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“You can go to any timeline, any universe. Why fight to save this one?” a voiceover from Michael Keaton‘s Batman asks in new footage from The Flash. In DC’s “The World Needs Heroes” clip, the narration of Keaton’s gritty-voiced Bruce Wayne plays as Justice Leaguer Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) time travels through the Speed Force into another dimension. Though Keaton doesn’t appear in the 60-second clip featuring scenes from DC’s 2022 roster of The Batman, Black Adam, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the Bat-voice not heard since 1992’s Batman Returns is enough to get fans emotional ahead of Keaton’s 30-years-later return in The Flash.
After hanging up the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight when walking away from the Tim Burton-less Batman Forever, director Andy Muschietti gets Keaton back in black for a trip through the DC Multiverse alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman.
No YOU choked up hearing Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman voice https://t.co/FCBwuc6z2q
— Phil Pirrello (@PhilPirrello) February 11, 2022
According to producer Barbara Muschietti, Keaton and Affleck both became “quite emotional” over stepping back into roles they’d thought left in the past.
“Batman is a very dark character. I think once [actors] play the role, they are done. I think this was a bit of a surprise for both of them,” Muschietti said during virtual DC FanDome China. “It took them a while to warm up to the idea of reprising, of playing this character again, especially Keaton. Keaton had not been Batman for 30 years.”
BLACK ADAM, DOCTOR FATE,SUPERGIRL, HAWKMAN, CYCLONE AND ATOM SMASHER!!!!!!!!
AND IS THAT MICHAEL KEATON’S BATMAN IN THE VOICEOVER?!?!!?!?!?!?!? 😭😭😭 https://t.co/4o3VziJrQ4
— Ahsoka Taylor’s Version ♥️ (@AhsokaTargaryen) February 12, 2022
Muschietti added it was “amazing to see that both of them, both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, get quite emotional at coming back once they were with us, and they got to put on the cowl and the cape.”
Ezra Miller leads a cast that includes Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Keaton as Bruce/Wayne Batman, Ron Livingston as Henry Allen, Maribel Verdu as Nora Allen, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, and returning Man of Steel stars Antje Traue as Faora-UI and Michael Shannon as General Zod.
Michael Keaton’s Batman returns in The Flash, out November 4 in theaters, and Batgirl, premiering later this year on HBO Max.