. It just makes me feel a whole lot better,” he said. “I will walk around the neighborhood a little bit. By the way, when things around here get a little bit nervous-making, I just put the suit on, and boy, things straighten the f*** up.”
We can see the headline now: “Winged freak” terrorizes his neighborhood! Wait’ll the rest of us get a load of him.
The Flash opens in theaters on Nov. 4, 2022